New student organizations expand CAFS’ reach

Members of the FAMU Collegiate Chapter of the Florida Farm Bureau. Photo courtesy: Lailah Hall

Students are modernizing Florida A&M’s agricultural roots with the launch of the new  student organization, LEAD Society, coupled with initiatives from other student organizations to cover all aspects of agriculture.

Student organizations, LEAD Society and the FAMU Collegiate Chapter of the Florida Farm Bureau (FFBFAMU) are taking initiative by creating agriculturally literate citizens and leaders who “give a crop,” according to the LEAD Society Instagram page.

The LEAD Society is motivated and inspired by their mission of agricultural literacy by ensuring that “Rattlers get the best of both worlds; hands-on experience with growing crops and understanding how leadership and fellowship work in unison,” according to the organization’s president, Deandre Smith.

Each student organization is taking on their own initiative and stance on agriculture in order to connect people with their environments, make them fluent, more aware of their options, and raise up the next generation of leaders with a focus on fellowship so that every entity can become involved.

Outside of their organization’s goals, the students’ personal ambitions have served as the fuel and backbones for their programs influencing the presence they have not only in the Florida A&M community, but Tallahassee in general.

Lailah Hall, president of the collegiate chapter of the Florida Farm Bureau, said that her ultimate goal through her experiences with her chapter is to have her own “farming operation that provides affordable produce to low-income communities who are facing food insecurity.”

Deandre Smith with LEAD Society is looking to diversify non-traditional forms of agriculture opportunities in which “white males dominate 80% of,” when it comes to the cannabis industry. Smith said that if we do not expose students to different career opportunities and initiatives, “our views on important topics will never be heard.”

Both organizations have different focuses but align when it comes to a common passion; love for their community and their personal investments in its well-being.

The LEAD Society gives their home-grown crops back to the community and students in need looking for fresh food options. This semester, they were even able to provide students and locals with collard greens, peas, strawberries and cabbage with hopes to grow more plots to give more people access to produce.

The FFBFAMU has connected with local farmers as well as the Leon County Chapter of the Florida Farm Bureau as they take on the role of land stewards for generations to come.

The “college of love and charity” is really getting back to its original love but modernizing it by focusing on non-traditional forms of agriculture and implementing new learning opportunities  and research initiatives to bring in other institutions and unify them.