National officer says FFA has opportunities for all young people
A national FFA officer says the organization has helped young people like himself get exposed to opportunities in agriculture. Ryan Williamson is the National Western Region Vice President. He tells Brownfield, “I grew up inside the city limits of kind-of a medium-sized town in Texas of about ten thousand people, and I raised rabbits in my backyard as my supervised agriculture experience project because that was my connection to agriculture. And so, being in FFA really expanded a lot of horizons for me.”
And, Williamson says the number of off-the-farm members is growing. “The statistic is we’re kind of an even split between students who grew up on a farm or in very rural areas and also in suburban and urban areas, so we’re expanding the opportunities FFA has.”
Williamson is participating in eight state FFA conventions this year, including Wisconsin’s convention underway now. He says the state events are not all the same. “We have small state associations. We have really big state associations. Everyone runs their conventions differently. Some have contests and compete there, and some don’t, so every convention does do it a little bit differently.”
Williamson says FFA has helped steer many young people who didn’t grow up on a farm towards careers in agriculture.