CSU, Chico Student First Female African American Student to Lead National FFA

Date: 11-02-2017

CONTACT: Sean Murphy
TEL: 530-898-6492
John Unruh, College of Agriculture
TEL: 530-898-5844

Breanna Holbert, an agricultural education major in California State University, Chico’s College of Agriculture, has been elected to lead National Future Farmers of America (FFA). She will be the first female African American to serve in this position in the national organization’s 90-year history.

The entire 2017-18 National FFA officer team was announced at the 90th annual FFA Convention and Expo earlier this week in Indianapolis. Holbert, who served as the California FFA secretary two years ago, said the election to President was a complete surprise to her.

“It was totally unexpected, but I feel like this journey feels right,” Holbert said. “I know my teammates and I have personalities, strengths and actions that will make a positive difference in the lives of thousands just by being who we are.”

As the first female African American president for National FFA, Holbert said she’s hopes this breakthrough translates into additional opportunities for future national officers to stay true to their identities.

“Personally, I feel no different than anyone else and I know there are so many other members that have done and experienced exceptional things just by being who they are,” she said. “I hope that my ethnicity can break barriers that may have been unintentionally placed on students but also inspire them to exceed the limitations of their own heart.”

David Daley, associate dean for the College of Agriculture, noted Holbert’s outstanding leadership qualities are well-suited for her newly elected position on the national stage.

“Breanna is a wonderful ambassador of agriculture, and her warmth and openness help her connect with students who come from all backgrounds,” Daley said. “She cares deeply about people and relationships, she appreciates the people who have invested in her, and she is always looking for ways to invest in other people.”

Holbert hopes to use this platform to inspire other CSU, Chico students.

“I am incredibly humbled and honored to be where I am now,” she said. “Regardless of where my life takes me this next year, I will return to Chico State and pursue my degree in ag education to change the lives of students like me. I want them to see that they can, and they will.”


About California State University, Chico

California State University, Chico is the second-oldest campus in the 23-member CSU system, the nation’s largest public university system. Founded in 1887, Chico State enrolls approximately 17,500 students and offers more than 230 graduate and undergraduate programs through its seven colleges and five schools. The campus is consistently ranked as one of the best regional public universities in the Western United States and is the only CSU campus to have earned a favorable rating in all five categories of the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, which rates universities on affordability and value. Its mission includes a broad commitment to environmental sustainability, public service and community engagement throughout the 12-county North State region, where the campus is located. The University became a federal Hispanic-Serving Institution in 2015.