Virginia Tech student Elected FFA President

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013/National FFA Organization) – Brian Walsh of Virginia was once asked in a small group discussion to share what has been the best day of his life. He fumbled for an answer. But one never developed.

After telling the group he had no story, people quickly countered, teaching Walsh that everyone has a story – about themselves, what they believe in, the people in their lives and their goals and aspirations for the future.

“My story is that of a shy young boy who wanted so badly to be a part of FFA as a timid eighth grader,” he said. “After developing a passion for agriculture, I promised myself that I would be a part of FFA. My journey began as a boy too scared to ask a simple question and continues today as a confident leader who has been blessed over the past six years with incredible interactions, experiences and growth.”

Walsh was elected to the 2013-14 National FFA Officer team as president at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo.

Other members of the team are Mitch Baker of Tennessee as secretary, Steven Brockshus of Iowa as Central Region vice president, Jackson Harris of Alabama as Southern Region vice president, Wes Davis of West Virginia as Eastern Region vice president and Jason Wetzler of Oregon as Western Region vice president.

Originally from Woodstock, Va., Walsy was Virginia FFA president in 2011-12 and president, vice president and secretary of his Central High School FFA chapter in Woodstock, Va. In high school, he was active in Youth and Government Club, National Honor Society and 4-H.

Walsh’s most memorable experience as an FFA member involved his first-ever real trip away from home alone, to his state’s annual FFA convention. Surrounded by new sights, sounds and strangers, he was amazed by the energy and enthusiasm displayed by fellow FFA members attending the event.

“I returned to our state FFA convention for the next five years and was inspired by the atmosphere, passion and people,” he said. “I grew as a person and a leader every year. State and national officers, teachers, mentors and motivational speakers constantly pushed me forward and challenged me to be the best I could be.”

Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as National FFA officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern and western regions of the country.

National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each travels more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public and more. The team will lead personal growth and leadership training seminars for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.

Today, Walsh is an agribusiness major at Virginia Tech. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a master’s degree in agricultural education and become an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.

“As a national officer, I aspire to aid in helping our members find, create and live out their own story,” Walsh said. “Through the creation of strong, personalized relationships, I will help FFA members across this nation develop an understanding of who they are and what they stand for.”