Future Farmers of America teaches students about more than just plants and animals — it teaches leadership as well.
Carson Valley FFA members, Whitney Weaver and Ashley Cale, were nominated state president and treasurer, respectively, at the state convention in March.
“They got one whiff that I was in calculus and they were like OK,” Ashley joked about her treasurer position.
The Douglas High School seniors have served together in FFA since their sophomore year. They applied for state positions in February through a written application, essay and interview process.
“I was pretty amazed. It was really cool because I was the last person called as president,” Whitney said. “This is something I’ve worked toward, for 2½ years. It’s a dream come true.”
As state officers, Whitney and Ashley will visit all 27 FFA chapters across Nevada, holding workshops and planning activities. The time demands will be equivalent to a part-time job on top of their full-time school schedules.
“I joined agriculture because it seemed like a great chance to try something new, and I ended up finding my passion,” Whitney said. “I found out I’m a plant nerd. I work in the greenhouse constantly, and did the hanging flower baskets for Main Street Gardnerville last year.”
As state president, Whitney wants to work to get more agriculture programs at the colleges.
“Agriculture in Nevada is ranked 47th in the nation, and it’s the third largest sector economically,” she said. “If we want to move up, then we need to try and keep students in the state. People will keep leaving if we don’t have those programs.”
Ashley enjoys the leadership experience she gained from being an FFA member.
“It gave me the outlet I needed to discover that I love talking in front of people,” she added. “I’m looking forward to meeting the members, and inspiring them to find their passion through FFA because that’s what it did for me.”
Following graduation, the girls plan to attend the University of Nevada, Reno. Ashley plans to major in biotechnology and Whitney in agricultural microbiology.
The Carson Valley FFA is having its annual plant sale 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 10-11 and 17-18 at the school’s greenhouse.
They will be selling various flowers, tomatoes, squash, herbs, peppers, spinach and miniature versions of the hanging baskets.