A Bayer CropScience Employee Shares His Story in Honor of FFA Week
Thursday, February 26, 2015
By: Nasser Dean, Stakeholder Relations Manager, Bayer CropScience
In honor of National FFA week (this week) I’d like to share my experiences, past and present. Currently, I’m an employee at Bayer CropScience and here is my FFA story.
Someone asked me to explain what I learned from the FFA and how it led me to a career in agriculture. My answer begins with: my experience with the FFA literally changed the trajectory of my life. I grew up on a rice farm in rural northern California where I derived my love, motivation and enthusiasm for production agriculture. After that, it was the FFA that allowed me to channel this passion into leadership opportunities. My FFA Advisor helped to give me purpose through various competitions and getting elected each year as a chapter officer.
FFA is an outstanding youth organization that has tremendous value and appeal for many students and I recognize it as a productive alternative path in life for some who might otherwise be “seduced” into gangs and lives of crime. FFA gives students a sense of belonging, purpose and validation which was important for me during those formative years.
I predicate most of my adult life on invaluable principles I picked up from FFA: learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live and living to serve. And, this mindset continues to motivate and inspire me in my work at Bayer CropScience. I learned many leadership qualities through my experience in the FFA, such as public speaking and professional decorum. I recognized that developing strategic alliances and partnerships in parliamentary procedure came in handy when chairing industry committee meetings, as I do in my role as representative on the BIO State Government Relations Committee. The FFA and my FFA Advisor played a pivotal role in my formative years by teaching me invaluable lessons in leadership, public speaking, debate and proper personal conduct. My FFA Advisor saw leadership potential in me and I can’t imagine what my life today would be without his guidance. (The photo included here is of me graduating from the Bayer CropScience Leadership Academy.)
I have very fond memories of parliamentary procedure competitions on the regional and state level. This is where I learned Roberts Rules of Order: the standardized manner in which committees to legislative bodies are conducted, issues are deliberated and decisions are made. We worked and performed well as a team. I had never experienced anything like that before, and it really opened my eyes to another world within agriculture.
I have been privileged to serve as a board member for over 5 years on the California FFA Foundation and I am also the board treasurer to the foundation. I’m proud to dedicate my efforts to serve California Ag students by enabling their development to become future leaders in agriculture through vocational Ag education and various organized competitive opportunities. Being on the board allows me to collaborate with distinguished leaders in agriculture, to highlight career opportunities within our dynamic industry and how Bayer CropScience is leading the way. In short, it’s my way of giving back to great organization that still means a great deal to me on so many levels.
- Willows, California FFA Chapter (1984-88)
- Chapter Reporter (1984-88)
- California Golden State Farmer Degree
- Star Agri-businessperson
- Proficiency Award for Sales and Services
- Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE): rice production
Dean Nasser graduating from the Bayer CropScience Leadership Academy.