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FFA leaders look to future

A new crop of Indiana FFA officers is ready to lead with passion.

Tom J Bechman 1

November 9, 2022

2 Min Read
Indiana FFA officers/staff: Jenna Kelsay, Mary Jones, Jaden Maze, Gracie Lee, Erin Padgett, Anthony Taylor, Seth Ariens, Tobi
OFFICER TEAM: The Indiana FFA officers live and work at the Indiana FFA Leadership Center. Pictured at home at the center are (front to back) Jenna Kelsay, Mary Jones, Jaden Maze, Gracie Lee, Indiana FFA staff member Erin Padgett, Anthony Taylor, Seth Ariens and Tobias Sturgell. Tom J. Bechman

The year was 2020. Seven young people were elected during a state FFA convention in Indiana like no one had ever seen before. The COVID-19 pandemic all but closed the Purdue University campus, where the convention was held in June for decades. In 2020, the event was virtual, with state officers and a few members streaming a small part of the convention from an almost empty auditorium at Purdue.

One year ago, in 2021, the state FFA officer team still faced restrictions, and the “mostly live” state convention was held at Hamilton Southeastern High School for contests and the Indiana State Fairgrounds for sessions, with limited attendance.

This year’s Indiana FFA officer team was also elected in sessions at the state fairgrounds, although there were fewer restrictions. After they were elected in June, one of their earliest, and biggest, tasks was designing the FFA Pavilion for the Indiana State Fair. They not only designed it, but also greeted visitors during the full 18-day run of the fair, with the fewest restrictions for COVID-19 yet.

“It’s a lot of work and ups and downs, but if you wake up thinking it’s going to be a good day, it will be a good day at the fair,” notes Tobias Sturgell, state FFA secretary. “We got to meet lots of FFA members, and we are all passionate about working with other members.”

Enthusiasm is contagious, and since then, the state FFA officer team has conducted several camps and workshops for members. They’ve also traveled all over Indiana, visiting various FFA chapters and ag programs, and conducting district kickoff meetings. After the National FFA Convention, where some of the officers are competing in contests at the national level, they will travel the state again, this time visiting businesses and industries that support FFA and agriculture. They get a chance to learn, and the people they visit will surely catch their enthusiasm.

Check IndianaPrairieFarmer.com tomorrow to learn more about these passionate young people and what makes them tick.

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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