Leading Oklahoma FFA During a Pandemic Has Taught Tanner Taylor The Reality of LeadershipTue, 20 Apr 2021 09:05:06 CDT
Leading the stateís largest ag youth organization during a pandemic has taught Tanner Taylor the reality of leadership.
The former Adair FFA student was elected Oklahoma FFA President last spring as the country was in the middle of a pandemic lockdown.
I was in the pasture feeding cows when I got a call from Drew Hardaway that our convention was cancelled, Taylor said, and I knew when I saw his name pop up it was over.
We really worked to figure out how our team could conduct a virtual convention, Taylor said.
We had a special job to do and that is connect with FFA members, he said.
One of the challenges last year was running for state office virtually.
There is something different about giving a speech to a camera instead of full room, Taylor said.
I was overwhelmed with gratitude that we were able to do something and do it well, he said.
Because it was virtual, Taylor was able to participate from his family home.
There was probably 12 to 15 of us in my living room watching something that really meant a lot to us, he said. It was close and intimate with the people who meant the most to me, Taylor added.
The year since has been a roller coaster, he said.
Weíve been pretty resilient, Taylor said.
With the convention changing venues from the old Cox Convention Center to the Chesapeake Energy Arena and Oklahoma City Convention Center, Taylor said it has been a challenge planning the event.
We are excited to rap the gavel for the first time in a new location, Taylor said.
I have learned what a real leader is, Taylor said, reflecting on leading the FFA during the pandemic.
Once the state convention is over, Taylor is contemplating running for national FFA office.
I think itís something that could be good for me, but I havenít come to a conclusion yet, Taylor said.
Taylorís eligibility expires this year so that is adding extra pressure.
As an Agricultural Education major at OSU, Taylor hopes to return to the classroom.
I really have deep ties to the community back at Adair and I would love to do what my ag teachers did for me, he said.
FFA has been everything for me, Taylor said.
It changed the entire course of my life, Taylor said, referring to his moving from nearby Ketchum, where there was no FFA chapter at the time.
The sacrifices my parents made and by myself, I want to pursue as much as I can in this role, Taylor said.
For more information on the 95th Oklahoma State FFA convention click here.
You can click on the listen bar below to hear more of Ronís interview with Tanner Taylor.
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