National FFA Week
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- National FFA Organization
This year, National FFA Week is February 21-28. The week-long event began in 1947 during the week of George Washington’s birthday to commemorate his dedication and involvement in agriculture.
National FFA Week is a time for members to reflect on the positive impact the organization has had on their lives and to advocate for agriculture education and FFA. Events, such as appreciation breakfasts, Ag-themed school days and service projects, occur throughout the week to promote the National FFA Organization and its continuing efforts.
The following discuss their FFA experiences and how it influenced their career aspirations.Date Published: February 21, 2015Date Updated: February 21, 2015
- Kaci Demott
Kaci Demott was part of the Rock Port FFA Chapter in Rock Port, Missouri. Kaci was very involved in FFA showing livestock, participating in career development events and holding numerous officer positions.
Her FFA achievements include being chapter president and receiving her State Degree.
Kaci is currently an Agriculture Loan Underwriter for CGB AgriFinancial Services, a leading provider of capital solutions to farmers across the United States in mortgage loans, revolving lines of credit and leases, in Louisville, Kentucky.
“FFA truly had the ultimate impact on me to major in agriculture in college and pursue a career in the agriculture industry,” says Kaci. “Through FFA I met many people my age that had a passion for the industry, and it ignited my path to stay in agriculture. I am also very proud to say that I'm a fourth generation farmer!"
*Fact: FFA was organized nationally in 1928 in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1950, Congress granted FFA a federal charter, making it an integral part of public agricultural instruction under the National Vocational Education Act.Date Published: February 21, 2015Date Updated: February 21, 2015
- Owen Heetland
Owen Heetland was part of the AGWSR FFA Chapter in Ackley, Iowa.
He was an active FFA member, showing pigs at the Iowa State Fair, participating in agronomy contests and holding leadership positions within his chapter. He also enjoyed restoring and showing tractors for two years at the Iowa State Fair.
His achievements include earning his State Degree, placing second overall at state in the team agronomy contest, and winning champion individual at the state agronomy contest.
Today, Owen is an agronomy advisor for Innovative Ag Services in Cleves, Iowa. Owen credits his FFA advisor for getting him involved in agronomy.
“Mr. Abbas really got me interested in the area of agronomy, and was an influence in my decision to pursue an agronomy degree at Iowa State University,” says Owen. “He would spend a lot of extra time after school and during the summer helping us with our FFA projects.”
*Fact: 92% of agriculture education programs offer agriscience curriculum, including advanced agriscience and biotechnology, horticulture, agriculture mechanics, animal science, and envrionmental-related courses.Date Published: February 21, 2015Date Updated: February 21, 2015
- Liz Edgington
Liz was involved in the St. Ansgar FFA Chapter in St. Ansgar, Iowa.
Liz attended National FFA Convention, State Leadership Conferences, and showed livestock and competed in events at the Iowa State Fair. She was also a part of the livestock judging team which placed second at state and competed at the National Western Stock Show.
“Looking back now I can see that being involved in FFA really helped me grow as a person throughout high school and prepare me for the future,” says Liz. “Participating in multiple contests taught me public speaking skills and how to correctly hold a meeting. The experiences gave me confidence when venturing into the ‘real world’.”
Liz currently works for Ag Belt, attending trade shows, promoting dealers and giving users hands on instruction on how to use Ag Belt products. Her participation in FFA activities influenced her decision to continue being a part of the agriculture industry.
*Fact: Based on U.S. Census Bureau Classifications, 68% of FFA members live in rural areas and 32% live in urban communities.Date Published: February 21, 2015Date Updated: February 21, 2015
- Bret Spurgin
Bret Spurgin was very involved in the Moravia FFA Chapter in Moravia, Iowa. Bret competed in various career development events, service activities and livestock shows.
Bret’s achievements at the state level include serving as the Iowa South Central State Vice President and being awarded Chapter Star Farmer. He enjoyed showing pigs at the county fair and Iowa State Fair each year.
“FFA gave me the confidence to be myself and expand my horizons,” says Bret.
Through FFA, Bret was able to travel to Washington D.C. and intern for the Senate Agriculture Committee for a summer.
Bret is currently the agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor at Oskaloosa High School in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
“FFA obviously influenced my career in a huge way,” says Bret. “I am taking what I’ve learned and experienced in the FFA, and trying to give students the same opportunities I had to grow and learn.”
*Fact: There are currently 610, 240 students who are members of the National FFA Organization.
(Bret pictured on the left)Date Published: February 21, 2015Date Updated: February 21, 2015
- Bryon Weesner
Bryon Weesner was a member of the Dexfield Iowa FFA Chapter from 1984-1988. He also served as the Iowa South Central District Treasurer, and in 1988-1989 served as the Iowa SC State Vice President.
Bryon competed in creed speaking, public and extemporaneous speaking, and was a gold winner in the state Ag sales contest. His Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) was in sheep production.
“The most important thing I learned through FFA was that leadership is more than holding an office, and that I could accomplish much with hard work and dedication,” says Bryon. “Over the years I have found that the most important and dearest friends I made were through my involvement in FFA, and those friendships continue, even today.”
Bryon was a charter member of the West Central Valley FFA Alumni, serving as President for three years. He has also served as the Iowa Alumni board as South Central District Representative and is now the President-elect.
Today, he works in the agriculture industry as an outside specialist in grain and agronomy for West Central Cooperative, and lives on a small acreage where he enjoys gardening and raising chickens.
“I continue to give back to the organization which gave me so much because I believe in the future of agriculture, and I continue to live to serve,” says Bryon.
*Fact: Globally, there are more than 300 different careers in agriculture.
(Pictured: Bryon is front row, third from the left)Date Published: February 21, 2015Date Updated: February 21, 2015
- Kelley Glanz
Kelley was a member of the West Delaware FFA Chapter in Manchester, Iowa. While in FFA, Kelley took part in dairy products judging, livestock judging and creed speaking. She enjoyed entering crops and showing hogs at the Iowa State Fair each year.
Kelley works at United Suppliers, Inc. and is a link series specialist. She attributes her continued involvement in the agriculture industry to the experiences and skills she learned through FFA activities.
“FFA gave me the opportunity to forge a network of friends in the industry,” says Kelley.
*Fact: There are 7,665 local FFA chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.Date Published: February 21, 2015Date Updated: February 21, 2015
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