Hadley Stiefvater is the 2022 South Dakota FFA State Secretary and a South Dakota State University student. She shares a little about her experiences with the FFA organization and the impact it has had on her life.
Q. What made you want to join FFA?
I joined FFA to show sheep in the FFA livestock show at the state fair. However, I quickly learned that there was so much more available in FFA. The opportunities to meet people from across the nation and the freedom to be creative with my Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) projects fueled my excitement and drive for the organization throughout my high school career.
Q. What did you enjoy most about FFA? What would you say to younger students considering joining?
Some of my favorite parts of FFA are meeting people within the industry and experiencing agriculture in other parts of the country. FFA has allowed me to see the unique opportunities in agriculture both in South Dakota and around the country. My advice to younger students would be to get involved early. There is something for everyone in FFA, and you’ll miss your chance if you don’t try it.
Q. What have you learned from your involvement in FFA?
FFA has taught me a variety of skills that I use every day as a college student and as an employee. Professional communication, timeliness, and accurate recordkeeping are just a few of the life skills that I learned.
Q. What are the most challenging aspects of FFA and the ag industry?
I believe one of the most challenging aspects of today’s generation is motivation. It takes an investment of hard work and true grit to care for livestock and crops year-round. While other businesses get days off, farmers and ranchers do not. When there’s a blizzard with 20 below temperatures, the livestock still need to be cared for and kept warm. FFA members are recognized as some of the hardest working and most innovative students, and that work ethic is key to their success both in agriculture and in the general workforce.
Q. Who are the people who have helped you succeed in your ag-related achievements?
The people who have had the biggest impact on my agriculture and FFA success include my parents, my FFA advisors, and the countless judges and industry representatives who have given me feedback on my presentations, interviews, and projects over the many years. They have all helped me grow into the person I am today.
Q. Describe your experience as a state officer?
Being a state officer has been an incredible experience. From conducting leadership retreats to touring businesses and industries around the state, my teammates and I have had some amazing opportunities to give back to FFA through representation and advocacy this year.
Q. What does the future hold for you?
I plan to remain heavily involved in agriculture as I work through college and beyond. Currently, I am studying Animal Science and Agriculture Leadership at South Dakota State University. After college, I plan to work in animal health and management.