CSU, Chico

Courtney Wright, Agriculture Education

Courtney Wright, Agriculture Education

Courtney Wright

As fate would have it, Star Student in Agriculture Education Courtney Wright discovered her desire to pursue agriculture education from the very organization she will continue to serve, the Future Farmers of America. Wright, a senior in agriculture education, didn’t grow up rooted in agriculture, but involvement in her local FFA program and the support found within its community paved the way for her future educational and career aspirations. 

Wright always planned on teaching at the high school level, but after going through her own chapter’s agriculture program, she decided that agriculture education in particular was the right choice for her. As a member of Galt High School’s FFA program, Wright took part in floriculture judging, exhibited livestock, and was involved in leadership committees. However, it wasn’t simply the Supervised Agriculture Experiences and leadership opportunities that made Wright’s decision concrete. It was her support found within the Galt FFA chapter in tough times that defined Wright’s experience and gave her strength to overcome huge obstacles in her life.

In her junior year of high school, Wright was diagnosed with cancer. It was in this crucial part of Wright’s life that she discovered the depth of the support and love from her community of agriculture teachers who stepped up to check up on Wright and helped her family through the period. Wright said of her teachers Cheryl Reece, Dane White, and Carl Wright, “It was through their encouragement and support during this time that my decision to teach agriculture was reaffirmed.” In 2012, Wright was deemed cancer-free, and out of the diagnosis Wright came away with career goals, inner strength, and a new-found appreciation for how precious life can be.

Fast forward three years and Wright is no stranger to the California State University, Chico College of Agriculture.  Wright’s involvement in the college surpasses most expectations, serving as the vice president of Collegiate FFA, student assistant for professor Brad Dodson, judge for various speaking contests, facilitator for events such as Chapter Officer Leadership Conferences, and community service events such as LeadCat, Habitat for Humanity, and Up Til’ Dawn.

A thriving and involved student at CSU, Chico, Wright serves the college and FFA organization in a variety of ways, but most notably as co-chair for the College of Agriculture’s annual FFA Field Day.

Co-chairing the FFA Field Day is a task that requires immense dedication and organization to make for a smooth day. Some may see the field day as complete chaos, but with the help of countless volunteers, Wright gracefully helped to organize and put on an event for thousands of FFA members who gained exposure to CSU, Chico and the College of Agriculture because of this opportunity.

Academically, Wright has enjoyed her agriculture education courses. She says, “These classes have really given me the tools to be an excellent teacher and make connections with other future teachers.” Professors Brad Dodson and Mollie Aschenbrener were major influences during Wright’s time at CSU, Chico. She appreciates both professors for their constant commitment to students, saying, “Both individuals are wonderful people who are not only fantastic teachers, but encouraging and supportive people all around. They have helped me achieve my goals through their guidance and time commitment to projects inside and outside class.” Beyond class, Wright says “They inspire me to be a leader and possess the qualities of a leader that they do. They motivate me to inspire others. I have learned so much from being here with both of them and I am so thankful for their mentoring.”

Dodson has worked with Wright in and out of the classroom and says, “Courtney epitomizes the kind of student we seek in agricultural education. She takes full advantage of experiences that will strengthen her preparation as an agriculture teacher. She is a thoughtful, respectful and dependable leader who values the contributions and efforts of others.”

Wright credits the College of Agriculture with helping her find her core values. “The most important thing I’ve learned at Chico is about who I am. The experiences and relationships made in the last four years have shaped the person I am today.”

Wright will enter the credential program after graduating this spring.