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) – At the age of 12, Abbey Gretsch had two goals in life: take over her family's farm and follow in the footsteps of her father, Fred, a farmer in Lexington, Ga. Showing cattle brought her closer to her pursuits but without an FFA chapter to belong to, options were limited, until a dear friend and FFA advisor changed all of that and helped to create the Athens Christian FFA.
"As a freshman in high school, I did not know where the FFA would take me," Gretsch said. "My life as a first-year FFA member was soon consumed by all things agriculture. I only wanted to grow and do more. Every year I strived for perfection even more so than I did the year before."
Gretsch was elected to the 2015-16 National FFA Officer team as southern 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, 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 and agricultural education double major at the University of Georgia, Gretsch served as president and secretary of the Georgia Junior Angus Association and as a volunteer for several organizations, including World Changers and Hope Haven Community. She is also a member of the National Honors Society and active in Living Hope Church.
Gretsch served as the Georgia FFA vice president in 2013-2014 and in high school was named chapter president, vice president, treasurer and student advisor. Her first supervised agricultural experience in beef production allowed her to develop a full-scale Angus cattle herd. Her second SAE involved agricultural education placement where she developed curriculum and did various other duties in the classroom under the tutelage of her FFA advisor. Through the Agriculture Leadership, Education and Communication Department at the University of Georgia, she works closely to assist professors with everyday computer and administrator tasks.
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, Gretsch hopes to become an agriculture educator or a member services specialist for an agricultural company.
"Within this position, I hope to instill in others the same passion and dream-achieving aspirations that FFA has always given me," she said. "Impacts last a lifetime and through national office, I anticipate making lasting impacts specific to agriculture."
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