Running for a state FFA office is just around the corner for many FFA members. Between filling out applications, practicing interview questions and brushing up on FFA knowledge, there is a lot to remember. When preparing to run, many candidates create a lengthy to-do list.
- Interview agriculture experts. Check.
- Polish up the resume. Check.
- Dry-clean the FFA jacket. Check.
However, there are nearly as many things to NOT do when it comes time to run. Avoid these common mistakes with advice from current and past state officers.
Don’t compare yourself with other candidates.
State officer teams are made up of multiple members with diverse perspectives, ideas and backgrounds. No two FFA members have the same journey in agricultural education, and each individual experience provides the state association the chance to grow and adapt to the changes in the industry and organization.
– Cole Pearson, 2017-18 Indiana State FFA Treasurer
Don’t be caught unaware.
Know what state officers are expected to do. Sometimes, members who are elected become stressed because they didn’t know what the position entailed. Talk with your advisor, past state officers and other mentors about the expectations, time commitments and requirements of the state FFA officer team.
– Sydnie Lee, 2017-18 Wyoming State FFA Reporter
Don’t let running keep you from participating in state contests.
Start practicing time-management strategies by pursuing other interests. Compete with your teammates. Submit a proficiency application. Lead an agriscience research project. Having a full plate can be tough, but it is worth it in the skills you develop and the memories you make.
– Nick Plaugher, 2018-19 West Virginia State FFA President
Do not rely on your own memory when preparing.
Keep a journal of experiences leading up to state office. When it comes time to prepare yourself for interviews, read through those experiences and ask yourself, “What did I learn from this?” It’s a phenomenal way to self-reflect and see how you’ve grown.
– Nicole Roth, 2014-15 South Dakota State FFA Treasurer
Don’t feel as if getting an office is the be-all and end-all.
Having the word “association” on the back of an FFA jacket isn’t the only way to serve the organization. If your name isn’t called, redirect your passion into other areas where you can serve others, advocate for agriculture and develop personal growth.
– Riely Elaina Geritz, 2018-19 Idaho State FFA President
The process of running and preparing to serve as a state FFA officer varies from state to state. If you are interested in becoming a state officer in the future, check your state FFA association’s website for more information.