Last spring, Haley Warner, an agricultural communications student from Cal Poly, was elected as California State FFA Vice-President for 2014-2015. Another Mustang will join the journey as a state officer for 2015- 2016. Congratulations to Danielle Diele, agricultural communications student, for being elected as Reporter! Read below as Haley Warner reflects on her time serving on the California State Officer Team this past year.
Written by Haley Warner
When I think about my year of service as the California FFA Association State Vice President, two things that immediately come to mind is how fast the year has gone and how incredible of an experience it has been. In a matter of 365 days, I met countless FFA members, facilitated leadership conferences throughout the state, traveled thousands of miles and obtained an abundance of agricultural knowledge; but most importantly, I acquired five new family members and over 76,000 new best friends along the way.
The connections and relationships I have built with FFA members, industry leaders, parents and supporters has been one of the most rewarding aspects of being a State FFA Officer. The fact that families from across the state generously opened up their homes to my teammates and me and greeted us with immense hospitality is both heartwarming and humbling. One of my favorite memories from this year was during the chapter visit season, where I got to spend the night with the Fleetwood family in Visalia. Having only known the Fleetwood’s for about two hours prior, the entire family and I stayed up for hours reminiscing on memories and sharing laughs around their living room. When I think about the year I have been blessed with, I think back to moments like that and realize that I would have never created that relationship with the Fleetwood family, without the amazing opportunity serving as a State FFA officer.
In addition to the incredible people I have met, this year has truly opened my eyes to what the Future Farmers of America organization does for students. It did not matter whether we were three miles from the Oregon border in Butte Valley or a short drive from the Mexican Border in San Pasqual, the impact that FFA has made in students’ lives is incredible. Because of this organization I have seen students step out of their comfort zones through public speaking, experimenting with a new agriculture project and embracing their true leadership abilities while serving as a FFA officer at the chapter level. Due to their time in FFA, high school students are prepared to jump into their futures with skills and knowledge they will use for the rest of their lives. From the members I have interacted with this year, there is no doubt in my mind that the future of agriculture will be a positive one, and I am thankful that I got to be a small part of it.
It is practically impossible for me to sum up my entire year, but overall, I am incredibly grateful. State Office is a once in lifetime opportunity and a year I will never forget. Even though it has come to an end, this is only the beginning of what will be an incredible lifetime of friendships and memories. As I prepare myself to return to Cal Poly, I cannot wait to take what I have been given this past year and continue to serve, but in a different capacity. Even though the blue and gold jacket has been hung up, I know my love for the FFA, agriculture and the people in it will only continue to grow. I am grateful for the year I have been blessed with and look forward to my future as a Cal Poly Mustang once again.