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December 5, 2023
It was a busy 2023 for Jessica Herr. At the 2022 National FFA Convention, she became just the 12th Pennsylvania FFA member to be nominated to the national team, the first Pennsylvanian elected to the team since 2001-02 and the state’s first female National FFA member.
She recently ended her year of service and is now back home in Lancaster County. And while traveling to more than 30 states and South Africa was the chance of a lifetime, being close to home is where her heart is.
I recently sat down with Herr to talk about her year on the national officer team, things she learned on the road and how the experience has led her to a surprising change in her future plans.
Give it a listen.
2022-23 secretary of the National FFA Officer Team
former member of Garden Spot FFA and graduate of Lampeter Strasburg High School
fifth generation on family farm that includes 60 cows, four broiler houses and crops
21-year-old student at Penn State University
Read more about:FFA
Editor, American Agriculturist
Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.
Torres says he wants American Agriculturist to be farmers' "go-to product, continuing the legacy and high standard (former American Agriculturist editor) John Vogel has set." Torres succeeds Vogel, who retired after 47 years with Farm Progress and its related publications.
"The news business is a challenging job," Torres says. "It makes you think outside your small box, and you have to formulate what the reader wants to see from the overall product. It's rewarding to see a nice product in the end."
Torres' family is based in Lebanon County, Pa. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, Pa., where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.
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