Eads FFA took advantage of its scenic upland surroundings, contracting with the Division of Wildlife in Colorado to create the Walk-in Hunting program. Working closely with the school board, the chapter helped attract agricultural tourism to the community by providing a high-quality, safe place to hunt.
The chapter enrolled 12, 520 acres of land for upland hunting. Landowners agreed to pay one dollar per acre to the chapter for up to 8,000 acres. Meanwhile, the landowners profited from the high volume of tourists and local hunters who used the land.
The Walk-in Hunting Program benefitted the chapter in many ways: 15 FFA members were able to practice public speaking and telephone etiquette, and they learned the power of persuasion as they convinced landowners to see the value of their program. The program earned $10,000, with an additional $2,000 paid from the landowners’ profits as a donation to the chapter.
The town of Eads, like so many towns across America, has seen its share of financial hard times in recent years. The Walk-in Hunting Program required very little money from the community while generating a good deal of agricultural tourism. That’s what you call a win-win.
Eads FFA was a finalist for the 2010 National Chapter Models of Innovation award in Chapter Development.