Ed. Note: For high-resolution images of Sydney Snider and others elected to serve as National FFA Officers for 2015-16, visit the national officer team webpage.
INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015/National FFA Organization) – As a 7-year-old, Nick Baker loved to play in their family's old barn with his brother, Mitch, and sister, Abbey. It was there, during a game of "Tarzan," that this FFA member from Baxter, Tenn., would glimpse his purpose while in FFA.
"We swung some rope over one of the rafters with the idea that Mitch and Abbey would hold onto one end while I would climb to the top of the platform and swing across," he said. "This was an incredible jump and I was nervous. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and with a few words of encouragement from my siblings, I stepped off the ledge."
"This feeling is comparable to what thousands of FFA members are experiencing every day. Intimidated by the unknown, they're tempted to back away from their future. They're on the edge of the most amazing experience of their lives; all they need is someone to hold their rope. That's what I want to do this year: be that influence that encourages FFA members to do the things they never dreamed imaginable, inside and out of their blue jacket."
Baker was elected to the 2015-16 National FFA Officer team as national secretary at the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo.
Other members of the team are Taylor McNeel of Arkansas as president, Abbey Gretsch of Georgia as southern region vice president, Abrah Meyer of Iowa as central region vice president, Sydney Snider of Ohio as eastern region vice president and Sarah Draper of Utah as western region vice president.
An agricultural communications major at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, Baker is the pledge class president of his fraternity, Alpha Gamma, Rho, works on the Student Government Association, is a member of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Leadership Floor, is a University of Tennessee Collegiate FFA member and is a member of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers.
Within FFA, he served as the Tennessee secretary in 2014-15 and a regional vice president. As a member of the Baxter FFA at Upperman High School, he served as chapter president and treasurer. Baker's supervised agricultural experience involved operating Baker Brothers Lawn Care, a full-service lawn care and landscaping business he owned with brother Mitch, who also served as a past national FFA officer. Baker played varsity football and lacrosse, was a member of the Beta Club, Honors Choir and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, served as a Tennessee 4-H Council Officer and was a member of the student leadership team at Stevens Street Baptist Church.
Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as national 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 with 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 college, Baker plans to serve in the U.S. military and then find a job in agricultural policy development focusing on food security and hunger-related issues.
"Whether it's challenging a group of state officers at NLSCO to push their limits throughout their year of service, hanging out with and encouraging members at FFA camp until 3 in the morning or delivering a keynote address at state conventions, I want to enable members to have the most amazing experiences of their lives," he said. "I want to hold the rope for FFA members."
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 610,240 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,665 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
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About National FFA Organization The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 629,367 student members as part of 7,757 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
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About National FFA Foundation
The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees comprised of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA alumni, the foundation is a separately-registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of every dollar received by the foundation supports FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit