The role as a National FFA Officer comes with immense responsibility, dedication, and enjoyment. However, the individuals selected for this position also have to show professionalism and great time management. After all, they are the face of one of the largest student-led organizations in the United States. Seen as somewhat of celebrities in their environment, the National FFA Officers did not get elected to their position by just winging it — they truly love what they do.
I was able to chat with the 2021 Eastern Region Vice President Miriam Hoffman from Illinois. Hoffman was elected as a National FFA Officer last year during the first virtual National FFA Convention and Expo. Since then, she has been working daily, connecting with fellow members, agriculture leaders, national FFA staff, and many others to be successful in her position. The Eastern Region Vice President represents the members from 18 different states — including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Virginia, New York, and everywhere in-between.
As thee Eastern Region Vice President, Hoffman represents the student membership from her region during meetings with the National FFA Board of Directors, facilitates multiple workshops that bring leadership and knowledge to FFA Members, delivers motivational speeches to members, serves as an advocate for FFA, and so much more!
National FFA Officers don’t have a typical day — every day brings something new and exciting to the table. When I talked to Hoffman, she was preparing for the State Officer Summit. Every year, the National FFA Officers host the State Officer Summit, which involves both state and national officers coming together to discuss the future of the organization. During this time state officers are also able to build relationships with each other while also learning how to be the best advocate in their position.
So, what does a day in the life of a National FFA Officer look like? Check out one example of Miriam’s busy lifestyle below.
6 a.m. — Wake up & hit the gym
Depending on the day, Hoffman says she tries to wake up with the first alarm, but admits she does hit the snooze button from time to time.
7 a.m. — Get dressed & ready for the day
Although there is a lot going on in her day-to-day activities, Hoffman’s goal is to always bring a positive attitude/gratitude for what she does. She takes on the mindset of “I get to” vs. “I have to” do something. In addition to her positive attitude, Hoffman says she carries a backpack for content development which includes her laptop, notebook, and her personal journal.
8 a.m. — Journal, Bible study, Reading
Like many leaders before her, Hoffman makes time in her day to read which inspires growth and expands her leadership abilities. Hoffman says she tries to read one or two books a month. When we talked, Hoffman was part way through reading Fooled by Randomness by Nassem Nicholas Taleb. However, her favorite book this year has been Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. Hoffman said it shifted how she looks at her interactions with others and how they view the world.
8 a.m. — Breakfast
Next, Hoffman sat down for breakfast with her team — which includes the other five National Officers and members of the National FFA Staff.
9 a.m. — Morning work session
During the morning work session, Hoffman and her fellow officers took a tour of the hotel/conference center and prepared for the State Officer Summit. The team puts in a lot of time and work for the summit months in advance in addition to the preparation week.
11 a.m. — Lunch
Noon — Afternoon work session
Hoffman and her fellow officers had individual work time to prepare scripts and focus on memorizing the speeches. In high school Hoffman says she used to memorize her speeches word for word. Now, she has developed a different technique — speaking from the heart. Hoffman establishes her main point with bullet points to stay on track, but speaks from the heart for the bulk of the speech. She says when you are passionate and knowledgeable about your topic, the words will come if you know the direction you are heading.
1:30 p.m. – Group work time
During this time, the officers came together to practice session scripts and planned activities for the event. Hoffman recalls her time as a member thinking that National Officers must never get nervous, but now that she is in this position, she realizes that they still do. However, practice makes perfect and the more speeches she gives, the more she can control the nerves.
5:30 p.m. — Evening activities
Since they were so close to Washington, D.C., the team Ubered into town for dinner followed by free time and sightseeing.
7:30 p.m. – Free time in D.C.
Hoffman said her favorite monument she visited was the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. She says that she fell in love with the monument because of how it told the story of the different pieces of his presidency.
9:30 p.m. – Ice cream
Of course they had to stop for ice cream! Hoffman said she got the coffee ice cream and then went back to the hotel to continue working and editing her scripts.
11:30 p.m. – Bed
Finally, after a long day it is time to unwind and rest. Hoffman said she likes to take this time to either read before bed, but mostly uses this time to catch up with friends back home or spend a little bit of time on social media.
Since everyday is different for National FFA Officers, the year goes by quickly. Hoffman said, “I have met so many cool people this year — it is my favorite part of the job.”
Even though they have very busy schedules, the National FFA Officers are just like us — they have 24 hours in the day and even snooze their alarms from time to time. However, it is all about how you spend those 24 hours and what goals you set for yourself that determines what you can accomplish.