PULLMAN, Wash. — New Washington FFA state president Apolinar Blanco hopes to promote the organization and agriculture as a whole in the year ahead.
Blanco, 18, was elected state president for the 2014-2015 year May 17 during the Washington FFA Convention.
“To me, it shows people saw my potential and they want me to be a leader, so I’m going to step up and represent Washington the best way I can,” Blanco said.
Blanco and his team of state officers will work to promote agriculture and the industry, and agricultural education to future students, he said.
Blanco’s parents worked in packing sheds and orchards, and he worked alongside them in the packing sheds.
“It’s an American dream story,” said Chelan FFA adviser Rod Cool. “He’s the first-generation kid from immigrant parents, he’s worked hard, he’s very strong in his faith and his character. I’m proud to be associated with an organization where that kind of a kid can get elected president and we celebrate those things.”
Once his year as president is up, Blanco hopes to attend Walla Walla Community College for two years, then go on to Washington State University or University of Idaho to major in agricultural education and become an FFA adviser.
As president, Blanco hopes to get more people involved in FFA, particularly minorities, to show them they could succeed if they go the extra mile.
“I want to promote the agriculture industry and show the importance of agriculture in our every day lives, and how it’s going to be beneficial in the future,” he said.
Cool said Blanco has been chapter and district 7 president. Blanco has a good work ethic and sees things through, he added.
Cool noted that he often advises his students that good things happen when they work hard.
“It validated my mantra,” he said with a big grin of Blanco’s election.