State FFA officers from Imperial, Hayes Center
visit FVC during Chase County Fair
By Christi Christner
The Wauneta Breeze
The National FFA Organization, most popularly known as FFA, has been bringing students, teachers and agribusinesses together in an educational and learning way for the last 86 years.
With more than 300 different careers involving agriculture, FFA members come from rural, suburban and urban environments. All come from a diverse background, but with the same interest: agriculture.
With 579,678 national FFA members in 7,570 chapters throughout all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, FFA is the largest career and technical student organization in U.S. schools.
There are three different levels for FFA representatives. The basic levels are the national level that serves all of the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; the state level serving an individual state association; and the chapter level serving a school or a set of schools in the area.
Being chosen as an officer for any of these levels is a huge honor. The chosen representatives serve one busy, crazy, activity-filled year as a state officer.
Anyone with hopes of becoming a state officer has to go through a rigorous and challenging interview process. This year two local girls were chosen to represent western Nebraska as state vice presidents.
Andrea Wach of Hayes Center and Blair Hartman of Champion were the two hard working and deserving girls chosen. In high school, Wach was the vice president for the Hayes Center chapter and Hartman was the secretary for the Imperial FFA chapter.
The two girl were announced the vice presidents at the annual State FFA convention in Lincoln. Ever since, both of them, along with the rest of their teams, have been going nonstop.
As a state officer they help lead COLT (Chapter Officer Leadership Training) and N Power and have visited businesses and industries that are proud sponsors of FFA.
During the last week’s Chase County Fair, Hartman and Wach, along with fellow vice president Brandon Nichols from Bridgeport, made a visit to the the Frenchman Valley Coop (FVC) in Imperial.
The state officers were given a tour of the facilities and told a little bit of the fundamentals of FVC.
This visit was just one out of the 20 the state officers will visit between Lincoln and Imperial.
With summer coming to a close, these busy freshmen in college don’t get a break. During the upcoming school year, the state officers will be doing the same thing they have been doing this whole summer.
When asked how they planned on balancing both their college classes and the busy schedule of a state officer they all kind of laughed.
“Strategy and organization,” Hartman, an ag education major, said.
“We will attend weekly meetings with the rest of the officers and teams,” Wach, an ag communication and public relations major, said.
As a unit, one of the teams’goal is to “inspire individuals to think outside the box in terms of leadership and personal growth, creating solid leaders that are aware of their own leadership identity,” according to the state chapter.
“After college, I want to be an ag teacher. I hope my experience as a state officer will give me the next level of teaching,” Hartman said.
Wach, the Hayes Center native, said, “This is really pushing me out of my comfort zone, which is good. I’ve gotten to meet so many new people.”
“I’ve gotten to make connections across the state.” Nichols, a Bridgeport native, said.
These three along with the rest of the State FFA officer team will be busy handling both their college lives and FFA lives this upcoming year.
“Get to know the people around your area. You don’t even realize who is around or the future friendships you could have with some of them,” Wach advises for high schoolers.
“Take advantage of all opportunities that come to you,” Nichols said.
Hartman advises, “Get involved in your community and school. You have to find something you’re really passionate about.”