CSU, Chico

Annual State Officer Candidate Training a Success

Annual State Officer Candidate Training a Success

Of the 33 Future Farmers of America members who spent the past weekend at the California State University, Chico University Farm training to become a state FFA officer candidate, only a handful of them may be elected to represent the 73,000-member California FFA. But all of them walked away with stronger leadership and communication skills, a better understanding of their strengths and qualities, and a deeper sense of their personal values.

The CSU, Chico College of Agriculture has always found pride in being involved in the FFA, a national organization for high school students with an interest in agriculture. On Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6, the College of Agriculture hosted its annual State FFA Officer Candidate Training at the University Farm on Hegan Lane. 

California State FFA officer candidates undergo an intensive selection process at the annual state conference in order to serve and represent the California FFA members for the duration of a year. Their year as an officer will consist of facilitating leadership conferences, completing chapter visits, and running the State FFA Conference that is held annually in April in Fresno, Calif.

CSU, Chico College of Agriculture hosts the training each year in order to give candidates an idea of what the actual selection process will be like. Past FFA state officers Jessica Vazquez, Vince Pellegri, Jacob Vazquez and Mary Steves facilitated workshops geared towards preparing the candidates in the areas of interviewing, personal development, and professional dress. In addition to the workshops, mock interviews were held and conducted by more than 20 College of Agriculture students to assist candidates in developing answers and practicing their delivery. This year the training hosted 33 FFA members from across the state, and two traveled to the training from Oregon. 

Past California state officer and CSU, Chico College of Agriculture student Jessica Vazquez believes the training is essential to preparing for the selection process. "I think it's very beneficial for candidates to attend the training because we not only do an overview of how to prepare and what to expect for the process, but we put a large emphasis on staying true to yourself," she said. "Our training is unique because we don't solely focus on becoming a state officer. Instead, we help them discover what strengths and qualities they have that can be used to serve others, whether or not they get elected to the position."