Logan Elliott of Riverton FFA, the new Kansas FFA president, has an ample supply of passion for agriculture and excitement about the future and he’s ready to get started on a year of leadership.
“It’s been a great experience that turned into a major focus for me. From practicing speeches and answering interview questions to the work of the chapter, it’s just been a time I will never forget,” he says.
Elliott says he was a little late getting into 4-H compared to some of his friends.
“I was in fifth grade when I started 4-H where many others started as soon as they turned seven,” he says. “But in those three years, I got what I consider my foundation. It was there that I developed my love of animals, my communication skills and my interest in leadership.”
His older brother, Devin, encouraged him to get into FFA.
“He’s a year older and he joined FFA his freshman year and he said he had a blast and he thought I’d love it, too,” Elliott says. “So, I decided to join ag education as soon as I started high school. A bunch of us started talking and we said we wanted to be as involved as we could possibly get. We wanted to try every project, go to every event.”
At the end of his freshman year, Elliott ran for chapter office and was elected secretary of the Riverton chapter for his sophomore year. Next, he was elected reporter for his junior year and then SE District president and Riverton chapter president for his senior year.
Now as a college freshman, Elliott will serve as state president, leading a team of six officers who were chosen for their positions from among 13 candidates to represent more than 9,800 Kansas FFA members.
“We have a great team,” he says. “We’ve spent the last week bonding and talking and starting to plan all the upcoming activities we want to do in the next year.”
Elliott says he is especially good friends with Abby Goins of Labette County FFA, who was on the slate with him for President and who will serve as Vice President.
“I’ve known Abby for a long time and we get along super well. We talked about competing for the same office and we said, ‘We’ll just give our speeches and do our best, and whoever wins, we’re OK with it,’” he says. “She’s a very talented FFAer and a good person.”
Other officers for the 2019-2020 FFA year include Elizabeth Wright, Blue Valley FFA, secretary; Lukas Sebesta, Ellsworth FFA, treasurer; J.W. Wells, Sedan FFA, reporter; and Mason Prester, Wilson FFA, sentinel.
Just a week after his election, Elliott was busy dealing with another major challenge: getting enrolled at Kansas State University and choosing classes for his first semester of college.
“I’m meeting with my advisor to talk about what to take and trying to structure my classes so that I can still have time to spend on all the organization and planning for also serving as a state FFA officer,” he says.
The state officer team has a heavy travel schedule, going all over the state to share their passion for agriculture, leadership and service, as well as presenting workshops and conferences to challenge their fellow members to serve their communities and the industry.
Elliott will also be juggling another ball — building his herd of Hereford cattle that mark him as the fifth-generation beef producer in his family.
“I have ten head right now, two steers and eight breeding cows,” he says. “The Hereford breed is in keeping with our family history where the story is that my great-great grandfather brought the first Herefords west of the Mississippi when he came to Missouri to farm.”
He says his mother’s family still farms near Branson, Mo., and his grandfather owns a ranch close to Bradleyville, Mo.
For a career field, Elliott is looking at ag education, with a goal to someday return to Riverton as an ag educator and FFA advisor.
“Both of my parents are educators,” he says. “My mom teachers in the health care in three schools and my dad was a woodshop teacher at Riverton, but recently moved to a teaching position at Pittsburg State.”
His brother, Devon, will be a sophomore next fall, working toward a degree in technology and engineering at Pittsburg State.
Passion for education is also strong in the new FFA officer group, he says, with five of the six new officers majoring in ag education.
“I realize it doesn’t pay all that well, and that may mean I don’t stick with it long-term, but it’s something I know I really want to do,” he says.
Money is one reason that he wants to continue building his Hereford herd, relying on his brother and parents to help in caring for them while he’s away at college.
“In addition to continuing to have a heritage breed so important in our family, it will provide another source of income, so I can focus on students without as much worry about income,” he says. “At least, that’s the hope.”
As for how he would advise those kids just starting high school and wondering if joining FFA would be a good idea, he does have words of wisdom.
“I’d tell them that FFA is an agriculture-based organization, but you don’t have to have grown up on a farm to love it or benefit from it,” he says. “One of our officers grew up in town with no experience with animals or crops and still discovered a passion for agriculture in FFA.
“But the most important thing I would tell any student is be willing to try something new. Step out of your comfort zone and be ready to grab any opportunities as they come.”