My name is Brooke Smith and I am a 17-year-0ld senior at Henry County High School. I am very active within the Paris FFA Chapter. I am the daughter of John Smith and Angie Smith. I plan to attend Murray State University to major in animal and equine science. I would like to return to my family farm to take the position of herd management and build up the genetic standings of our registered black angus cattle herd. The FFA helped me to find my passion within the agriculture industry. My passion is working with cattle and participating in shows across the state of Tenn. The FFA has taught me a hard work ethic, responsibility and to always be myself and do my best. The FFA organization can reach out and make anyone a well rounded individual that will have the ability to be a great leader. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. As long as you are yourself and try your hardest the only way to go is up.
A quote that I have lived by everyday since my freshman year is one that I saw at my first FFA state convention that said “YOU BE YOU”. This is something that has stuck with me through all four years of high school and through my involvement in the FFA. With a society that is constantly trying to change you I believe that we must stick to who we are and what we believe in. Growing up on the farm has instilled me with the responsibility of caring for animals. When I entered high school, I figured that there would be more kids like me raising livestock on the family farm. I was wrong. Being the one of the only members in my chapter with the responsibility of caring for animals made it difficult for me to relate to the other members because they did not understand my lifestyle. As time progressed, I realized I had to be me to help educate others about raising livestock and encourage them to understand the hard work I had to put into the animals everyday. As many FFA members know not everyone knows the true meaning of the FFA or what American agriculture truly is. Given the opportunity to serve as a Tennessee FFA state officer is something that would be a true honor and would give me the opportunity to be an advocate for agriculture and FFA and also serve the amazing members of the Tennessee FFA Association.
Growing up in a small town like Riceville, Tenn. on a 180-acre beef farm is a simple definition of a girl like me. I have always had a strong agriculture background; however, I decided my freshman year of high school to try something new. I started out playing basketball and was accidentally placed in an Agriculture Science class. At the time, I had the mind set of finding out where I belonged. Luckily, my advisor saw the potential in me that I did not. I have transgressed from the girl who had no clue who she was, to now being certain of who I am. I am now currently serving as the President of the McMinn County FFA Chapter. Also, I am humbly serving as the East Tennessee Regional Reporter. After graduating high school, I plan on attending TTU and majoring in Agribusiness then furthering my education by attending law school in hopes of becoming an Agriculture Lobbyist. By being involved in the FFA, it has helped me decide who I am, where I belong and the true meaning of a servant’s heart. I only hope I am fortunate enough to serve the volunteer state with a group of teammates who know we have one mission, one heart and are one family.
I grew up on a sheep and cattle farm in Jackson, Tenn. with my parents and two older brothers. In eighth grade, my parents and I moved to Manchester, Tenn. and I had to live in a subdivision. I now understand how easy it is to be oblivious about agriculture. With the majority of our nation removed from the farm, I made it my goal to inform those around me about the importance of agriculture in their lives.
My SAE projects are Beef Production Entrepreneurship and Agricultural Education. My favorite CDE was Prepared Public Speaking, and I had the amazing opportunity to place 2nd in the nation.
In 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27, Paul encourages the people of Corinth to discipline themselves and use their talents and hard work for God’s glory. In the same way, as God has blessed me in so many ways throughout my life, the least I can do is use my talents for His service and finish the race as an FFA member. I want to serve this year to encourage and motivate members to finish their race. As Mr. Kenneth K. Mitchell would say, “We have a past to uphold, and a future to mold.”
“Why are all these people wearing blue jackets?” I remember asking myself that question as I attended the State FFA Convention with my dad as a small child. My dad is a former State Officer and often took my brother, sister and me with him to the FFA convention each year. I never stopped too long to think about what role these jackets would play in my future or what great opportunities would take shape in the form of this jacket. Little did I know, this organization would make a lasting impression on my life as I became involved in the FFA during my high school career. Serving as a State Officer for the Tennessee Association is the culmination of all I’ve invested throughout my FFA involvement.
As a state officer, I will have the opportunity to impact 13,000 FFA members across Tennessee. Achieving this rank is the accomplishment of one of my greats goals, and I’m excited to say I will serve this association and its members well. The leadership skills I’ve developed through my service as the president of my chapter and vice-president of my region will be put to great use in the coming year. My parents have also invested a great deal in me and I plan to rely on their words of wisdom as I help lead this association.
Many young adults aspire to change the world. As one of them, I understand that changing the world begins by making a difference one life at a time. This is an ideal that I hold close to me constantly. This is why I want to be a State Officer.
Like many modern day students, I came from a split family. My mother living in the very middle of the big city of Decherd, and my dad living on the outskirts of a small community called Greenshaw. Although the majority of my time was spent living the urban life, my weekends on the farm left a lasting impression on me. My dad owns and self-operates a beef cattle farm. From this came showing cattle; my grandparents, parents, siblings, and myself have shown, so with no question you can call it a family tradition. This tradition formed my never-ending passion for the agriculture industry. I have always been strongly captivated by the agricultural life and heavily involved in agriculturally oriented organizations. My involvement in the National FFA Organization was simply a stepping stone for me, and further formed my plans for my future. Due to my involvement in various career development events and the numerous networking experiences I have encountered I have closely planned my future goals. I will be attending the University of Tennessee at Martin this fall; I will be majoring in agricultural communications with a minor in broadcast media. Through this I hope to obtain a career through corporate Farm Bureau as an Agricultural Issues Representative. This career, as well as running as a 2012-2013 Tennessee State Officer Candidate, will give me the opportunity to better serve the National FFA Organization, as well as the industry as a whole.
Born and raised in Phoenix, Ariz., I spent twelve years of my life in our country’s 5th largest city with no idea of what I would be today. When I moved to Tennessee in the summer of 2006, I experienced one of the biggest changes in my life on an emotional, physical and cultural level; but I suppose I am living proof that change can be a great thing. Since becoming a proud Tennessean I have grown into a woman who has a heart for volunteering, discovered beauty in the simplest of things, and above all — found a passion for agriculture.
My new home has caused a chain reaction for me, and I am still extremely happy with where I am and how fortunate I have been here. I hope that through my service as a Tennessee FFA State Officer I can show my appreciation for this state, it’s FFA members and supporters by encouraging premier leadership, personal growth and career success through Agricultural Education. Furthermore, I believe no matter where my future endeavors lead me, I will continue to keep agriculture an important aspect of my life for my family and future generations.
My devotion to the FFA and agricultural industry is unlike any in my family before me. Since my mother was raised in Miami and my father in Knoxville, neither knew much about FFA or agriculture. Through my involvement in FFA, I have grown to love agriculture and sharing the truth about agriculture with my family and everyone else I meet. I have truly enjoyed being the 2011-2012 Sweetwater FFA President, 2011-2012 Eastern Region Secretary and competing in many career development events such as job interview, parliamentary procedure and land evaluation. My SAE is research based in areas of bio-fuels and turfgrass management, where I hope to help the athletic world with more reliable specimens of turfgrass. I plan on attending the University of Tennessee where I will major in plant science and continue work in my SAE area. As a state officer, I would strive to influence other agriculturalists in growing by providing them with an examples of how they can find out their passion and make a difference not only in their school, but also in their community and state.
I have met many fascinating customers through my SAE work, but I met one man that changed the way I look at life. This man was named B.J., and he was from Norway.
I thought finally getting to meet someone from such a fascinating place was pretty incredible to begin with. As I talked to this man, I learned that he was retired, but worked for Norwegian Cruise lines for 43 years as an electrician, and eventually was promoted to supervisor of a fleet. He has been one of only 200,000 people who has stepped foot on Antarctica, and his father was a whaler (someone who hunted whales for a living).
As I was talking to B.J., the word “diversity” instantly took on a new meaning. Diversity is not just a difference in looks or ethnicity. Diversity is a difference in stories, a difference in experiences, and a difference in the way we live life.
FFA is diverse in the same way. Through my involvement, I have met so many people who live life differently, but when we are meshed to form a youth led organization of more then 540,000 members, we perform beautifully. Every single FFA member has a different story, and might believe different things, but if everyone were the same, would FFA be as powerful in the lives of students as it is today?
Hellen Keller once said, “If you start out in the shadows, continue to move until you find the spot where you shine.” I grew up on my family’s horse farm, so I quickly developed a love for production agriculture. When I started school, I found out that not everyone shared my love for agriculture and farm life. Consequently, I spent the majority of my elementary and middle school years avoiding school and social functions because I felt like an outcast. However, my life took a drastic change in high school after I was “conned” into joining FFA to make up for class tardies. FFA provided me my spot to shine. My experiences in FFA have inspired me and given me the desire to become a Tennessee State FFA Officer. Everyone deserves to be included and have their spot to shine. FFA can be the catalyst for students to do just that. I want to be able to motivate member to have confidence and determination to be proud of who they are for what they are.