FFA Week puts state officers in touch with lawmakers
South Dakota’s state FFA officers spent part of National FFA Week getting the youth organization’s message to state lawmakers. State Sentinel Ryder Mortenson of Winner, South Dakota, told Brownfield it was the second time the team of officers had been with legislators in Pierre.
“Today we were able to expand those conversations and talked a little bit more about what FFA chapters are doing this week, and what they’re doing to promote agricultural education in their communities and just overall what they’re doing for National FFA Week,” Mortenson told Brownfield Ag News, following his visit to the State Capitol.
State FFA Secretary Hunter Eide, of Gettysburg, South Dakota, aspires to serve rural South Dakota as a physician. His mother Gerri preceded him as a state officer in 1989-90. Now the younger Eide is building his biology knowledge through his supervised agricultural experience.
“Researching the effects of delayed fertilization in chinook salmon,” said Eide. “My other supervised agriculture experience is a vegetable garden; I raise pumpkins, and grow them throughout the year, and then get to sell them during Halloween Season.”
Ag Education Major Jackson McFaden of Milbank, in the northeastern corner of South Dakota, had crossed the Missouri River only once before becoming a well-traveled FFA State Vice-President.
“Going from a lot of corn and soybeans and very flat [terrain], going West River to a lot of cattle, to alfalfa,” said Mortenson, “to have those hills and those beautiful landscapes.”
Mortenson, Eide and McFaden are freshmen at South Dakota State University. There are 700,000 FFA members across the nation.