INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013/National FFA Organization) – Jason Wetzler’s grandparents owned a bakery. His grandmother was the baker. It was his grandfather’s job – with the help of Wetzler and his older brother Ben – to deliver the famed blackberry-peach pies to salivating customers throughout town.
Ed. Note: For high-resolution images of Wetzler and others elected to serve as National FFA officers for 2013-14,
please click here.
Filled with youthful curiosity, the brothers wanted to learn how to bake pies, too. But his grandmother would always say, “It’s just a little too complex for you little guys.”
Determined, one day he and his brother asked their grandfather to teach them how to bake. He taught them about the processes involved, how to measure and distribute ingredients and how to top each pie off with an attractive crumb topping to excite customers.
Wetzler and his brother spent an entire day trying to duplicate their grandmother’s mastery but couldn’t. He remembers going to bed that night exhausted and bewildered.
The next morning, the boys accompanied their grandfather on regular deliveries. Pulling up to a home, the grandfather told the boys to simply watch the customer’s face as he performed his usual tradition of asking each recipient to try a bit of the pie before he left. Wetzler couldn’t help but notice the smile that one bite would produce.
Walking away, his grandfather told them, “Grandma may like to complicate things but she knows that a simple smile can make someone’s life much better. And that’s why we love to bake, boys.”
Through that experience, Wetzler learned that what matters most in life is the effect that someone has on the lives of others.
Wetzler was elected to serve on the 2013-14 National FFA Officer team as Western Region vice president at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo.
Other members of the 2013-14 National FFA Officer team are Brian Walsh of Virginia as president, Mitch Baker of Tennessee as secretary, Steven Brockshus of Iowa as Central Region vice president, Jackson Harris of Alabama as Southern Region vice president and Wes Davis of West Virginia as Eastern Region vice president.
Originally from Clackamas, Ore., Wetzler served as Oregon FFA Association treasurer and district president. He was president, vice president and sentinel of his FFA chapter and won state and national awards in parliamentary procedure, showmanship, livestock judging and public speaking.
He was also a member of his high school’s varsity wrestling, football and baseball teams, 4-H, Young Life, Student Council and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
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.
Wetzler, an agricultural leadership major at Oklahoma State University, hopes to work in an agricultural non-profit organization that focuses on needs of local communities.
"I have one simple goal in my heart as a national officer that I will strive to accomplish and that is to make the lives of others better,” Wetzler said. “I will go out of my way to assist, direct, coach, teach and simply talk to any FFA member no matter what other priorities I have. What I do day by day for a year will change drastically but why I do it will not. The blue jacket of FFA provides me one of the greatest platforms to create change in people’s 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.
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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.