Ohio FFA president ready to share passion for agriculture
Jacob Zajkowski is the new Ohio FFA president.
The northwest Ohio native and senior at Anthony Wayne High School says he is hopeful his non-traditional agricultural background will highlight the many opportunities the industry has to offer.
“I hope my presence in state leadership shows a transition of our organization of not just being traditional agriculturalists and those in production agriculture but also the importance of the supporting industries of STEM and research,” he says. “I also have a background in landscaping and landscaping design—that’s an aspect that has a critical component of agricultural education and training. I think career technical education is the transition into American education and it’s what’s going to make our students successful. I hope my presence in this position highlights the importance of a work experience and career technical education when it comes to finding a successful career for our students.”
He tells Brownfield he is passionate about agriscience and research. He will be studying plant science at Cornell University in the fall of 2022.
“There is really a transition in our agriculture industry toward feeding a planet that is exponentially growing and I really believe the way to do that is controlled environment agriculture— producing food efficiently and affordable so that it’s not only easy for farmers to grow but consumers to buy,” he says. “That’s where greenhouse production comes in. The specific career path I want to take is vegetable production. So, our large vertical tomato greenhouses or lettuce greenhouse that use hydroponic systems and more efficient ways of growing—I look forward to providing research and management to that industry outside of college.”
Advice he has for younger FFA members is to “be curious– if it wasn’t for my curiosity in agriculture and taking some of my previous experiences and wanting to further explore sustainability and agriculture I wouldn’t be here today. Also, don’t be afraid to fail and don’t be afraid to try new things.”
Zajkowski was elected as president during the recent virtual Ohio FFA Convention.
Audio: Jacob Zajkowski