PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington FFA installed a new slate of officers to cap its annual gathering, which attracted 3,318 members and advisers.
The new officers will demonstrate the power of letting the student leadership organization truly be guided by students, the organization’s officials say.
New officers elected during the 87th Washington FFA Convention and Expo in Pullman, Wash., are president Seth Smith of Tonasket, vice president Mollee Gray of Medical Lake, secretary Taylor Enns of White River, treasurer Sydney Klaveano of Pullman, reporter Kelci Scharff of Cheney and sentinel Matt Rounsley of Tenino.
Smith said he hopes to talk about FFA’s possibilities for all students in the coming year.
“It’s really open for everybody,” he said.
Smith said he doesn’t have an agriculture background, but became involved in FFA through a novice parliamentary procedure leadership development event.
“It opened up all these doors and this new journey I’m on to learning about this industry,” he said. “I realized how passionate I was about it and how effective it was in our world.”
Smith hopes to attend law school and ultimately work in natural resources law or water rights law.
Outgoing president Alyssa McGee in her retiring address urged members not to get so distracted by their goals that they miss the beauty of living in the moment.
“Over the next few years, that (FFA) jacket will serve as a collection of both great moments as well as moments of struggle,” she said. “Hold on tightly to both.”
“I’m excited to hear from them what they envision Washington FFA to be in the next year,” Rebecca Wallace, Washington FFA state adviser, said of the new officers.
“I can’t wait to see what kind of expectations they set for themselves this year, and then surpass,” said Abbie DeMeerleer, Washington FFA Association executive director. “This is a dynamic new group of individuals, and I think they’re going to have some pretty innovative and exciting ideas for the association.”
DeMeerleer hopes the industry greets the new officers with open arms, to help them better understand the “ins and outs” of the industry and its trading partners.
“So that these six students, in all of their travels throughout the year, can best represent not only FFA, but Washington agriculture as a whole,” she said.