Written by Katie Russell

On an early Tuesday morning, November 19th, the Cambridge FFA Chapter set out for their Industry and Career tour to La Grande, Oregon. With 25 students and 4 teachers, they were able to tour industries, make connections to career possibilities, visit a college campus and connect with another FFA chapter. 

The first stop was in Baker City, Oregon where we were greeted by Baker FFA chapter president, Tynan Morrison. He walked with us as we toured Behlen Country. Behlen Country makes farm and ranch equipment like gates, galvanized stock tanks, and much more. Our members were led by tour guides around the facility while they explained to us what all the different machines did, and what their company values are. Our members were grateful to see this as a career opportunity and learn more about the behind the scenes of items that many of them use on a day to day basis.

The second stop was the Oregon State Agricultural Research Station in Union, Oregon. Members learned about what a career might look like in animal science. A professor from Oregon State University taught us about ruminant animals and the purpose of the cannula. Our own students were able to reach into the cows rumen! Shayna Landis, chapter historian, said, “I learned that cows are used for research in different ways than what I had thought before.” A huge thanks to OSU’s Ag Research Station and the people involved in running it for making this such an enjoyable experience.

The third stop was at Blue Mountain Seed Distributor. This company gave us tours as well as descriptions of how they get their seeds from farmers ready to sell. Our students watched as the seeds fell through the sifters. Carly Jordan said, “My favorite thing was seeing how the machine works to process the seeds.” Members also got to watch how they package their bags, and the work that goes into it. The chapter is very grateful towards the people at Blue Mountain Seeds for their hospitality and knowledge they gave to us. 

The 4th stop was Imbler High School where we met with their FFA chapter. We introduced all of the officers from both chapters, and then split into smaller groups. The groups discussed items like fundraising ideas, ways to get better chapter involvement, and community service ideas. It was also nice to reconnect with past Cambridge High School Principal Ms. LC. She currently is the superintendent of Imbler School District. 

When our chapter reached the hotel that night we engaged in leadership activities led by our advisors. These activities helped us identify the important characteristics of a leader, and how important communication is in everything we do. We also heard from college students at EOU who answered our questions. 

Day two started with the chapter kicking off with tours of the Eastern Oregon University campus. Wyatt Neil, ambassador for EOU/Oregon State University, showed our students around. He answered questions about what college would look like there and what we can do to prepare. The members interested in the medical field and arts program got the opportunity to go further into depth with those interests. They got to see what their classes would look like and much more. A huge thank-you to Wyatt for helping us better understand what we can do with our future after high school. 

 

The final stop of the trip was Barreto Manufacturing where they manufacture a huge range of rental equipment. Members got to see from start to finish the steps that they go through to make sure their customers are satisfied. From welding to advanced metal cutting machines, the students really did get to see it all! Barreto had lots of amazing technology that was incredible to watch work. Emma Hollon and Kayden Harvey’s favorite part of that tour would definitely be when they got to operate a brand new trencher that had just came off the production line! We are very grateful towards Barreto for giving us a glimpse of what their industry looks like.

The members, teachers, and bus driver all had an amazing time on this trip. We would like to thank all of the businesses, chapters, teachers, bus driver and the Cambridge FFA Alumni for making this trip possible. Mrs. Nichols, Mrs. Mink, Mrs. Nash and Mr. McMichael, along with bus driver Mr. Jones helped to make the trip a huge success. Between leadership activities, touring new places, and making new connections with people, The Cambridge FFA Industry and Career Tour for 2019 pushed our members Beyond All Limits! We cannot wait for next year.