PULLMAN, Wash. — A large group of well-wishers surrounded Sadie Aronson moments after she was named the new president of the Washington FFA Saturday at the organization’s state convention.

“FFA has been my everything for the past four years,” Aronson told the Capital Press. “It’s been a family, it’s been a gateway for me to discover my future. I really just can’t wait to turn it around and make that dream come true for everybody else.”

Aronson is a member of White River FFA in Buckley, Wash.

“I am thrilled, so excited to be serving the 11,000 members of Washington FFA for the next year,” Aronson said. “I’m totally in shock.”

Aronson said she hopes to increase membership and that she can be a key part in impacting lives.

The other new state officers who will serve with Aronson are vice president Trevor Schmitt of Chiawana FFA in Pasco; secretary Naddile Widner of Walla Walla; treasurer Kyle Johnson of Yelm; reporter Karlee Hansen of Ellensburg and sentinel Zach Schilter of Chehalis.

Widner spoke to the Capital Press as the final session began, before she was named a state officer. A senior, this was her fourth year at the convention.

“My favorite part of convention is right before the officers run down and they play really impactful, pump-up music,” Widner said. “Everyone stands up and it’s just such a good atmosphere to be in.”

She also competed in the employment skills career and leadership development event, or CDE.

Rank-and-file FFA members from around the state were just as excited about the convention.

Allie Siewert and Natalie Franco, both seniors at White River, have attended all four years. They competed in the agricultural issues CDE, talking about innovative agriculture versus traditional agriculture.

Siewert likes encouraging the members competing in CDEs.

Franco said she loves the overall experience.

“Throughout the year, you get to know each other, but state is really a time when you spend 24-7 together and really get to know the nitty-gritty, weird habits about other people,” Franco said.

It was Sierra St. Pierre’s first time attending the convention. The Sultan, Wash., junior was competing in the job interview and public speaking CDEs. She said she was getting a lot of new experiences and meeting new people.

“I didn’t think it would be as big. ... It’s a lot more organized than I was expecting,” St. Pierre said. “It’s a lot bigger deal than I was expecting.”

Roughly 3,013 members and guests were registered to attend the final session of the convention, which was May 10-12 in Pullman.

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