National FFA Officer Piper Merritt of Owasso Shares Some of Her Experiences over Past Six MonthsTue, 01 May 2018 17:41:30 CDT
Now at the halfway mark in her term as a National FFA Officer, Piper Merritt, central area vice president of the National FFA Organization from the Owasso FFA Chapter, has returned to her home state this week to attend the 2018 Oklahoma State FFA Convention in Oklahoma City. Merritt took a moment to catch Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays up on her experiences over the past six months since they last spoke after her name was called during the installment of the 2018 National FFA Officer team at the National FFA Convention last fall.
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“It’s been amazing! It’s hard to believe that it’s been six months since we began this crazy journey,” she said. “I’ve travelled to six state conventions now and it is so great to be back home. I have loved every second of it.”
Merritt described her life since formally taking on her role as a national officer, which officially started at the beginning of January with some initial officer training. Three days later she says she was on a 13-hour plane ride headed for Tokyo, Japan where she and her teammates spent 12 days meeting locals and learning about their agricultural industry and lifestyle. Since then, she has travelled across the US meeting with sponsors and industry supporters of the FFA and to places like Washington, DC to meet with ag policy leaders and Indianapolis to celebrate National FFA Week. Despite her busy schedule, Merritt has made sure to carve out time specifically to connect with local FFA members.
“That’s one of the most powerful parts of our year, when we get to sit down and get to know members one-on-one,” she said. “There’s some pretty cool stories that I’ve gotten to experience.”
As she turns the page on the first half of her year, the second half promises much more excitement that will keep her busy in the months ahead - namely the planning of the National FFA Convention which will take place later this year in October.
“Today, we released the theme for the National FFA Convention,” Merritt said. “It’s called, ‘Just One.’ Our national officer team spent some time brainstorming and we realized that all of our FFA experiences were powerful because we took just one risk and we had just one step that changed the course of our lives forever, really. Those are the times we want to recognize and encourage members to be the just one person they need to be to change their future as well.”
After the National FFA Convention this year, Merritt will have some time to take a breath before she returns to Oklahoma State University to finish her degree in Agricultural Economics.
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