Editor’s note: FFA chapters across the country celebrated National FFA Week Feb. 22-29.

In the words of E.M. Tiffany, the author of the FFA creed, “I believe in the future of agriculture.” 

These are words I live by today as I continue on my FFA journey as an agriculture educator and FFA adviser at Midland Community School District.

As a 2015 Maquoketa High School graduate, I spent four years actively participating in FFA events. Prior to attending high school, I knew I wanted to be involved in FFA while in high school as both my father and older sister had been heavily involved in FFA; they both served as chapter presidents while they attended high school. I, too, wanted to follow in their footsteps as I always valued what they did while in FFA. Not only did I aspire to be more like my father and older sister growing up, but I grew up living on a diversified grain and livestock farm located about 10 miles north of Maquoketa. Some say that because of this background, in and of itself, it was natural for me to want to be a part of the FFA community, and it was already a part of me. 

While attending high school, I served three out of four years on the officer team where I created lifelong friendships and participated in different career development events and community service projects. The FFA chapter allowed me opportunities to become a better leader and communicator. 

One of my favorite memories of participating in FFA in high school was taking part in the National FFA Convention in the Vet Science career development event. It took many nights of practice and help from our local vets to become 12th in the nation and receive a Gold rating.

After high school, I took my love for agriculture a step further and went on to obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. I graduated in December 2018 and received my first job in education.

Now as I serve as the Agriscience educator and FFA adviser at Midland Middle/High School, I get to watch my students undergo some of the same experiences that sparked my passion for agriculture. Students are creating memories and learning life lessons that will carry on with them into their future. For the 2019-20 school year, my students have participated in the following activities and/or experiences: World Dairy Expo, Milk Quality and Products career development events, National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, wreath making, fruit sales, fellowship at night meetings, FarmHer Conference, showing at the local and state level fairs, and so much more. 

The FFA chapter is currently preparing students to compete in creed speaking, conduct of meetings, experience the action, agriculture marketing, and Ag Issues. 

I look forward to the rest of the school year and getting to watch these students grow as leaders in their community.