Adrian Schunk from Mason, Michigan is a National FFA officer, the Eastern Region Vice President. She is in Indianapolis this week with about 70,000 students and volunteers for the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo. Her last 12 months as an officer have been a whirlwind, and not much of that time was spent home in Michigan.
“We spent over 310 days on the road and all of that time is spent with our teammates,” she said. “About 3 and a half months of that is training with our teammates and then the other portion is with FFA members and sponsors. We have international experiences and this year we went to Japan and Canada. Looking back, we’ve learned a lot about agriculture and agricultural education and what it’s doing for the future of agriculture.”
She says the year inside FFA has confirmed the organization is true to its mission to support students’ premiere leadership, personal growth and career success.
“The tool we use to do that is agriculture education and more and more I see FFA being true to that mission statement. I see FFA members being developed through leadership development, through our contests and career development events that really allow them to have that career success and premiere leadership. And agriculture is at the root of that. We’re using agriculture to teach these students those essential career skills, both technical skills and the soft skills that they’ll need in the workforce.”
One of the things state and national officers are so effective with, is encouraging FFA students and non-members to make the leap, get involved and take advantage of the opportunities.
“Six years ago I was a freshman at Mason High School in Mason, Michigan,” Schunk explained. “I didn’t know much about the agriculture industry and I think I knew even less about leadership. But when I enrolled in my ag course, it was an animal science course, I really began to realize the breath and width of agriculture and also the potential for gaining leadership skills in our organization. After doing the creed speaking contest I fell in love with communications and the leadership portion of it. So, my encouragement would be find what you’re passionate about. There is a place for them.”
The current officers’ time is winding down. Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium a new group of six will begin a one-year adventure of a lifetime.