Each year, six students are elected statewide to hold the top leadership positions in FFA.
Sometimes known as Future Farmers of America, the organization is a youth-led agricultural education program.
The students take a year off college to travel the state advocating for agriculture education.
Six FFA officers — California’s top young leaders in agriculture — came to Fresno for a conference, taking tours of places like agriculture facilities at Fresno State and even CBS47 Eyewitness News!
FFA State Officer Lindsey Swall says, “We do a lot of industry tours, like meeting with Foster Farms we just did a dairy tour in Turlock.”
The elected officers come from all over California.
Swall says, “Travel across the state visit members, visit chapters, put on leadership conferences to help make the connection between leadership and education as well as the industry of agriculture. “
Lindsey Swall is FFA state secretary. She grew up on a walnut farm in Tulare.
“Initially, my senior year, I ran for state office and I wasn’t elected. So I went to Fresno State for a year as a plant science major and then decided to take the leap – rerun for state office and was elected.”
The students take a year off college — or a year before college — and live and work together at the FFA center near Sacramento.
Swall says, “Along with the house where we live is also a classroom and a business center where the FFA foundation and association runs out of. So they have a dormitory for the six officers elected annually.”
For Swall, it’s an invaluable opportunity, as well as a chance to give back.
“We’re the breadbasket of the world so I think it’s important that we have leaders and students in college also going back and being involved in production agriculture.”