Stephen Tillinghast of Owasso Seeking National FFA Office This Week in IndianapolisSat, 15 Oct 2011 16:59:33 CDT
One young man from Oklahoma was on his way to Indianapolis earlier today (Saturday)- and his national FFA Convention experience for 2011 begins on Sunday morning. We are talking about Stephen Tillinghast of Owasso, the 2011 National Officer candidate from the state of Oklahoma. Stephen is an unlikely representative, having held no higher office in his FFA career than Vice President of his local chapter. But, undeterred, he is in the running as one of 38 candidates for the six positions on the national officer team that will be announced on Saturday afternoon. (Our picture here is of Stephen and other members of the Owasso FFA chapter showing off their national Gold Emblem award- Stephen is the first one on the left in the picture)
Tillinghast says that his path to a possible national officership of the FFA has been along a dirt backroad, compared to the other 37 candidates- as the other 37 have all held a state office in their time in the FFA. He tells us they have traveled a four lane highway compared to the bumps he has taken- and he believes that could be an advantage for him as he will contend with the officer selection committee that he can relate with the vast majority of FFA members who have not won the Grand Champion prize with their livestock- or won the statewide speech contest(and that would be the vast majority of FFA members.)
Along the way in his FFA years, he ran for and lost the State Reporters job- and he competed as a District Star in Ag Placement, but did not win the statewide honors. But, he competed against several other FFA members that were state officers in previous years this past July- and he came away as the choice of that committee to be the National Officer candidate for Oklahoma- this in a year when the spotlight will be on our state in an extra special way with Riley Pagett of Woodward serving as the National President of the organization.
The first hurdle in Indianapolis for Stephen comes between Sunday morning and Tuesday afternoon. There will be a reduction of fifty percent of the officer candidates to get closer to the final six announced Tuesday evening. In the case of the region that Oklahoma is a part of- there are ten candidates running so that means five will continue on to phase two of the selection process that begins anew on Wednesday morning. Be looking for word of how Stephen does in this round one of the process on Tuesday evening in the Blue Green Gazette of our website- and Wednesday morning in our daily email.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below for our conversation from this past week with Stephen, who is a very impressive young man. There will be no surprise within Oklahoma FFA circles if he should walk out of Conseco Field House Saturday afternoon as one of six new national officers for the FFA organization.
Our exclusive coverage from the 2011 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis is a service of the Oklahoma FFA Association and the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association. Click here for the State FFA website for more information about this youth organization. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
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