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Morrisville State gets visit from New York Collegiate FFA officers

MORRISVILLE, NY—Ashley Willits’ visit to Morrisville State was pretty impressive. She was able to see a horse swim in an equine pool and high-tech farming that integrates live fish and plants.

Willits was among a team of New York State (NYS) FFA officers who made a stop at the college during the NYS National FFA Officer Tour. Also participating was national FFA officer Brennan Costello, from Nebraska, who is serving as the national FFA vice president.

A senior at Lowville Academy, Willits, NYS FFA president, is following a family tradition. Her brother, Ryan Willits, a Morrisville State agricultural business student, is the New York FFA national officer candidate and served last year as treasurer of the state organization. Their parents are also FFA advisors.

“This week has been learning more about agriculture and connecting to the students we are serving,” Ashley Willits said about the officer tour.

Among the highlights of the Morrisville tour was a visit to the college’s equine rehabilitation center, one of few publicly accessible equine rehabilitation facilities in the Northeast. Modern Desire, “MD,” performed a swimming demonstration in a 50-foot long by 25-foot-wide, 14 -foot deep equine swimming pool, which allows horses to maintain muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness without straining joints, tendons, or ligaments.

“I am so excited to be here (at MSC)” said Ashley Willits. “It is a great learning experience.”

“Morrisville has agricultural education with real-world experience and is a school I am considering applying to,” said Jake Ledoux, NYS FFA vice president who is currently a student at Beaver River High School. “In addition to how much the college keeps expanding, I like that their collegiate FFA chapter is very active.”

The Morrisville Chapter of the NY Collegiate FFA participates in numerous campus events including Ag Day and Mustang Weekend, and also reaches out to the community providing tours to elementary students and conducting food and toy drives. Members also attend various conferences and help at regional, state and national FFA events.

In addition to touring the equine rehabilitation facility, the state officer team, which was accompanied by members of the Morrisville Chapter of the NY Collegiate FFA, got a first-hand look at the college’s Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) greenhouse, aquaculture facility, and dairy complex.

The FFA is a national youth organization, once known as the Future Farmers of America, which offers leadership and career development opportunities for students interested in any agriculture-related career.

Morrisville State sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience Morrisville in motion.

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