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FFA Day on the Hill

FFA DAY ON THE HILL

“…Whereas FFA in Idaho is in it’s 92nd year with 5,271 members in 96 chapters, with the goal of developing leaders for the state of Idaho and the world in and beyond the scope of agriculture…”

Governor Brad Little made a proclamation declaring Future Farmers of America week in Idaho for next month, as hundreds of FFA students with their iconic blue jackets came to Boise from all over Idaho to attend the annual “Cenerrusa Day on the Hill” luncheon on January 24th.

“…join me in this special observance, signed Brad Little, Governor of the State of Idaho.” – Applause -

“I don’t think I’ve missed one since I’ve been in the legislature. It’s one of my favorite things, seeing all the blue jackets, the enthusiasm of the youth and just the professionalism that they have at such a young age,” Bannock County Senator Jim Guthrie.

“The purpose of this is for all of these students to come together, get with these legislators, representatives, kind of get to know what they’re doing. How they’re advocating for them here at the capitol. And I think it’s so important that they’re able to become familiar with maybe who their representatives are, their senators, stuff like that,” said Kayden Driggs, FFA State President.

“I never had this opportunity as a member so actually as state president this is my first time here and it’s just awesome. Especially coming out of Covid, you know all of our members are together again.”

The event is named for former Secretary of State Pete Cenerussa, whose 51 years in Idaho government made him the longest serving public servant in state history.

“One of the things about this program is participation in government, and Pete epitomized participation in government,” said Governor Little. “Whether he was supporting rural Idaho, whether he was supporting agriculture, whether he was supporting the state of Idaho…”

For the lawmakers and agricultural industry leader in attendance, seeing the enthusiasm of these students gives them confidence in Idaho’s future.

“Not only that, but it inspires me to be more diligent, to try to make the kind of decisions that’s going to impact those young kids, so when they take over, they have a good foundation from which to work.”

“And maybe offer some little snippet of advice that maybe they’ll glom onto or whatever that they’ll appreciate and might help them to make decisions in terms of their education and their path forward.”

“You’ve got such an impressive group anyway. They’re kids that are achieving, they’re well-spoken and they’re able to communicate on a level that a lot of adults can’t to be quite honest with you.”

And for the students, it was a thrill to interact with people in positions of authority.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to talk to people who are so much more in power than people who are usually in my small of a town,” said Senior Madilyn Oxnnam, New Plymouth FFA.

“I thought it was really cool, I really liked being able to meet the different senators and people in higher power like she was saying, and it was cool to get to learn more and to understand how our governments’ run,” said Sophomore Mackenzie Waters, also of New Plymouth FFA.

“I definitely learned more about the process of what senators go through and stuff like that, and how agriculture has affected so many different people,” said Oxnam.

The students said joining the FFA has been nothing but a positive experience for them.

“Whether you’re showing animals or you’re into public speaking, I’m even on our parliamentary procedure team and so there’s different areas for everyone to get into and I don’t think it’s a bad thing and it can help you become a better, well-rounded person,” said Waters.

“And so, making good choices, continuous learning, and working in teams and making those right choices, if you do that… and you’re obviously a long ways there or you would be in this room with us today,” said Governor Little. “So, with that good luck and enjoy the rest of the conference.” – Applause –

For the Voice of Idaho Agriculture, I’m Paul Boehlke.

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Paul Boehlke