INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013/National FFA Organization) – As a child, Mitch Baker of Tennessee loved the park – especially the swings. He remembers the day his father taught him how to swing higher and higher all by himself.
Ed. Note: For high-resolution images of Baker and others elected to serve as National FFA officers for 2013-14,
please click here.
“I felt like freedom was mine as I pushed myself to go higher each time than before and finally launch myself out into the air before I crashed in the sand below,” Baker recalls. “This simple experience changed my world.
“There are times that I have been placed in a position that allows me to push someone as they learn a new skill. Like my father did with me in a swing, I push them higher and higher until the time comes to step out of the way and watch them soar to freedom while providing encouragement and support.”
Baker was elected to the 2013-14 National FFA Officer team as national secretary at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo.
Other members of the team are Brian Walsh of Virginia as president, Steven Brockshus of Iowa as Central Region vice president, Jackson Harris of Alabama as Southern Region vice president, Wes Davis of West Virginia as Eastern Region vice president and Jason Wetzler of Oregon as Western Region vice president.
Originally from Cookeville, Tenn., and an agricultural communications and broadcast journalism major at University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Baker is a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and volunteers for the university’s Center for Leadership and Service, Habitat for Humanity, a local shelter in Knoxville and as a reading coach at Pond Gap Elementary in Knoxville.
As a student at Upperman High School in Baxter, Tenn., he served as Tennessee FFA Association secretary. Within FFA, he was regional officer and chairman of his association’s state officer nominating committee and his FFA chapter’s president and reporter. As a senior, he was a national finalist in the National FFA Organization’s prepared public speaking career development event and a Tractor Supply Co. scholarship recipient.
Baker was also vice president of his high school’s Student Council, a member of the National Honor Society and active in 4-H. As part of his FFA experience in completing his supervised agricultural experience, for four years he and his brother operated Baker Brothers Lawn Care, a full-service lawn care and landscaping business. They’ve since transitioned operations to their younger sister, who is also an FFA member.
Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as National FFA officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern and western regions of the country.
National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each travels more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public and more. The team will lead personal growth and leadership training seminars for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.
Upon graduation from University of Tennessee, Baker hopes to serve with a mission-based organization and assist in hunger relief initiatives.
“I hope to encourage our members to say yes to life,” he said. “What is awesome about life is that if you watch for it, there is something new to learn every day. Every one of us has the ability to lean in and say yes to opportunities that life presents to us – opportunities that will take us to higher places more amazing than we could have ever imagined. We are all meant to change lives.”
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 579,678 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,570 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
# # #
About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 579,678 student members as part of 7,570 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at
Twitter and the official
National FFA Organization blog.