Inspired by Members to Inspire Members

While FFA members attend sessions and workshops at the 95th National FFA Convention and Expo, their advisors make the most of the experience, too. Several sounded off about how their students inspire them, and what they’ll take back from convention to inspire their students in return.

How do your students inspire you?

“It’s fun to watch them grow with this program. They come in sometimes not able to speak very well, aren’t good leaders, and then they learn leadership skills and communication skills and end up growing as a person.”

– Heidi Sellers, FFA Advisor, Calhan FFA (Colo.)

“The passion I see in their eyes after they’ve gone to a CDE and done really well, shocking themselves and me.”

– Tracy Oelschlaeger, FFA Advisor, White City FFA (Kan.)

“Being able to go in and see them every day, see how they’re growing and preparing. Then eventually, when they graduate, seeing how they go after graduation and be a productive part of our community. Also, seeing their successes in life afterwards.”

– Michael Wright, FFA Advisor, Beloit FFA (Kan.)

“They’re willing to learn so much about agriculture and want to know the new technology, the new events and everything going on in ag.”

– Kailyn Mast, FFA Advisor, Griggsvill-Perry FFA (Ind.)

“Seeing them in the learning moments when they really catch onto something and decide some of the things they like, whether it’s ag related or outside of agriculture, but we can always transfer the knowledge from agriculture to other topics.”

– John Poulson, FFA Advisor, Pettisville FFA Chapter (Ohio)

“Their willingness to learn. Every time we go places, even if they learn one new fact, they get so excited. It’s just the little things that add up to why I love teaching and why I love them as my students.”

– Jennifer Honnold, FFA Advisor, Chrisman FFA Chapter (Ill.)

“Just having the opportunities in agriculture that they have, and giving them those opportunities, is what inspires me.”

– Jason Gehrke, FFA Advisor, Jackson Area Career Center FFA Chapter (Mich.)

“Finding their passion. That moment when you can see it in their eye that they’ve found their passion in agriculture, or their passion in life in general, makes them find that spark and kind of gives them purpose. They just feel a sense of belonging to a community that’s bigger than themselves.”

– Danielle Martinez, FFA Advisor, Springport FFA Chapter (Mich.)

“The kids are wonderful. They keep you young, keep you fresh, make every day interesting and it just builds on itself. It’s so much fun watching them succeed and do amazing things, then start the next year with a new group. It’s a lot of fun as an advisor.”

– Christine Vogler (pictured above), FFA Advisor, Caldwell FFA Chapter (Texas)

What will you take back to inspire your students?

“Seeing all the opportunities and having some things to bring back to show them what the opportunities are. Also bringing my students and having them come back and talk about their experiences here.”

– Heidi Sellers, FFA Advisor, Calhan FFA Chapter (Colo.)

“The biggest thing I’m going to take back is all the all the ideas I’ve got while being in the expo and seeing the convention in Lucas Oil. Just all the different things people are doing already and how I can implement that into my chapter.”

– Tracy Oelschlaeger, FFA Advisor, White City FFA Chapter (Kan.)

“I’d love to take some new ideas back from convention, especially in leadership development, and seeing that growth from their freshman through senior year.”

– Michael Wright, FFA Advisor, Beloit FFA Chapter (Kan.)

“I plan to take back different hands-on activities that I can use in my classroom.”

– Kailyn Mast, FFA Advisor, Griggsvill-Perry FFA Chapter (Ind.)

“I always take back the support that the Foundation donors do, the number of people that are here, and comments from the speakers. [I’ll] put some signs up or place some notes around the room to try and help them see that it’s so much bigger than just our school, and even our county, and that there are many, many adults out here that want to see them succeed.”

– John Poulson, FFA Advisor, Pettisville FFA Chapter (Ohio)

“I’m at a new chapter this year, so just coming back with the stories, coming back with all the information from the Expo, the booths, the pictures, convention videos on the FFA website and showing them what