TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Idaho’s new state FFA officers aren’t exactly sure what’s in store in the coming year, but they’re excited about the proposition of serving the organization.
On Saturday — newly elected and all smiles after a week of State Leadership Conference frenzy — they first wanted to eat, sleep and share their excitement with family and friends.
Lindsey Stowell, 17, from Vallivue, said becoming state president “feels amazing.”
“I’m super excited and extremely humbled they (members) gave me the opportunity to serve,” she said. FFA is an ag-based youth-leadership organization that gives members an opportunity to serve their community and helps them prepare for the future. While the leadership aspect is important, it’s also important to remember FFA’s roots run deep in agriculture, she said.
“As a team, I hope we reach out to as many chapters as possible and branch out from ag classes and visit more core classes,” she said.
She plans to study dairy science and nutrition at the University of Idaho and eventually run her own dairy.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster,” said Austen Thomason of Weiser, 18, the new state treasurer.
The interview process was long but a great experience. The candidates were the best of the best, and any one of them could have been chosen, he said.
“I’m really grateful. It really hasn’t set in fully yet, but it was an amazing experience and it’s going to be a great year with a great team. I’m really looking forward to what it has in store for us,” he said.
His main mission is to make sure FFA members and guests feel welcome — and to move the organization forward, he said.
He plans to major in agribusiness and minor in political science at the University of Idaho.
State Secretary Sydney Anderson, 17, of Nampa said being a state officer is surreal. She was feeling a rush of emotions and not sure just yet what to expect next.
Her mission, however, is to use her experience to help members rise to their potential, to shoot for more than they think they can achieve and be successful, she said.
She plans to study equine science or agribusiness at the College of Southern Idaho.
State Reporter Taylor Stephenson, 17, of Kuna said she was a little in shock but being with the other new officers was bringing reality closer.
“I just gained a whole new family, so it’s starting to sink it,” she said.
The officers’ mission will be pushing members to think outside the box, past what they think are their limits to find themselves along the way, she said.
“I’m excited to serve Idaho FFA; it’s going to be awesome,” she said.
She plans to pursue animal and veterinary science at the University of Idaho.
State Sentinel Peter Towne, 18, from Kendrick said he was wiped out Saturday morning but the adrenalin kicked in with the new officer announcement. The interview process was mayhem but fun at the same time, he said.
“It’s been crazy, it’s been life-changing,” he said.
While he was still somewhat in disbelief, he said his goal will be to make sure everyone knows there’s a place to go and opportunity to grow in FFA and agriculture, he said.
He plans to pursue ag education at the University of Idaho.
“It’s the best way for me to be involved in FFA the rest of my life. FFA is a family; I just want to be involved with my FFA family forever,” he said.
State Vice President Randy Clements, 16, of Clark County said the election process was interesting with unexpected aspects. He became good friends with all the candidates and it was hard to see most get cut in the process, he said.
His goal is to interact with members and help them grow, as well as raising interest in ag education and FFA, he said.
He plans to major in ag education at the University of Idaho.
“I want to be able to help students get involved in the organization I love and also be able to teach students about the industry I love,” he said.
All of the new officers will graduate from high school in May — including Clements, who will graduate a year early.