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.