Alex Housman shares her thoughts on Ag Class.
1. What did you think of the ag program before you started taking the department courses?
I thought FFA stood only for the Future Farmers of America, meaning “traditional” agriculture students. However, I don’t think that is the case. It’s almost like an infomercial: “Oh wait, there’s more!” The National FFA Organization reaches every category from ag business, education, farming, engineering, and more! Around 22 million people have jobs in agriculture. As for me, I’m not exactly a “traditional” ag student. I live in a subdivision, but that hasn’t stopped my pursuit in a career in agriculture.
2. What attracted you to get involved to the level you have?
I was inspired by my three advisors (Kirby O’donoghue Green, Coye Elliott, and Brittany Brammeier Forgey) to pursue a few of my, then, weaknesses, and now, strengths of public speaking and presenting. FFA offers opportunities such as Career Development Events including the Job Interview, Agricultural Sales, Prepared Public Speaking, and many more which have allowed me to explore into my new passion of agriculture.
3. Tell us about FFA competitions.
The night before my first ever FFA competition I slept like a baby; not the cute and cuddly kind, but the new born that wakes up every few hours crying. As most freshman competing in the Junior Parliamentary Procedure, I was intimidated at knowing I would be accountable as an officer and evaluated by numerous judges. As I had feared, my competition was not considered a “win,” but a participation (that means I received last place). Haha!! I chalked that up as an experience that I hope to never have again. I competed at the state fair in cow judging; once again not a place. My advisors continued to encourage me. I then competed in the Impromptu Poultry Speech were I placed first in district and second in state. In September, I competed in Job Interview at the state level were I placed first. I then went to nationals, representing the Bluegrass State placing third overall.
4. What do you like about being in the ag program?
It’s not just another boring class. It’s more like being in a family. It’s about pride, integrity, service to others, and hope for working towards an even better future. (It may even be described as the “Future Family of America.” if you ask me). I’m in the agriculture classes daily, but there are also extended trips, competitions, and activities that have allowed me to not only build relationships with my peers but also my ag teachers. I have competed in several competitions throughout my FFA career and served as an officer, but the highlight of my FFA experience was representing the state of Kentucky from Lone Oak High School in the National Job Interview Competition. Standing in the front of the ballroom with seven other girls felt like the Miss America pageant as they announced one competitor at a time by state, then name. I’ll never forget when they announced, “For third place, from the state of Kentucky, Miss Alex Housman!” Looking to my right I saw my advisors all smiles and high-fiving, to the left, I saw FFA members giving me “thumbs up,” and in the back I could see my FFA Chapter President, Lauren Looney, and former President, Kelsey Morris, pulling out cameras like a paparazzi crew. By far, my favorite part of the day was the phone call from my parents and the group hug the McCracken County schools were waiting to give me outside the hotel.
5. How has the program influenced you in your future plans? How has it changed you?
As young as 6, I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I didn’t even know an “ag” teacher existed! Since my freshman year, I have been influenced to pursue a career in Agricultural Education.