Oklahoma's State FFA Officers Reflect on the Experiences that Got Them Where They Are TodayThu, 23 Feb 2017 17:29:28 CST
National FFA Week is in full swing and in spirit of that celebration, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays invited the Oklahoma State FFA Officer team to join him in studio this week to talk about their FFA experiences as leaders in the organization. Thursday afternoon, four of the state officers arrived and the group sat down to reflect on their journeys through FFA leading up to this point.
“It’s easy to say this year’s been a blessing, it’s been a very good one,” said State FFA President Cale Jahn of Elgin. “I have a great team to work with so they make pretty much anything we do a lot more fun.”
As president, Jahn had the opportunity to serve previously as a member of the last State Officer team before advancing to his current position. This additional year of experience helped to prepare him in leading his team and the entire State FFA Organization.
“It’s just kind of the icing on the cake,” he said. “All the things you know from the previous year that you wish you would have done, or done differently - you can take all that and really try to have a team that performs as well as possible.”
Serving as Southwest District Vice President, is Garrett Saunders of the small town Binger. He says the things he learned throughout high school in his FFA Chapter gave him the skills he needed to be successful as a state officer.
“Honestly, being a State Officer, those same experiences come hand-in-hand every day,” Saunders said. “Now things are thrown at us, we have to learn how to write speeches quickly; we have to have fun; we have to get members energized and involved. Throughout my high school years, I had a little taste of that but it wasn’t until I got a team of seven other state officers where I really learned how to kind of invest and dig deep.”
Tannah Frizzell got her first glimpse of the Oklahoma’s State FFA Officer team her 7th Grade year, attending the state convention to see her two older brothers receive their State FFA Degrees.
“I got to see State Convention for the first time and so of course I enrolled in Agricultural Education in 8th Grade,” she said. “My ag teacher, Mr. Thompson, was actually my uncle so it was always destined that I was going to be in Agricultural Education - it was just a question of how involved was I going to be?”
Frizzell says she ended up giving her whole heart to the organization and eventually found herself seeking and ultimately winning a place on the State FFA Officer team for Oklahoma, as Southeast District Vice President.
For Adrienne Blakey of Stillwater, though, destined or not, it didn’t matter. Joining FFA was not an option for her, encouraged by her mother to get involved in the organization. However, Blakey says although she may not have had a choice in the matter, she was still excited to be there anyway. Today, she serves as State FFA Reporter.
“One of the coolest lessons that I have learned from my time in the FFA,” she confided, “is that sometimes those lessons you learn from failure are a lot more valuable than the ones you find from success and the FFA has taught me so much about hard work and perseverance and most importantly taking risk.”
And while the State Convention is not for several weeks yet, the team as a whole is already preparing for the premiere event of the year in the world of Oklahoma FFA, where all but one of the current team, will hang up their blue jackets for the last time.
“We already have started and we’re getting more ready everyday,” Jahn remarked. “We really look forward to State Convention because that’s a time when we get to highlight the accomplishments of our members and we get to see the good they brought not only for themselves but for their communities and their chapters as well.
“But we’ve been able to serve FFA members. We’ve been able to try to set that example that was set for us. We hope that we have done that, but we’ve had a blast doing it.”
Jahn and Blakey will join Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays for his weekly In the Field segment on KWTV News9 in the Oklahoma City area on Saturday morning at 6:40 a.m.
To listen to Hays’ off-camera interview with the members of the State Officer team about their experiences serving the organization over the past year, click or tap the LISTEN BAR below.
For more information about all the current members of the State FFA Officer team, or just to learn more about the Oklahoma FFA Association, visit www.OKFFA.org
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