The Washington State FFA Association has hired Abbie DeMeerleer as the organization’s new executive director.
“The fall is a busy time for FFA and there’s a lot of work to be done,” DeMeerleer told the Capital Press. “I’m looking forward to helping grow the organization.”
DeMeerleer said she has a long history with the organization. When the opportunity became available, it was a good match, she said.
According to the Washington FFA, DeMeerleer was Washington state FFA vice president in 1999-2000 and vice president of the Western Region National FFA in 2001-2002.
DeMeerleer was a member in the Colfax, Wash., FFA chapter and is a member and former board member of the National FFA Alumni Association.
“It meant the world to me,” DeMeerleer recalled. “I was not a God-gifted athlete, so my outlet really was FFA. I grew up around and among agriculture, and FFA allowed me to do that in a really productive and academically supported way.”
FFA allowed DeMeerleer to develop leadership and communication skills, and offered her opportunities.
“I’ve been able to travel all over the world, literally, with FFA,” she said, citing trips to Europe, Japan and around the United States. “I probably wouldn’t have had those opportunities had I not been part of this organization, and I want to make sure those opportunities are still available to students. There’s the world and life knowledge that can be gained.”
DeMeerleer is a clinical assistant professor in the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University. She expects to continue at the university through December, teaching a class for the semester and support a leadership project she helped develop.
DeMeerleer hopes to further develop the partnership between WSU and FFA.
She plans to remain on the Palouse as executive director for the organization.
“Abbie is an asset to the Washington State Association; she leads by example and lives by character,” said Rebecca Wallace, state FFA adviser, in a press release. “I am excited to work with Abbie to advance leadership opportunities for students, strengthen relationships with the agricultural industry and advance agricultural education and FFA in the state.”
DeMeerleer replaces Jodi Monroe, who had re-applied for the position after her contract was up July 31. Wallace called replacing Monroe “a human resources decision.”