Everyone joins and loves FFA for different reasons. Some join because of their passion for agriculture, some because of their passion for leadership, others for travel opportunities, and some for chances to breakthrough insecurities and push themselves. Each reason for joining is beautiful and what makes Oregon FFA’s membership so diverse and empowering. As members discover different elements of FFA, each develops pride for the organization. No matter what the reason one joins FFA, almost any graduating member can tell you that the passion and pride they developed in themselves and FFA will be something they carry forever.

Over the past month, us state officers had the opportunity to be part of and witness the power that comes from members’ passions. From each interaction, we left more empowered and humbled to work with such amazing members. So with this blog post, we figured we would take a moment to highlight some of our experiences and the pride members displayed.  

1Throughout the past month, we have seen many members show immense pride. Sundee described Roby Young’s sense of pride for service and hard work describing, “Roby Young, senior at Adrian High School will be showing her steer proudly at the Malheur County Fair in August. The theme for the fair is “pride nationwide.” Roby works as a lifeguard, she rodeos, raises dogs, and will be showing her second beef project at this year’s county fair. She can always take pride in the fact that she is always learning and always improving her skills whether she’s on a horse, saving lives, or working with her steer.” Roby wasn’t the only member who showed pride. Dylan was inspired by Kekoa from the Henley FFA Chapter. He said, I first met Kekoa at Southern Oregon’s District Leadership Camp and I was lucky enough to have her in my Vice President’s group. Kekoa and I built a friendship over the course of camp, and by the end she felt inclined to share with me her pride in our organization. She first explained how her entire chapter officer team was brand new to office this year. “It’s like a renewal for Henley FFA,” Kekoa expressed. While nervous for the future and responsibility of improving the chapter, she was up to the challenge. “I’m ready for what’s to come and know that my team and I will tackle any challenge full on,” she said. I felt absolute confidence in her abilities, and know that with pride that strong, Henley FFA is in good hands with members like Kekoa serving as chapter officers. I look forward to seeing how Henley prospers over the next year!” No matter where they are from, each member we have interacted with has rekindled our pride for serving FFA.

At Southern Oregon’s Leadership Camp, we were able to meet and interact with the National FFA President, Breanna Holbert. Members from Southern Oregon described their experiences with Bre, discussing how kind and genuine she was. Halie Bowman from Phoenix FFA said, “Getting to meet the National President Bre is something I will never forget, even though I didn’t get to talk with her that much the time that I did was awesome, She was so nice and sweet and her personality is amazing, she’s also a pretty awesome rapper, getting to listen to some of her stories was pretty great also. Overall my last district leadership was one for the books with the state officer team and Bre.” Molly Lync from  Rogue River said, “Bre and I talked a lot about how we both want to go into Ag Education and impact urban areas that do not have FFA programs yet, so that way we can reach as many people as possible and give those students opportunities that they were yet to be offered.” Bradyn Tillman from Henley said “Bre encouraged us to work as a team and commit to our chapters. She taught us that differences in each group were something to value and that makes our chapters stronger as a team and as individuals. My chapter is already more strong from the activities we learned at camp thanks to the state officers and our national president.” Obviously from members experiences with Bre, she shows pride in interacting with members and we are so grateful for her example and leadership.  

2The thing about pride is that it is self-created. No one is forcing members to wake up early and care for an animal, study for a CDE, or dedicate themselves in school, but somehow through this organization they choose to show pride without needing recognition. It is amazing as state officers to see how dedicated and passionate Oregon FFA’s members are. The pride members show inspires us to show pride for meaningful interactions and pride for agriculture. We are excited to continue our journey forward with you all as we individually add pride to the Oregon FFA Association.