Monday, August 20, 2012

PSU Ag Ed student to compete for National FFA Officer

Penn State Ag Ed Sophmore Jenna Moser was selected to represent PA for the chance to become a National FFA Officer at this year's National FFA Convention to be held in Indianapolis, IN October 24-27, 2012.

National FFA Officers give up a year of there lives to serve the FFA in a variety of functions. They will represent the FFA at the local, state, national, and even international levels. National FFA Officers travel more than 100,000 miles during their year of service and spend much of their time living in hotel rooms and eating meals on the go. They have opportunities to meet thousands of people including corporate CEOs, government officials, and FFA members from around the country and spread the message of FFA and the importance of Agricultural Education in our future.

We asked Jenna a few questions about what this experience has meant to her.

Jenna, can you tell us what this whole experience has meant to you?

In October of 2008, I attended my very first National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.  I remember being completely immersed in the sessions and feeling empowered by a National Officer’s charge to make a difference.  It was during that very moment in the crowd of thousands that I decided I wanted to advance as far as possible in the FFA, and serve as a National Officer.  Initially I thought the role of National Officers was to perform at the convention in October, and I was in love with that idea.  As I continued to learn more about the organization I was able to better define the reason why I wanted to serve.  Now four years later, I still love the idea of being up in front of thousands of people and simultaneously speaking to them each individually, motivating them to make their communities better, and to strengthen their connections with others.  While that moment is an extremely important one, I acknowledge that the smaller portions along the way are just as necessary if not more.  Those portions are to listen to chapter members, meet with industry representatives and partners, and to share the story of agriculture, agriculture education, and the FFA with people everywhere.  The opportunity that I am blessed with now, to serve as the National Officer Candidate for the FFA, is much more than a four year dream.  This opportunity is a chance to make myself smaller so that I can recognize and encourage the greatness of everyone else!

What have you been doing to prepare for this opportunity?

    • Met with American Farm Bureau
    • Met with USDA Chief of Staff Krysta Harden, discussed agriculture issues
    • Job Shadowed, Max Finberg, who works in a White House Office in the department of Ministries and Faith-Based organizations.  During shadow experience attended a meeting in the First Lady’s Office.
    • Meeting with Pfizer to learn more about them, discuss agriculture issues, and participate in mock interviews
    • Meeting with Monsanto to learn more about how they operate, discuss agriculture issues, tour facility, participate in mock interviews 
    • Meeting with National Corn Growers Association to learn how they interact with people, expand my knowledge base about them and tour their facilities 
    • Visiting with an urban agriculture teachers in St. Louis who will discuss Missouri FFA, agriculture, and how her chapter operates (hopefully will be able to meet with a few FFA members).  In addition, the teacher is setting up local tours to botanical gardens, and other agriculture programs – this is free of charge.
    • [I plan to] Attend training organized by a past National Officer Candidate, Dr. David Frazier, who knows the National Officer Selection process very well.  This session is free of charge, with the exception of the flight. 
    • During the training I will meet several other candidates and go through every interview round twice.
    • [I will be] Attending the World Food Prize Conference in Des Moines, Iowa to put my mind back into perspective as to why I am running for a National Office.  The answer is simple, that the world is so much greater than me.  I hope to instill in others everywhere the notion that there is a need to make a positive difference.
We in the Penn State Ag Ed Family wish Jenna the best of luck on her pursuit to become a National FFA Officer!

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