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) – Growing up on a farm coupled with her years in FFA instilled a passion for agriculture in Taylor McNeel, but it was her eleventh grade year in high school that set her on her future path in agricultural policy.
"I was asked to speak at a hearing concerning the closing of the county's Farm Service Agency on behalf of the 800+ FFA and 4-H members in the county," she said. "This hearing exposed me to the government and policy aspect of agriculture and I became hooked."
McNeel was elected to the 2015-16 National FFA Officer team as president at the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo.
Other members of the team are Nick Baker of Tennessee as secretary, 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.
Originally from Vilonia, Ark., McNeel was Arkansas FFA president in 2013-14 and president and treasurer of the Vilonia FFA Chapter. In high school, she was active in 4-H, her church's youth group and nursing home ministry, the Arkansas state fair and the Red Cross.
While in FFA McNeel's supervised agricultural experiences included breeding and showing goats and developing and facilitating leadership and agricultural education workshops. She judged livestock for three years and competed in public speaking for two years. . She credits FFA for honing her skills and guiding her toward a career in agriculture.
"I recently read Bob Goff's "Love Does" and learned about living palms up. Palms up means taking what is provided and passing it along to others. I look forward to living my year palms up, ready for what comes my way, and being there for the members ready to help out."
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.
Today, McNeel is an agricultural business major with a minor in Spanish at Southern Arkansas University. After her year in office, she plans to study abroad to continue her Spanish studies and aim for a career in lobbying for agriculture trade associations or working on policy for elected officials.
"I am excited this year to learn about the different types of agriculture across the country. This year will provide an opportunity to talk with FFA members, consumers, and the public about FFA, agriculture education, and 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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National FFA Organization blog.
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