FFA profile: Colby Gillespie

Colby Gillespie

FFA creates more opportunities than any other club or organization a student can join. Before I entered high school knew I would join FFA because I had grown up around farming and livestock. However, I had no idea how many opportunities I would get. Agriculture is something that will never go away and many of the life skills learned in FFA will be an advantage in any career field. I think any high school student should take advantage of the opportunity to get involved in FFA.

I always knew I would take agriculture classes and become a member of FFA. My great-grandpa was an ag teacher. My grandpa, mom, and sister were all in FFA before me and I heard their stories and saw what an impact it had on others. I knew it was something I wanted for myself. My dad was raised on a farm and every fall I spent a lot of the time on a combine with him. Ag classes were something I was introduced to in high school; I was raised around it and wanted to keep it as a part of my life. However, I did not realize the full impact that it would have on my development

The opportunities are endless in FFA but the one I am most thankful for is getting to show livestock. If you get the opportunity to show livestock, do it without hesitation. The people you meet and friends you make are it worth the time and many miles you will spend investing in this hobby. The people in the show industry are what make it so special. The leaders are what make you strive to be better and keep trying your hardest for that ribbon, plaque, buckle, or banner. Showing livestock teaches you a small part of how to run a business. You learn how to keep a checkbook, track expenses, and talk to breeders about how to improve stock. There are also important lessons about competition and sportsmanship, such as being happy for others when they earn a place above you. It gives you a nation-wide family that is always willing to make you better no matter what you are doing.

So as I reflect over the last four years, I am grateful for the officer positions, public speaking opportunities, contest teams, and the other fun local activities that have been part of my FFA experience. However, I am most grateful for the conversation that Mr. Martin had with me to encourage me in the livestock industry. If your advisor ever gives you that opportunity, take it and run with it. As far as I am concerned, that’s the greatest opportunity you can be offered through FFA.

Colby Gillespie