MASON COUNTY —Mason County native Wes Davis is off to Louisville this coming week to compete with 41 other young people for the position of Future Farmers of America National Officer.
Davis, who is a sophomore at West Viriginia University, is running for secretary, which is one of six national officer positions. The other five positions are comprised of president and an officer for each of the four FFA regions in the United States.
Davis’ assessment will begin with a series of interviews, in which he must demonstrate his ability to advocate for the FFA and the agriculture industry.
Davis travels to Louisville, the site of the 2013 FFA National Convention, tomorrow. Interviews begin on Sunday.
“They’ll evaluate me on what they call competencies. It’s based on a rubric for measuring human behavior: the tone of voice that you use, and your ability to interact with a group. There’s 240 indicators.”
There are six national officers, a president, a secretary, and four officers — one for each region.
Davis said there are 571,000 FFA members currently.
“We have all those members in all 50 states, and the six individuals are the cream of the crop in the organizatio,”
Davis is studying agri-business management and hopes to continue to contribute to FFA, perhaps in an educational capacity, after he graduates.
As a national officer, Davis would be expected to travel 300 days out of the year, all over the US.
“You’re advocating for the FFA, interacting with government agencies and organizations that really support FFA. It’s that support that keeps us so strong.”
Davis said that officers are also expected to work with FFA organizers and members on all levels. He added that it’s the opportunity to interact with and encourage student who are in the organization that he looks forward to most.
“That’s why I’m so passionate about it,” Davis said. “Because at the end of the day the only thing we have at the end of our lives is the impact we’ve had on other people.”
Davis said he is interested in working through FFA to help people get more connected to the food they eat.
“There’s a lot of people who are disconnected from it, and I think there’s a great opportunity to show people how the food system works, and share that story with consumers.
Davis’ involvement with FFA started with a direct consumer-producer relationship; he sold eggs.
“If you look at food production in the US, only 1.5 % of the product goes directly from the producer to the consumer. So there’s a huge growth potential in that area.”