The family’s ties to FFA span multiple generations — a legacy that the Fields say has led them into becoming lifelong supporters of the organization.
In addition to supporting the Oregon FFA Foundation, Brian is the chair of the National FFA Foundation’s President’s Advisory Council and sits on the National FFA Board of Trustees. And if you ask the Field family why they continue to serve and give year after year, the answer is simple: They want future generations to have the same opportunities they’ve had.
“FFA has become the lifeblood of this family,” Brian says. “You can truly see the way FFA works through somebody’s life if you look hard enough. If any family can testify to that, we can.”
The FFA family tradition started when Brian’s father, Robert, became involved in the 1940s. Brian, his brother John, and sister Kelley (Field) Sanburg were all involved in FFA and became state officers in Colorado.
Brian met his wife Laurel, also a former FFA member, in college. Their three daughters were in agriculture classes in high school; Bailey and Madison were very active in Oregon FFA leadership programs. Bailey was state sentinel, earned her American FFA Degree, is now teaching agriculture and is FFA advisor in Medford, Ore.
After watching the impact the organization had on their children, Brian, president of Harvest Capital Company, and Laurel started donating both time and finances to the Oregon FFA Foundation to help more students across the state fulfill their potential.
“We wholeheartedly believe in the opportunities they pursue,” Brian says. “That’s why we continue to do what we do. FFA is still having the same effect on young people as it did when my dad was in FFA. That’s an amazing legacy.”
Brian and Laurel also help judge public speaking contests and mentoring state officers.
“To see students transform into confident, well-rounded individuals during their time in FFA makes every minute worthwhile to us,” Laurel says.
The Fields have reminders just about everywhere of how FFA has shaped their family. A wall in their home embellished with FFA keepsakes they’ve accrued over the years is one of those reminders — along with knowing that they are continuing to invest in the future of agriculture with their contributions.
“We are preparing leaders to change the world,” Brian says. “The experiences these kids get through FFA are life-changing, and we want to see that continue for as long as we can.”