CSU, Chico

Training Program Prepares State FFA Officer Hopefuls for Selection Process

Training Program Prepares State FFA Officer Hopefuls for Selection Process

The California State University, Chico College of Agriculture hosted its annual State FFA Officer Candidate Training on Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29, at the University Farm. Twenty-seven Future Farmers of America (FFA) members spent the weekend developing the skills they will need to run for state FFA office. 

Only a handful of the training participants will have the chance to represent the 73,000-member California FFA; however, the training equipped all candidates with stronger leadership and communication skills, a better understanding of their strengths and qualities and a deeper sense of their personal values. 

State FFA officer candidates will undergo an intensive selection process at the annual state conference April 12–15 in Fresno in order to serve and represent the California FFA members. The officers’ yearlong term consists of facilitating leadership conferences, completing chapter visits and running the 2014 State FFA Conference.

The College of Agriculture hosts the training each year to give candidates a sense of what the actual selection process will be like. Past California FFA state officers Vince Pellegri, Jacob Vazquez, Marlene Romero, Leah Gibson, Kelcie Jones and Mary Steves guided this year’s trainees in being authentic with the theme “Authenticity Starts in the Heart.” The six former state officers facilitated workshops that prepared the candidates in the areas of interviewing, personal development and professional dress. In addition to the workshops, mock interviews conducted by more than 20 College of Agriculture students to assist candidates in developing answers and practicing their delivery. This year, the training hosted 27 FFA members from across the state, and one even traveled to the training from Oregon. 

Mary Steves, a former California FFA State Officer and CSU, Chico agriculture student, believes the training is essential to preparing for the selection process. “I have had the opportunity to participate both as a candidate and now as a Chico State student,” Steves said. “The process of being elected as a state officer is an extremely in-depth, detailed and purposeful process. To be completely honest, many more than six individuals are qualified to be state officers. The trick is that students must be able to communicate themselves authentically in order to be successful in the process. It is incredible to see the drive, determination and excitement in these candidates, and we all wish them the best of luck next week!”

April 10, 2014