Perspective: Why you should still be a leader during the pandemic


With the current pandemic going on and the uncertainties that it brings, FFA student leaders could be wondering if it is worth it: Is it worth it to run for president of your chapter, is it worth it to apply to be a district, state or even national leader within the organization? The resounding answer — yes, yes it is! One of the first things you learn as a leader is that it will never be easy, but it will always be worth it. Your organization — whether that is FFA, FBLA, or any other extracurricular club — needs you, your talents, and your skills to be successful. 

The hesitation to run for office is understandable. You can no longer rely on “doing things like they have always been done.” You have to get creative in order to accomplish the same events and experience. However, isn’t that what every leader wants, to try things a different way, push the envelope and see what they can accomplish to better the organization? But it also comes with some difficulties. You won’t be able to visit other chapters as easily, but thanks to Zoom and other technologies, you can meet with more individuals than ever before. For every challenge there is an answer, you just have to find it.

For example, take the most recently elected National FFA Officers. Each one of them decided that the organization and its members were worth their time and efforts. That even though they wouldn’t be able to carry on like a typical year, they still wanted to do their part by stepping up and create a unique experience for all members.

2020-21 National FFA Officers
Image courtesy of National FFA Organization

In remarks made the day after their election to AGDAILY, Doster Harper the newly elected National FFA President said, “I think the most important reminder for me throughout all of this is why we do what we do has not changed, what we do and how we do it may have changed. But there are still 760,113 students out there in agriculture education and FFA who have earned the right to be served. These are some of the most incredible students in this country. And even though we may not be able serve them in the traditional way in the past, they still have earned the right to be served because there are some incredible students out there. I think I speak for all my teammates and myself when we say we are here to serve these students. And we are here to do that in whatever way we get to do that.”

Paxton Dahmer, the Central Region Vice President, added that the option of meeting students at their level and comfort via Zoom is a great option. “Through this opportunity and virtual interactions, we are meeting those students where they are really comfortable. So if we can Zoom into a classroom, they are comfortable and they will be able to be vulnerable with us and that is where real progress is made. So as we are working to develop leaders in agriculture, when we are meeting them where they are comfortable, we’re going to be able to make the biggest impact. This year presents an awesome opportunity in that way as well.”

So if you have what it takes, run for that office, be open to new experience and the ability to think outside of the box. With the right attitude, you can do anything! 

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