State Treasurer Melanie Searle's FFA Story

On Stage Impact, Off Stage Connection

In April 2015, I attended my first state FFA convention. I sat in the CSI gymnasium listening intently to a retiring address, impressed with the experiences and the stage presence of the retiring officer. As he brought his thoughts to a close, a tingle ran up my spine and I was compelled to become more involved in FFA and make a positive difference in my chapter. I left the convention that day with a renewed sense of motivation, but soon I forgot the speech and fell back into my original routine. Though it was a well-written  and well-presented address, it did not change my life. However, it was because of that retiring address and sharing my experience with my advisor, that he took me under his wing, invited me to events, encouraged me in CDE’s and urged me to be involved, and my life has never been the same.

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Although it was an on-stage retiring address that served as the catalyst in my FFA career,  FFA made the biggest difference in my life off the stage. The lessons I learned in the FFA organization lied in failures and successes, falling short in Creed Speaking and qualifying for the National Land and Homesite Evaluation contest, the pig relay event that fell apart, the Conduct of Meetings team that didn’t place, the friends from across the state made and a place found. The FFA has impacted my high school career and will affect the course of my entire life.

Whether it was finding a CDE that fit, a leadership opportunity that stretched, or an event that empowered, I was pushed out of my comfort zone where I could grow and develop into the person I have become.


Taylor Dixon's FFA Story

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"When I started as a freshman I knew that I was going to enjoy FFA, but I never imagined I would love it as much as I do now. I heard about going to all of these different places and I knew I wanted to go. I made it my goal to make it to at least one National Convention in my entire FFA career, so my freshman year I joined the freshman Conduct of Meetings team and we made it to the National Convention!


From there I caught the FFA bug and wanted to be even more involved then I had been the previous year. I wanted to go on more trips, be apart of more teams, show at the fair, become a chapter officer and so much more. I have shown two hogs at the fair and will be showing two market goats this year. I go on as many trips with my chapter as I can making more friends not only in my chapter, but in others as well.

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 I am now serving as one of the two chapter reporters alongside Brooke Davis! FFA has given me skills that will not only help me in high school, but will also help me in life beyond high school. I have made lifelong friends that I now consider family and I have made goals such as running for chapter president, running for a district office, and competing at Nationals at least one more time! If there is anyone who is ever on the edge about joining the FFA my advice would be to talk to people who are involved because when you are involved you gain friendships, experiences, and memories."

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Kinley's FFA Story

Hello, my name is Kinley Schleicher and I am the President of the Caldwell FFA Chapter.

This is the first time that Caldwell has had an FFA Chapter in 50 years. I was greatly influenced to join FFA by a few members of the Vallivue FFA Chapter that I have shown pigs with over the years. They had told me all of the great opportunities that FFA can offer and showed me how fun FFA could be. Once we started to have our first meetings,  we established the ins and outs of being a new chapter by planning our activities for the year. A few meetings passed and we started to talk about officer positions and what each position entailed. After looking through all of the positions that were offered, I decided to run for an office. At our banquet, I was honored to receive the position of president. I was excited to see how I could help our chapter grow. Some of the fundraisers that we had done were selling flowers, a bake sale, and selling hot chocolate. The majority of the chapter is receiving the Greenhand degree this month. Our chapter as a whole, has had a lot of fun getting to know each other and welcoming new members as the year progressed. I’m truly thankful for the support and lessons that I have learned over the course of this year, and I am beyond excited to see what next year has in store for the chapter and myself.

Thanks for sharing, Kinley! We are proud to have you as a member in the Idaho FFA Association! 


Hey Idaho FFA! Thanks for your interest in submitting a post to our blog! Here you can find information about how the blog will work and also the rules you will need to follow. 

How the blog will work: 

At the beginning of every month we will post what the prompt is for following month. We will take submissions until the very last day of the month and then when the following month begins, we will post your submissions!

For example: At the beginning of May we posted that the prompt was, "What is your FFA Story?" You will have until May 31st to send us your submission to that prompt. Then when June begins, we will post your submissions on the blog as well as put out a new prompt for the following month! 

When you are all done with your writing, make sure to attach some pictures that go with your story! We also ask that you send in the following information: Name, Chapter, Title of your Submission, and a picture of you! 

You will email your submission and pictures to 

Clear as mud? If you have questions you can contact

Rules for the blog: 

Every person who wishes to participate in the blog has the opportunity to do so. However, there are some guidelines to follow. If you fail to follow the rules, we will NOT publish your submission and we WILL contact your FFA advisor. 

1. Keep it Appropriate- No bad words, references or inappropriate language.

2. Be Respectful- In FFA we encourage you to lift each other up, not put each other down. Simply put: do not be mean to anyone in your post. 

3. Spell Check- Make sure that you have someone check over your post for grammar errors! If you have errors, we will send it back to you for you to fix. 

4. Word Count- Keep your submission to no more than 1,000 words.

We are excited to read your submissions! Remember, when you submit a post you are representing not only your home chapter but also the Idaho FFA! Keep it clean, respectful, and fun. Happy blogging! 


Let Your Passion for Ag and Love for FFA Explode like Confetti!

It is that time of the year! We are excited to introduce your 2018-2019 Idaho FFA State President.... Saydee Longhurst. Saydee is from the Shelley FFA Chapter in Southeastern Idaho. Here's Saydee's take on her year of serice to the Idaho FFA Association! 

What are you most excited about for your state officer year?

"I am most excited for number one, being able to get out and connect with Idaho's 5,000 FFA members, each of them have so much to contribute and I have the opportunity to learn from them! My second is being able to tell the story of Idaho agriculture as well as FFA. I want to show all the good things our members do as well as the importance of Idaho Ag in the nation!"

What college, major, and future career are you planning?

"I plan on attending Utah State University in fall where I hope to obtain an Agri-Business degree. After I graduate from college I plan on coming back to our first generation family alfalfa and wheat farm to work alongside my dad. 'IF' he does ever retire *wink* I want to take over the farm from him and be a FarmHER!"

Tell about a meaningful experience you have had in FFA?

"A meaningful experience I have had in FFA was my freshman year at SLC. I was sitting in my very first general session in my brand-new, still stiff, blue corduroy jacket. I was in complete awe at the magnitude that was around me. Hundreds of youth in the same blue jacket representing an industry I loved and lived on my own farm in southeast Idaho. It was there that FFA became so much more than a 'club' for me. It's where my passion has been born and fueled and I couldn't be more grateful for it and have such a strong desire to serve it."

What do you do outside of FFA?

"I have had lots of opportunities to be involved in my high school as well as my community in Shelley...ranging from Key Club to BPA to running a Jeans 4 Teens drive to donate over 600 pairs of gently used jeans to our local food bank every year since I have been freshman. I have also been involved in Student Government, Mayor's Youth Council, Bonneville County 4-H, as well as having callings in my church! I love serving my community and school by helping with the clubs I am affiliated with."

What is your SAE Project?

"For my SAE I own and operate a small hay bale business called 'Cleo's Cuttings'. I run a Instagram and Facebook for my business to market my hay to customers from all over the valley. I have enjoyed working alongside my dad while I mentored his knowledge, work ethic, and love of the land. "

What is your mission for the year?

"My mission is to tell and share the story of Ag, whether that be about a freshman just starting out in FFA or sharing on social media about a business that contributes to Idaho Ag. "

Is there something else you would like FFA members to know about you?

"I have a thing for confetti poppers...;)  #'nuffsaid"


Caleb's Purpose: A Man's Best Friend

Introducing your State Sentinel..... Caleb Johnston! Caleb is from the New Plymouth Chapter and currently attending Boise State University. Here's a bit about him: 

What are you most excited about for your state officer year?

"I'm most excited to meet members! I love to meet new people and hear their story!"

What college, major, and future career are you planning?

"I am a Chemistry major with an emphasis in Biochemistry here at Boise State University."

Tell about a meaningful experience you have had in FFA?

"The most meaningful experience I have had in FFA would be Washington Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. It made me realize that we all have the power to make a worthwhile impact on the world around us and gave me friends that I know I will have for the rest of my life!"

What do you do outside of FFA?

"When I'm not in the blue jacket, I love to be on the farm with our sheep! If I'm here on campus, you'll either find me playing basketball at the rec center or reading and just hanging out."

What is your SAE Project?

"My SAE is raising club lambs for fair projects locally and majors across the country."

What is your mission for the year?

"It would definitely be to take it all in! This is going to be a whirlwind of a year, and I want to make sure I soak up all the experiences and don't let an opportunity to help someone grow pass me by."

Is there something else you would like FFA members to know about you?

"I LOVE dogs; if you ever want to make my day, just send me pictures of your cute dog!!"


Why Did Savannah Cross the Road?

......... to serve the Idaho FFA of course! Your 2018-2019 Idaho FFA State Reporter, while afraid of chickens, is not afraid to get out and meet YOU! Here is Savannah: 

What are you most excited about for your state officer year?

"I am most excited for the opportunity to meet and get to know members throughout the state! I can't wait to hear everyone's story and learn from their experiences. I am excited for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the members, just like I know they will make a difference in mine." 

What college, major, and future career are you planning?

"This fall I will be attending The University of Idaho (GO VANDALS!) to major in Agriculture Education! I hope to one day work for the National FFA as a leadership facilitator and eventually find myself back in the classroom to teach students about the important role that agriculture plays in all of our lives. I am also excited to be an FFA advisor and be a part of member's blue jacket experiences!"

Tell about a meaningful experience you have had in FFA?

"Each year at the Kuna FFA Chapter we hold a Canned Food Drive around Christmas time. The entire school district comes together and collects, gathers, and donates food to struggling families in our community. My senior year we were able to donate 3 full boxes of food to over 80 families. The best part is that we get to deliver the food personally. It is so touching to know that you helped put food on the table of those who needed it. I think it's amazing how much we can impact a person's life just by grabbing a can of green beans from our pantry. It's an amazing feeling- living to serve!" 

What do you do outside of FFA?

"Outside of FFA I am involved in my school's National Honor Society. I love to be a part of community service projects and so I participate in a lot of volunteering. I love reading and writing but mostly LEARNING! You can always catch me doing homework because I absolutely love learning new things."

What is your SAE Project?

"My SAE project is raising market steers for the local fairs in Southwest Idaho. I have done this since 7th grade! My project is unique because I can't keep animals at my house, so I actually drive to my grandparents house to feed, train, and work with my steers!" 

What is your mission for the year?

"My mission for this year is to make everyone I meet smile! It is my goal to make sure that every encounter I have with an FFA member is a positive experience. I want everybody to walk away from me feeling important and loved." 

Is there something else you would like FFA members to know about you?

"I am the oldest of 6 siblings! My brothers and sisters are my best friends, and I love them with my whole heart. I am definitely afraid of chicens, they scare me so much! Coincedently, chicken is my favorite food. And I absolutely love peanut butter M&Ms and Taylor Swift!" 

In a Nutshell, Here's Farmer Mel!

It's time to hear from your 2018-2019 Idaho FFA State Treasurer... Melanie Searle! Otherwise known as "Farmer Mel," your treasurer is eager to get to know and serve you all! Here she is: 

What are you most excited about for your state officer year?

I look forward to making connections and friendships with FFA members across the state of Idaho through chapter visits.

What college, major, and future career are you planning?

I will be attending College of Southern Idaho in the fall. Following my year of service I will continue my education at BYU-Idaho, pursuing a degree in secondary education. I hope to be a high school teacher as well as expand my goat business.

Tell about a meaningful experience you have had in FFA?

Freshman year I qualified to compete in the State Creed Speaking competition. I practiced the creed over and over and I had it memorized verbatim. My advisors urged me to practice sample questions, but I was confident I could make up answers on the fly. When the day of the contest arrived, I was petrified. I walked onto the stage and recited the creed just as I had rehearsed, but when the first question came up I knew I was sunk. The second question was even more challenging and I simply answered "the steel plow" without elaborating. Needless to say, I didn't make the cut, but competing in the creed taught me a lot of important lessons. I learned to take advice even when I didn't think I needed it and to be open-minded. I began to see the value of proper preparation and was deeply humbled. Though at the time, it was embarrassing, I have grown so much from that experiences and I am grateful for the opportunity to fail.

What do you do outside of FFA?

I am a member of the National Honors Society and I have a passion for sports, particularly basketball. I work on my family farm and have my own goat herd. I love riding horses, hanging out with friends, surfing (just on the snake river), roping, and seeing new places.

What is your SAE Project?

 I raise two acres of sugar beets on a contract from The Amalgamated Sugar Company and two acres of potatoes on a contract from McCains. I own and operate a herd of 20 goats.

What is your mission for the year?

Help members find their place in the Idaho FFA Association as well as being a positive voice for the agricultural industry.

Is there something else you would like FFA members to know about you?

I'm the youngest of 8 children and I have 22 nieces and nephews.

"Harrison, I'm Hungry." "Hi, Hungry I'm Harrison"

Newly elected State Vice President Harrison Jansen van Beek is excited to share with YOU a little bit about himself! 

What are you most excited about for your state officer year?

"I am really excited to begin my chapter visits! Living in the Treasure Valley has been a blessing for me, but I'm ready to meet more members from outside my home area."

What college, major, and future career are you planning?

"I am currently planning on Attending University of Idaho to major in Agricultural Education and Agribusiness. I really want to enter the financial industry to protect local ranchers that way or lobby for agricultural interests."

Tell about a meaningful experience you have had in FFA?

"One of my most meaningful experiences was last summer at Washington Leadership Conference. I was humbled by what others contributed to their community, the amazing people that I met, and the lifelong friends I walked away with. Anyone who can apply for the Foundation Washington Leadership Conference should."

What do you do outside of FFA?

"Outside of FFA, I mainly work at Chick-Fil-A and attend high school! When I'm not doing either of those, I'm usually working with my cows. "

What is your SAE Project?

"My current SAE includes my placement job at Chick-Fil-A where I am a front of house employee, and I raise market and breeding beef. I have been working at Chick-Fil-A for about three months now and have raised beef animals for more than five years."

What is your mission for the year?

"My mission for the year is to be as connected to members as I can be. Each chapter I visit, I want to recognize the people that I meet and make sure members know what we're up to as a state. We have a lot of amazing members out there and the public needs to see it!"

Is there something else you would like FFA members to know about you?

"I make really good dad jokes, so if you ever need a cheesy joke, let me know! I'm looking forward to this year ahead!"


Family, Faith and Fries - Allyson King

Meet your 2018-2019 Idaho FFA State Secretary: Allyson King! 

What are you most excited about for your state officer year?

"I am overjoyed to be able to serve Idaho FFA this year.  I can't wait to meet FFA members from all around the state and get to know and learn from them.  I'm looking forward to giving back and helping members enhance their passions for agriculture. I am also excited to work with such an amazing team and grow with them through this year."

What college, major, and future career are you planning?  

"I plan to attend the College Of Southern Idaho this fall.  After I finish at CSI I will transfer to a larger college and continue to pursue a degree in Agribusiness Management.  I hope to one day own my own business relating to the agriculture field."

Tell about a meaningful experience you have had in FFA?

 "One of my most memorable experiences in FFA was my freshman year. I was able to represent my district in the State Creed Speaking LDE. I made the preliminaries and was able to speak at one of the main sessions of SLC.  Speaking in front of 300 people was not something you would find me doing but through the support and help of my family and advisor I was able to. It is something I will never forget. Standing on stage and reciting the FFA Creed I realized that this is what I love. I recognized that  what the creed stands for is who I am and what I am working towards. This experience is where I really began to love FFA and start my journey through the FFA organization."

What do you do outside of FFA?

"I love spending time with my family skiing, working with our animals and anything else we can do outdoors.  I also play the violin and piano. I love listening to country music and swing dancing."

What is your SAE Project? 

"For my Supervised Agriculture Experience I raise and sell dairy cows through the Magic Valley Dairy Heifer Program.  I have been showing dairy cows for 9 years at our county fair and have been a part of the program for 6 years. I purchase a yearling heifer and keep her for two years till she is bred and ready to start producing milk. My current heifer's name is Sassy. I will be showing and selling her this year at the Twin Falls County fair."

What is your mission for the year?

"My mission this year is to encourage FFA members to find their passions in agriculture and develop their potential for leadership. This year I hope to be able to spread the message of FFA and agriculture to all those I come in contact with.  I want to be able to give back and be a good influence just like passed State Officers have done for me. Over all I am just excited to build friendships and and serve Idaho."

Is there something else you would like FFA members to know about you?

 "I love my faith, the color pink, and fries!! I've been home schooled all my life, I have one younger brother, and love all cattle!! "     


Walking in the Blue and Gold

By Andrew W. Heikkila, Meridian FFA

I walk with the blue and gold,

With a self pride that I hold.

For I know who I am,

Do you feel me fam.

For I live for the farmers in the past,

Ensuring that their legacy will last.

That they will not be thrown away,

For I'm here and I plan to stay.

FFA isn't an ordinary club,

It's an agricultural networking hub.

Ensuring that we stay connected,

As we learn how to be effective.

Teachers at home and in the community,

Together we create the unity.

A bond created on passion and trust,

FFA is a metal bond that will never rust.

Forever a legacy we will leave,

As we have worked hard in our corduroy sleeves.

For nothing easy is worth it,

And in this life we will never quit.

FFA all the way,

Together each and everyday.

Strengthening Our Bonds of Friendship

Hunter West, Shelley FFA Member

Hello my name is Hunter West from the Shelley FFA Chapter in Idaho. Our chapter is always trying to focus on strengthening our friendship and build each other up. Every year our awesome chapter gets the opportunity to go on some sort of FFA trip besides going to State Leadership Conference in April. This last January we got the amazing opportunity to go to the Denver Livestock Show, the world's biggest livestock show. It gave us some chapter bonding time and especially gave our officers some team bonding time. FFA members, if you want to figure out who your real friends are, just take a travel bus full of kids from your school, and those kids who are just your friends will become your best friends. Trust me on this one!


Perfection is Overrated

Jenny Bautista, 2016-17 Idaho FFA Secretary

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Lately it seems that I’ve been hearing more and more negative, self-critical comments from those around me. The scrutinizing comments range from appearance related to action based. I admit that I, Jenny Bautista, am guilty of becoming too critical of myself from time to time, but luckily I have people who pull me back into reality and give me the opportunity for some much needed reflection. It’s during these moments of self-reflection that I am able to remind myself that I am a human with flaws and quirks that I don’t necessarily welcome, but that make me who I am.

 I think the majority of people forget that they are human and strive to be perfect or reach the level of “perfection” that we’ve defined for ourselves. Everyone has a different definition of perfection, so it is impossible to actually be perceived as perfect by everyone else. Typically we see celebrities and people of interest being depicted in a negative light by the media and compare them to ourselves. We decide that we aren’t “good enough” if these “beautiful people” – who spend thousands of dollars on their appearance – aren’t good enough, but that’s not true. We have to believe we are good enough to know that we are enough, we are so enough – we are human beings.  

What does it mean to be human? In my humble opinion, I cannot think of one simple definition. Instead, George Orwell’s words come to mind: “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” Now, I interpret these words as simply living life and enjoying the abundance of blessings life has to offer us. Of course there will be periods of time where we will want to better ourselves – that’s a part of human nature. Take it from me, I understand the stress we can sometimes go through because of the expectations we have for ourselves and the desire for “perfection,” but we cannot let our lives be governed by expectations.

My high school teacher and mentor, Mr. Lee, and I once had a talk about expectations, particularly the expectations I thought others had put on me and self-imposed expectations. Being a man of wisdom, he left me to ponder a wild theory: expectation vs. expectancy. Expectation expects things; it expects a certain outcome or that the outcome will happen a certain way. Expectancy does not expect things. Expectancy hopes and has faith that good will come, but does not expect what, how, or when it will come about. Mr. Lee said, “Every job and school course has expectations, so you need other people in your life that provides the joy of expectancy. There’s no disappointment or guilt, just joy when you experience wonderful things. You have to let yourself have that.”

Taking his words to heart, that’s just what I did. I learned that if we hold ourselves to expectations too literally, chances are we will be disillusioned or frustrated by the outcome. Instead, we should strive for love and acceptance rather than perfection and expectation and that is how we will learn how to embrace being human – flaws, quirks, imperfections, and all.


Pep Talk with Fuzz

Faustin Wood, 2016-17 Idaho FFA Vice-President

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my time in our organization, it’s that there is endless opportunity. How many other things in your life give you a second family, take you across the state (and country), all while forming new friendships to last a lifetime? Not very many. And on top of those things, an organization that prepares you for career and life skills.

FFA is one of the greatest ways to get ahead in life. I credit that to our countless Career Development Events in particular. Whether you’re participating in chapter, district, or state CDE’s, you’re furthering yourself in that area. When I participated in my first CDE, which was Livestock, I was more worried about placing well, than actually studying up and doing my best. Of course using that logic, my first year judging at Moscow didn’t go as I had hoped. However, I didn’t give up, but rather worked harder to insure that I gave it my all when I judged. There is no substitute for hard work. Whether that be on my potato farm or at the ag building after hours studying for a CDE. In the words of Vice Presidents everywhere, “without Labor, neither knowledge nor wisdom can accomplish much.”

As my experiences in the FFA grew, I competed in Ag Sales, Extemporaneous Public Speaking, and Agronomy. Which led to representing Idaho at National Convention competing in Ag Sales. If there was one thing I learned from competing in CDE’s it’s that you get out what you put in. If you give your very best every time you do something, you will never have to live regretting all the times you didn’t give it you’re all.

So here’s Fuzz’s advice to you. No matter what opportunity is placed before you (CDE, Leadership Conference, Activity, etc.) take it and run! Live your life knowing that when you go to bed at night (if you go to bed, unlike me…) you know you did your absolute best. In the words of Jim Elliot, “ Wherever you are, be all there.” And if you do all of that, you’ll look back at the end of your FFA career or 20 years from now, thanking yourself for taking opportunities and stepping out of your comfort zone. If that shy little potato farmer from Eastern Idaho wouldn’t have stepped out of his comfort zone and taken his first ag class, I wouldn’t be where I am today. You get out what you put in!


So You want to be an Officer?

Helpful tips for preparing yourself for a year of service.

Taylor Nelson, 2016-17 Idaho FFA Reporter

It’s that time of the year again when FFA members all over the state are preparing for chapter, district, and state officer sifting! Looking back, I remember being nervous and unsure of the chapter sifting process. As a freshman in high school, I didn’t know what I could possibly do for a chapter officer team, because I didn’t know what skills I could apply. That was when one of the older chapter members gave me a little piece of advice that I love passing on to other members when they’re unsure of trying something new. Sometimes you just have to step out and try your hardest, even if you’re unsure. You never know, you could surprise yourself. Though I didn’t get a chapter office my freshman year, I wasn’t deterred from trying again the next spring, because I had a better idea of how to prepare myself. There are a few things we need to understand before serving as officers.

What is an officer?

Officers are leaders within the chapter that are selected to fulfill a certain role for the year. They often help plan events for their chapter and have specific jobs. At every level, these jobs may change slightly, but really they are a title. Every member of an officer team is an equal, which means that the president and the sentinel each have an equal role and job, regardless of the office they hold. It’s a common misconception that there is a hierarchy within teams, but really they are a group of equally skilled and talented leaders. Really an FFA officer takes their time as a leader to serve not just their chapter, but their community. It’s a great time to grow as an individual and to work on team skills.

I don’t even know where to start on the benefits of being involved as an officer within your chapter. Through my own time as a chapter officer, I was able to better understand what place I want to have in the growth of my chapter and in a future career. It’s so much fun to learn how to plan an event and then, with the help of teammates, advisors, alumni, and community member, to see it happen! Through leadership in the National FFA Organization, you can make lifelong friends and connections to your community that can make impacts in the lives of future members.

So what are some ways to prepare for an office?

At any level, the steps are much the same. Look at the officers in your chapter, district, and state. In what ways are they great leaders? How do you see yourself working with those leaders? Maybe you are a great speaker or debater. Maybe you are organized and can plan ahead. Maybe you are an amazing people person. Perhaps you are a great listener and pay attention to detail. All of these things and more can make great leaders.

Talk to your advisors and current officers. If you have questions about the job of certain officers, or how they can fulfill their role successfully on a team, these people will know the best. They can help you understand the things that make a successful officer team work (they are also great resources for practicing interview skills). Parents and friends can act as cheerleaders and as support as you consider trying for an office. All of these people can help you be more intentional in your service to the office and other members around you. Know your chapter and community. Being able to better recognize needs around you can help you to bring suggestions to the table to strengthen your chapter!

What if I don’t get an office?

For many people, a fear of failing can keep them from even trying in the first place. For example, I was scared to run for chapter office. There were so many amazing leaders in my chapter and I wasn’t sure that I could be like them. With the prodding of my advisors and a couple of older members, I decided to run for a chapter position. While I didn’t get office my freshman year, I had the opportunity to serve in the two years following in chapter offices and to run for a district office. I had to learn that I didn’t need to be like other members in my chapter, I needed to be myself. When we try to change ourselves to be someone else, we can really dampen what makes us great individuals.

Not getting an office is not the end of the world. Teams are often chosen from a group of more than capable individuals because of the way they interact with each other. As a freshman member, I didn’t yet understand what role officers held in the chapter and needed that year to grow more as an individual. Once I had grown more, I was able to work better within a team. That team and every team that followed helped me to grow in many of the leadership aspects of my life. Not getting an office doesn’t mean that you are not capable of being a strong leader in your chapter. It is an opportunity for you to continue to grow in different ways.

A Word on Burning Out.

In school, often we are pulled in many different directions by our interests. Throughout high school, I was a multi-sport athlete, Art Club member, honors student, occasional theater kid, and a full-time FFA member with a part-time job. I will be the first to say that sometimes, it’s exhausting. Sometimes in an effort to be more ‘rounded’ or to experience everything that is offered to us, we can wear ourselves thin. This leads to stress and even burning out. I learned this lesson the hard way.

Prioritizing your schedule and the things that matter most to you is definitely a valuable lesson to learn. If something you are doing starts to cause you more stress and heartache than enjoyment, don’t let it pull the happiness out of your other activities. In life, it’s okay to sometimes take a break and know that you are in control of what you are doing and of your future. We can’t be everywhere at once because we are human. That’s okay. Take time to reflect on the things that you really enjoy and let the joy those things bring you carry you through the rough patches. Don’t let your passions for the things you love burn out!

Just remember that I you really want to be an officer, be yourself! It may sound cheesy, but make sure that instead of trying to be like the officers that came before you, you continue being you. Only you can bring your ideas and individual experiences into the office! Bring your heart of service and your willingness to work and you will go so far! Good luck this spring!


The Inspiring Words of State Treasurer, Clayton King

Clayton King, 2016-17 Idaho FFA Treasurer

Hello Idaho FFA, Clayton here! I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend, if your school has reconvened of course! This blog post is going to be directed mostly to the Junior class who will soon be Seniors and be forced to take up the mantle of helping the brand new Freshmen. But I still encourage the underclassmen to read this because one day it will be you.

Juniors, there will be a day when you will be considered celebrities to the freshmen. They will look to you for advice and to be an example for them, so take that responsibility very seriously. I know, I know this is the advice that every senior has given you at one point or another. I was given the same advice my Junior year and didn’t really listen to it, but I should have.

My Senior year rolled around and I just went about it like any other, I felt that there was nothing special about it other than it was my last year of high school. Until homecoming week that was. We went through the week like usual, competitions, football practices, getting ready for the big game. It felt normal until I noticed that quite a few freshmen were looking to me for advice about how they could make certain competitions easier or what to do in this class. It really caught me off guard and I didn’t know how to handle it. So in the midst of trying to figure out the situation I learned something, something that stuck with me for the remainder of that year. I learned that my opinion was truly valued by these newer students. They saw me as a way to learn what high school was all about and how to survive it.

So my message to you, Juniors and upperclassmen, is to look for as many opportunities that you can to help a student. Whether it be in a class, directions to the study room, or simple just talk to them for a second. It will make an impact far greater than you can imagine and will leave a legacy until long after you have graduated.

Finally I would like to say good luck to all the Seniors as they are finishing their year and preparing for their life ahead. Also good luck to the rest of you as you work through finals and the start of your new semester. Also I am going to leave a picture attached of my Chapter Officer team at the end of senior year. The picture is a mixture of seniors and a younger officers that we had grown very close to.

Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day!  


Positivity Time with MaKenna

MaKenna Routt, 2016-17 Idaho FFA Sentinel


One thing that you will often hear from me (your 2016-2017 Idaho State FFA Sentinel) is the phrase: “Life is hard!” Now that’s usually when I do something clumsy, like drop my entire piece of cake on the floor, or when I jam the copy machine at work halfway through a large document. But there are times when life is genuinely hard! That Anatomy and Physiology class and Pre-Calculus class is hard! Getting up at 5:30 AM to do chores before an early morning Parliamentary Procedure practice is hard! Running stair-laps in practice is hard! Dealing with conflict or with loss is really hard. And trying to juggle all of these responsibilities and thoughts is the hardest of all.

The key for when life is super hard, is to strive to see the positive side of any situation. Study super hard for your Anatomy and Physiology and Calculus class and remind yourself how good it will feel to ace that hard test! Wake up at 5:30 AM to do those chores and make sure to take some time to prepare for the day ahead and head to your early morning practice with the thought that you are actively making your life better and enhancing your skills to give you a leg-up in the world. Run those stair-laps in practice with the thought that you may be tired now but you will feel great later when you win that game and get to celebrate the victory with your teammates. While dealing with conflict take it as a chance to build a stronger relationship and to grow as an individual. When dealing with loss, use it as a chance to get closer with you friends and loved ones.

While juggling all of the responsibilities, stresses and just everyday little let-downs like dropping a piece of cake on the floor, it’s important to remember to look for the silver-lining. Every situation has a positive side, just like whatever goes up must come down. Seeing the beauty in life and the positive side of life leads to being happier, healthier, and a better leader in the long run! Keep up the great work and keep seeing the positive side of life!

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Welcome to the Idaho FFA Blog!

Welcome to the Idaho FFA Blog

Gretchen Hansten, Idaho FFA President

November 15, 2016

We are excited to kick-off the blog with a post from each of the state officers, and then the blog will be updated weekly with posts from FFA members (this means YOU!), our supporters in FFA Alumni and the FFA Foundation, teachers, and other partners! This is YOUR OPPORTUNITY to let the world know about the incredible activities and service projects your FFA chapters are completing. It’s time to share the “Idaho FFA Members’ Perspectives!” We’d like to challenge the authors of the posts to include how the chapter or member is “climbing to their full potential” to incorporate this year’s theme, which is Climb. All of the blog posts can be submitted to our Executive Director, Mrs. Clara-Leigh Evans, at for state officer and state staff review and posting.

Be sure to include:

1.     title to the post

2.     author’s name

3.     FFA chapter

4.     submission date

5.     up to five photos


Submit blog entries and photos to:

Please keep all post submissions positive, school appropriate, and FFA-inspired! I am excited to see what each chapter submits and hear the wonderful stories of Idaho FFA members! We will also be using these submissions as a way to create the “What’s happening in Idaho FFA?” submissions to National FFA for the New Horizons Magazine.

Already this fall, my fellow state officers and I have met several FFA members who are continuing to CLIMB towards their wildest dreams and harness their full potential. My challenge to each of you is to find a story to share and submit about how you make the climb everyday! 

Keep Climbing,