Ask a Former FFA Member

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The National FFA Organization means so many different things to each of its members. It has impacted the lives of its members, past and present, in countless ways, as well as the agriculture industry itself, beyond just production farming. By helping individual students develop their talents, the FFA is preparing the next generation in agriculture for success.

There are many former FFA members working at Bayer, helping us fulfill our mission and making a positive impact in our lives, and the lives of others. A few of them have shared their personal experiences with us in honor of FFA Week.

What is your fondest memory as an FFA Member?

“My fondest memory is of attending the Washington Leadership Conference. It is a weeklong experience bringing together students from across the country to learn how to impact their local communities through service. When my Ag teacher drove me up to Washington D.C, I was a little nervous because we were being housed with other FFA members from across the country. Although I was a little apprehensive, I was exposed to students with entirely different experiences then myself. I look back fondly on that week because it exposed me to the impact of servant leadership.”

- Cory Wade, Sales Excellence Associate

Cory Wade

How has your FFA background, helped you in your career?

“Growing up in a small rural area, FFA provided me the outlet to expand my horizons and become involved in the section, state, and national levels of the organization. FFA’s motto of premier leadership, personal growth, and career success still resonates with me today. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today, without the foundation of the FFA.”

- Justin Brown, Western Region Business Coordinator

“FFA helped me to gain experience in agronomy, leadership, public speaking, and running a small business.   These basic skills helped give me a good start that parlayed into college and my career.  The most important skills were learned by way of my supervised agricultural experience (SAE) where I owned a small herd of cattle and sheep.  It allowed me to manage the small business and enjoy the successes and challenges of a small business. I would not be the same person today without my experience in the FFA.”

- Josh VanDeWalle, Northern Region Campaign Manager, Corn

Josh VanDeWalle

If you could give advice to current FFA members, what would it be?

“Take advantage and participate in all the “extras” available to you as an FFA member. Presentations, debates, skits, community activities, mentoring, interviews, leadership roles, competitions...these will prove invaluable for the development of life skills that one day will aid you in a successful professional career!”

- Becky Langer, Project Manager, NA Bee Health

Becky Langer

How do you stay involved with FFA today?

“I have had the great pleasure over many years to be involved with the FFA as a volunteer, and in a bigger sense, as a mentor for many young people that are involved with FFA. I have been an Indiana District Leadership Judge for many of the last 20 plus years. It is great to meet the students from year to year and see them develop into fine young leaders. I have also had the chance to follow many through college and then even further into the Ag industry, either at a professional business level or onto their family farm operations. It is very enlightening to witness and experience the greatness that these members exhibit on a daily basis. Indeed, FFA is so much more than the name implies; the skill sets and positive attitudes they develop are a real inspiration to us all.”

- Brian “Mac” McDaniel, Sr. Customer Business Advisor

Brian “Mac” McDaniel

We encourage all former and current FFA members to share their favorite memories or advice using #FFAWeek on Twitter or Instagram.


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