Commentary: FFA develops ‘well-spoken, problem-solving leaders’


Issue Date: May 1, 2019
By Matt Rosa
Matt Rosa
Newly elected FFA state officers, from left: David Lopez, Holtville, sentinel; Kayla Zalesny, Nipomo, treasurer; Lindsey Swall, Tulare, secretary; Miriam Alvarado, Lancaster-Antelope Valley, reporter; Carlyn Marsh, Arbuckle, president; and Reagan Dahle, Big Valley, vice president.
Photo/California State FFA

Over the course of the 2018-19 school year, I have been afforded the privilege of dedicating 100% of my time to California FFA, experiencing the "ins and outs" of this association, and partaking in a multitude of activities which have changed my life, and my person, for the better.

Since the day I began my journey as an FFA member, I've always enjoyed not only the organization, but the people within it. What I've found most inspiring this last year is the fact that numerous students across California—and the nation, for that matter—look to FFA as a home. Because of the hospitality it provides, a multitude of future industry leaders and terrific citizens are developed through agricultural education; my firm belief is that all students who become involved in FFA, not just those elected to its leadership positions, gain valuable skills in leadership and interpersonal relationships, in addition to the agricultural knowledge they obtain inside the classroom and their Supervised Agricultural Experience Project—skills which set them up for a lifetime of success.

Looking forward, many anxieties regarding the agricultural industry of California loom. Whether it's increased environmental regulations on farming operations; decreased availability of land, labor and water; or the ever-dynamic market prices of commodities, one thing is for certain: Times are changing.

Although these challenges are real, I am confident that the FFA will continue to do its part in developing well-spoken, problem-solving leaders who will work tirelessly to ensure that California's "most healthful, most useful and most noble" industry—as was the opinion of George Washington—continues with strength.

(Matt Rosa of Visalia served as 2018-19 president of the California FFA.)

Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.