Iowa FFA Officer Team Q&A

Every member of the 2013-14 Iowa FFA officer team was enrolled at Iowa State University last year. The nine students are from every corner of Iowa and they have some thoughts to share about FFA and their future dreams.

Josh Earll, junior in agricultural and life sciences education from Sibley, Iowa
Iowa FFA president, 2013-14

What is your favorite FFA memory?
My father is an agricultural education teacher at Sibley-Ocheyedan High School and I’ve always enjoyed spending time with him on FFA projects. Why and how does this organization benefit students? Whether it’s scholarships, class work or supervised agricultural experiences, students in FFA have many opportunities to grow as individuals. This is a student led organization. Every decision made in this organization is made by students. FFA is unique because of the opportunities students can pursue.

What is your dream?
I hope to pursue a career as an auctioneer, realtor or appraiser.

James Leonard, sophomore in agricultural business from Newton, Iowa
Iowa FFA vice-president, 2013-14

How does FFA serve others and how has it helped you become your best?
At the Washington D.C. Leadership Conference, I made lasting friendships, but I also learned a lot about myself and from students around the world. I had the chance to make a difference that week working at a battered women’s shelter. We helped clean the shelter and talked with the women at the shelter. My FFA experience also helped me conquer my public speaking fears.

What is your dream?
My goal is to pursue a career in agricultural business and accounting and ultimately go back to help manage my family farm in Jasper County.

Trey Forsyth, a junior in agricultural business from Charles City, Iowa
Iowa FFA north central state vice-president, 2013-14

How did FFA help you find your voice?
On our way to State Convention my adviser had me stand outside a restaurant to practice the FFA Creed to prepare for the state contest, while everyone else stood inside and watched. Everyone at the restaurant looked at me like I was crazy. Our chapter has carried on this tradition ever since.

What did that experience teach you about public speaking?
It taught me that sometimes the only way to get better is to go outside your comfort zone. If you never take new challenges—you will never grow as a leader.

What is your dream?
I hope to work for an agricultural business after graduating from Iowa State.

Brad Pickhinke, a junior in agricultural biochemistry from Sac City, Iowa
Iowa FFA reporter 2013-14

Is FFA just about agriculture?
FFA is about learning to be a leader and a communicator. FFA has taught me how to be an efficient communicator, leader and even how to swing dance. It excites me because of the passion and unity you see from every member across the nation. The blue jacket is sign of hard work, integrity and belief in the future of agriculture.

What is your dream?
To positively impact the lives of others at home and around the world through my work with agriculture.

Tony Moellers, a sophomore in agronomy from North Union, Iowa
Iowa FFA northeast state vice-president

What unique opportunities has FFA provided?
I would not have the skills or be where I am today without being in this organization. I have been fortunate to travel, lead and network through FFA. Being a state FFA officer has been the best experience of my life and every day brings something new. Even when you think you can’t, remember it is better to aim for the sky and miss, than to aim for a manure pile and hit it.

What is your dream?
It is my dream to use the skills I’ve learned through FFA to become successful in my career. I would like to work for Stine, Monsanto or Pioneer in the area of seed sales. I also hope to have a wonderful family.

Abrah Meyer, sophomore in agricultural business from Readlyn, Iowa
Iowa FFA state secretary

How does FFA build relationships?
I started working at the Iowa State Fair as a stage attendant for FFA during my sophomore year of high school. I met a few of my best friends there, and I will never forget the memories we shared. FFA has helped me form some of the greatest friendships in my life. I never thought that there would be so many experiences that apply to college, relationships and life in general. This year has provided me with an incredible opportunity to garner even more incredible relationships in and out of the blue jacket.

What is your dream?
Working overseas in an underdeveloped area of the world—is my dream. I hope to eventually be a source of service to people as a missionary for agriculture and faith beyond my time in the FFA.

Lauren Weirup, senior in agricultural and life sciences education from DeWitt, Iowa
Iowa FFA southeast vice-president

What do you enjoy about FFA?
FFA is about the journey. There is nothing better than a long road trip with fellow members. My favorite trip was the Washington D.C. Leadership Conference. I met people from around the United States, visited the presidential memorials and spent a service day in a garden gathering food for the needy. While achieving and serving, I developed business and speaking skills that have prepared me for the next chapter of my life.

What is your dream?
My dream is to finish my education and travel overseas to help bridge the gap in communication between the United States and other less fortunate countries. Basically, I want to help the transfer of technologies and methods from the United States to other countries to help even the playing fields and stop hunger.

Dylan Brockshus, sophomore animal science from Sibley, Iowa
Iowa FFA northwest vice-president

Why are FFA conferences important?
During my first semester at Iowa State I really enjoyed hosting several different conferences for FFA Chapter Officers and freshman members. My favorite memories involve meeting people, traveling to FFA events and participating in contests. The contests help students develop leadership and career skills for future endeavors. My favorite was the job interview event, which helped me build skills that I can use when I start my career.

What is your dream?
My dream is to have a lovely family and live in the country raising livestock and advocating for agriculture and agricultural education.

Logan Kelly, sophomore in animal ecology from Coon Rapids, Iowa
Iowa FFA southwest vice-president

Why Iowa State?
Iowa State is truly one of the best agricultural schools in the nation. When I am not learning about ecological systems, I break out of my daily routine and try new things. There is always something to do on campus, just being able to explore Iowa State is a journey all its own.

What is your dream?
My dream is to work in wildlife biology and work in the outdoors with America’s natural resources. I may get into teaching agriculture or get involved with FFA again as an adviser or alumni member.