Brittany Gonzales looked at me like I was crazy when I asked who she was at a recent FFA event. I’ve interviewed and photographed her and the other 2018-19 Indiana FFA state officers several times this year. But in my defense, I have never seen her in a hairnet, and I wasn’t expecting to see her at the North Montgomery FFA food-packing event earlier this spring.
She wasn’t the only state FFA officer there. Nathan Deatrick was also present, also wearing a hairnet. Both were on one of the assembly lines, helping pack bags of food for people in need of nutritious meals. Both told me they were glad to be there, helping alongside North Montgomery FFA members and other student and adult volunteers from the community. It was the seventh annual North Montgomery FFA food-packing event. Some 21,000 meals were prepared and packed into 100 boxes in one evening.
The members of year’s Indiana FFA state officer team have less than a month left before their year of service ends and they head on with the rest of their lives. They will conduct the state FFA convention at Purdue University June 18-20, and then hand off their duties to a team of newly elected FFA officers.
Some 22 officer candidates, their parents and their FFA advisors gathered at an open house at the Indiana FFA Leadership Center near Trafalgar in late April to learn what state officers do. For the candidates, it was part of the orientation process, and another chance to learn what they would be interviewing to do for the upcoming year. For parents, it was a chance to hear from parents of current and former state officers about what to expect should their son or daughter become a state FFA officer.
Joe Martin, Indiana FFA program specialist, says Indiana is one of very few states where young people give up an entire year of college to serve the FFA, and one of even fewer states where the FFA officers live together at a state FFA center. But they don’t spend all their time there.
Click through the slideshow below to get an idea of what it’s like to be a state FFA officer in Indiana. Stay tuned to see who the new crop of officers are on June 20.