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The 2022 Purple Circle Club induction was held October 29 in Little Rock. This year’s class consisted of 215 awards presented to 137 inductees.
The Purple Circle Club is an awards program recognizing junior livestock exhibitors who earned championship honors at the Arkansas State Fair. It is sponsored by Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation.
Hadleigh Baker, a sophomore at MHHS, is the daughter of Josh & Laura Beth Baker. Hadleigh exhibited the Grand Champion Pen of Broilers at the Arkansas State Fair. In addition to her induction into the prestigious Purple Circle Club, she qualified for the Arkansas State Fair Premium Auction where she received $3300 from Poultry Federation, $1000 from Electric Co-ops of Arkansas and a Scholarship to the University of Arkansas.
Haylee Silzell, a junior at MHHS, is the daughter of Tom & Leann Silzell. Haylee was inducted into Purple Circle after exhibiting the Grand Champion Simmental Female and winning Senior Showmanship at the Arkansas State Fair.
Haylee has been recognized by the Arkansas Junior Cattlemen’s Association with the Supreme High Point Heifer; Overall High point Angus and Simmental heifer; Overall high point registered heifer; AYE Reserve Grand Champion Showman; Arkansas State Fair Grand Champion Showman; Farmington Cattle Clash Supreme Heifer; Crowley’s Ridge Classic Supreme and Reserve Supreme Heifer; AJSA Spring Fling Supreme Heifer & Baxter County Supreme Heifer
Mountain Home Public Schools currently offers FFA to grades seven and up and teaches students to become better speakers, teammates, and leaders. At Mountain Home High School, students can enroll in five different programs of study, ranging from topics like plant science, natural resources, agricultural business, and animal systems.
Student responsibilities don’t stop at classroom learning and their animals. As a part of the FFA Association, students will also compete in teams at state and national competitions.
Teams are split into two categories: Career Development Events (CDE) and Leadership Development Events (LDE).
While CDE focuses on preparing students for their careers by learning about seeds, equipment, plants, electricity, and livestock, the LDE focuses on turning students into future leaders.
Students learn how to debate and hold public speeches. They also invest in learning Robert’s Rules and how to run an efficient meeting, giving them an upper edge if they seek to become involved in local politics.
Some students from the program have gone on to intern for politicians like Arkansas Senator John Boozman.
Mountain Home’s FFA chapter expanded last year by allowing students enrolled in one of the school’s agriculture classes to join FFA without paying fees. The school’s status as an affiliate to the national FFA chapter allowed students to worry less about fees and more about receiving their education.
In recent years, both the Mountain Home FFA chapter and the National FFA Association have experienced a sharp rise in young women joining the organization. At Mountain Home, five women hold leadership positions out of the eight available slots.
Women and their families make up more than 50% of the organization’s members at the national level.