Twenty five years later and thousands of miles between, the bond built by the 1993-94 National FFA Officer Team remains strong.
“I think when you work with five other individuals for 365 days, and plan conferences and present at conferences, and then you go through ups and downs with them, that really creates a bond,” says Andrew McCrea.
McCrea (pictured above, far right, at the White House with the 1993-94 national officers), served as the national secretary that year. He is now a Missouri cattle producer, in addition to his career as a professional public speaker, author and broadcaster, namely as the host and producer of the radio and television program American Countryside. Others on the team are working overseas, operating entrepreneurial businesses, and leading domestic and international companies. McCrea says the year they spent together serving FFA members helped position them for career success.
“If I hadn’t been a national officer, would I be doing something different?,” McCrea asks himself. “I honestly think no, but that doesn’t mean that national office wasn’t a great experience,” he continues. I think it helped move me into some of those areas and maybe gave me some great skills to say, ‘Hey, this is what I want to do,’ and helped prepare me for that.”
McCrea attributes the team’s success to their dedication to serve and time spent developing leadership qualities in their years leading up to national office.
“I like to think it’s the overall FFA experience, and that’s really important for people to know. National office is the final year of usually six or seven years in FFA. The previous six helped prepare me for what I was going to do.”
The 1993-94 National FFA Officers included Curtis C. Childers, president, Texas; Andrew McCrea, secretary, Mo.; Liam Brody, eastern region vice president, N.Y.; Tyler Grandil, western region vice president, Ariz.; Raquel Lacey, central region vice president, Ill.; and Steven Mitchell, southern region vice president, Ark.
McCrea says that despite the distance traveled and time passed, his teammates still maintain their friendships. It’s a situation many other FFA members find themselves in. Although successful careers and busy lives sometimes make it a challenge, members find ways to keep in touch and value their time together.
“You have that experience working with them and then really bond with those people,” he says. “I didn’t really know what to expect, but God was looking out for me. He put me with five great people that have really become lifelong friends.”
Photography: Courtesy IUPUI University Library Special Collections and Archives