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) – It was the simple words "I believe" that started Sarah Draper on her unique path within the National FFA Organization.
"I did not come from a farming background or have siblings that bled blue and gold; there were no traditions to uphold," she said. "However, I decided to take a chance on this creed--never imagining it would one day become what my heart was made of."
After surviving the growing pains of being nudged and then tossed from her comfort zone when competing in Career Development Events and finding a job at a local dairy, Draper began to realize the opportunities available to her through agricultural education and FFA.
"I discovered what it meant to lead through observing others' examples and experiencing it for myself serving as an officer at the chapter and state level, she said. "I found my purpose in this irreplaceable and vital industry when my career and passion came together beautifully in my major of agricultural education at Utah State University."
Draper was elected to the 2015-16 National FFA Officer team as Western Region vice president at the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo.
Other members of the team are Taylor McNeel of Arkansas as president, Nick Baker of Tennessee as secretary, Abbey Gretsch of Georgia as southern region vice president, Abrah Meyer of Iowa as central region vice president, and Sidney Snider of Ohio as eastern region vice president.
Originally from Corinne, Utah, Draper is a member of Alpha Tau Alpha Agricultural Honor Society, the Utah State University Country Swing Club and made the Dean's List in 2014-15. Within FFA, Draper is a member of Collegiate FFA and served as the Utah FFA vice president in 2014-15. While a member of Box Elder FFA, she served as chapter president and also was named the high school's valedictorian. She was a member of the National Honor Society, the Key Club, a 4-H member, and was a member of the track and tennis teams. For her supervised agricultural experiences, she bred a Maltese with Yorkie studs to make Morkies, worked in a veterinarian's office her senior year in high school and milked cows at a dairy.
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, Draper hopes to become an agriculture educator and work in the State Office of Education advocating for better career and technical education in Utah.
"My desire to serve as a national officer for the National FFA Organization is fueled by my dedication to help members find their passion and show them a glimpse of their true potential," she said. "I want to be a role model and example of the positive impact involvement in this organization can have on one's future career goals and life to all students and parents, members and non-members alike, sponsors, school administrators, and legislators."
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,757 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