Growing up in the Akron area, I couldn't wait to get involved in FFA and agricultural education. When I finally got the chance, I made it worthwhile.
I had a great advisor, John Ziniel, whom I looked up to and he guided me in the right direction. I got involved in all of the contests available, and became an Akron-Westfield FFA chapter officer. I won the state Diversified Livestock proficiency and was the northwest district Star Farmer in 1982. I eventually went on to become the NW state vice president and received my Iowa FFA Degree.
All of the relationships and friendships that I created through FFA are priceless. FFA and agricultural education showed me the way I wanted to live my life. It taught me how to listen, communicate, use parliamentary procedure, help others and continue to grow my love of agriculture.
What I learned in FFA, I used while attending Iowa State University. It was the strong foundation that I kept building on throughout my life. Even today, 40 years after my FFA days ended, I still credit my successes in life to the great experiences I had in agricultural education. I currently farm 2,000 of crops and raise swine and cattle. The tools I developed through FFA have helped guide me to a career I love.