November 2018
Youth Matters

FFA Sentinel: Creating Student Success Through Community, Chapter and Student Involvement

Cherokee FFA members are committed to making a difference and leaving their mark.


Cherokee FFA members and Advisor pictured at the Cherokee Lions Club after members of Different Leadership Events delivered speeches to the Cherokee Lions.

The FFA Chapter and agriculture classes at Cherokee High School are used to helping their local community with a variety of projects. Whether it be constructing some heavy equipment or landscaping around the school, FFA members are there to serve. They’ve built duck blinds for disabled hunters, constructed playground equipment and even built a life-size Christmas village. Just about anywhere you go in the small town of Cherokee, FFA has probably left their mark there.

The Cherokee FFA Chapter tries to do something for our community each year. So, when Chapter adviser and Ag teacher Mr. Daryl Behel was approached by Colbert County commissioner Charles Hovater with a request, the FFA Chapter of course agreed to help. Hovater asked if the students could build some picnic tables for the county’s Rose Trail Park, located in extreme western Colbert County. The tables previously in the park had deteriorated over the years and were in desperate need of replacing. The FFA and agriculture programs at Cherokee High School were happy to help. The County Commission provided the materials for the project, which was completed by students from ninth through twelfth grade. The students built six picnic tables to be delivered to the park. The first of the tables took a little time to design and construct but after that the students were able to complete a table within a couple of hours. There were 16 students involved in the project. Everyone had a hand in it.

Cherokee FFA members competing in the construction CDE at the Colbert County Ag Day.



Other than just working on different projects around the community in Cherokee, Alabama, the FFA Chapter also participates in Leadership and Career Development Events throughout the year. Leadership Events consist of prepared public speaking, parliamentary procedure, creed speaking and many more. They also have an event at the Cherokee Lions Club where they can demonstrate what they’ve learned for their competitions to all the Lions Club members, providing another area of community involvement. The Cherokee FFA Chapter has teams that compete at all levels of competition within the LDEs and CDEs. All FFA members at Cherokee are very involved and are passionate about what they do, whether it be a hands-on activity in the Ag shop or at an FFA competition. Chapter adviser and agriculture teacher Daryl Behel says, no matter what activity or events the students are participating in, we are creating student success.

The Cherokee High School FFA Chapter holds its FFA Banquet at the end of every school year. The purpose of having this banquet is to celebrate the accomplishments everyone in the chapter has made that school year. Whether it’s top fruit sales, first place plaque for a county or district competition, or an Ag Class recognition, we celebrate every hard-working member’s achievements. It means so much to the students and their parents to get rewarded for all their dedication to this chapter. The parents, community, and administration get to see that Cherokee’s FFA chapter is full of students that have a bright and promising future. This banquet demonstrates what FFA is all about: leadership, personal growth and career success. Our banquet is a fun time for every member involved and something our members look forward to each year.


Picnic table at Rose Trail Park showing the Cherokee FFA donation plaque.

Daryl Behel and his FFA chapter are an embodiment of everything FFA stands for. FFA helps students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. It stands for leadership, future careers, friendship and so much more. In the Cherokee High School FFA chapter and Ag Programs we are helping the students figure out their career paths by teaching them a range of skills, whether it be the skills they need to build a picnic table, compete in a career-development event, or stand before a crowd and display their speaking skills. They are the largest and most active club at Cherokee High School. Cherokee FFA members are truly dedicated to serving not only their school, but their community. Mr. Behel and his FFA are committed to making a difference and are truly "Living to Serve."


Sara Vance is chapter reporter for Cherokee FFA.