“Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.” Those words of the FFA motto are said by many, but it is up to the individual to actually carry out the actions. Bailey Roden from the Queen Creek FFA Chapter in Arizona tries to fulfill the FFA motto in her everyday life. So much so that she wants to continue her service to FFA by being on the National FFA Officer Team.
Bailey’s passion for FFA started in high school after her dad suggested taking Intro to Ag. As a former Arizona state FFA officer as well, her dad thought she would enjoy the leadership skills FFA cultivates throughout four years. After the first week of classes, they started talking about competitions and leadership opportunities, and she knew she was in the right place. During her four years, Bailey’s Career Development Events included Livestock Evaluation, Parliamentary Procedure, Agricultural Sales, and Prepared Public Speaking
After working two jobs, going to school, and being involved in FFA, Bailey realized she wanted to continue her passion for FFA by helping others. She was elected as the Arizona State Reporter and continued her love for helping others. Bailey especially enjoyed seeing the different types of chapters across the state.
“As I have traveled the state this year, it has been cool to see the different types of chapters (urban vs. rural) and just see how they operate. No matter what type of chapter it was, the students are excited to be a part of our organization,” Bailey said.
The best memories Bailey has an Arizona state officer are meeting those students who aren’t as crazy about FFA but want to learn more about it. The opportunity to sit down, listen, and talk with those students fueled Bailey’s passion for helping others. FFA is more than just farming and ranching; the industry needs chemists, scientists, journalists, leaders, agronomists, veterinarians, and more.
It was no easy task of balancing college and FFA, but Bailey has always enjoyed staying busy. As a sophomore at Arizona State University studying Global Agribusiness, Bailey continued her state officer duties while working hard in her studies. She eventually wants to apply to a law program and become an attorney that focuses on agriculture and helping farmers.
After serving as an Arizona state officer, Bailey realized she wanted to continue giving back to the organization that had given her so much. Bailey said, “FFA has made me a better person. When you are at your chapter at the local level, you don’t realize how many other people there are in the state, let alone at the national level. When you become a state officer, you realize this is so much bigger than yourself and you get to be a part of this organization.”
While running for the National FFA officer position, Bailey has appreciated the journey of self-discovery.
“I know what I want to do and who I want to help. This has to be more than you just ‘want to be a national officer.’ That attitude is not going to get you through a whole year of service,” Bailey said. “I have so much love for the FFA organization. I got to travel my state and got to meet so many amazing people who just want to be a part of the organization. I know there are more people like that across the nation, sometimes these students require an invitation. They just want to be asked to join by someone who is a part of the organization. The cool thing about this organization is its ability to make you feel like you belong.”
One of Bailey’s major goals if she were elected for the position would be to help those chapters who can’t make it to National FFA Convention.
“I want to bring the National FFA experience to them. I want to meet new people and help them find their place in FFA,” she said.
“As an FFA member, parents, teachers, and mentors have pushed me to believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I want to help other students find that same belief because I know they have it in them to do whatever they set their mind and they just need someone to tell them that they can,” Bailey said.