Oklahoma FFA's Southeast District Vice President Beecher Owens Says FFA is Truly a Family AffairFri, 27 Oct 2017 14:59:20 CDT
Southeast District Vice President of the Oklahoma FFA Association Beecher Owens, spoke with Ron Hays, farm director for the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network, briefly during the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis this week about his unique background in agriculture and his time spent so far serving Oklahoma FFA members as a state officer. You can hear their conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Unlike many FFA members who were raised on a traditional wheat or cattle operation, Owens had a very different involvement in agriculture growing up, in a much more public facing agribusiness. Owens says his family runs a pumpkin and Christmas tree operation just west of Tulsa, where currently they are working to make it a year-round attraction for agritourism.
“Our goal right now is to use it as a platform to educate the public about agriculture,” Owens said. “I believe that’s one of the most important things, as an industry, just having the public on our side. I love it. It’s something that after college I hope to return to, at least part time and then later in life, eventually go full time with it.”
Owens first became interested in running for state office his senior year, although he had always held a passion for the organization since he joined his first year of high school. He credits his ag teacher with being a major source of motivation.
“My ag teacher - he had a big impact,” Owens said. “We’ve always had a connection with him in my family. When I came into his classroom my freshman year, we just hit the ground running. Senior year, I started seeing what I really wanted to do after high school. One of the best options was state office because it related directly to agriculture and maybe a degree in agribusiness or ag-communications. And… it worked out and here we are.”
National Convention is regarded as the halfway point in the terms of service for most state officers. With the experience of participating in several events as a leader in his state association under his belt, leading a small group at the FFA Alumni Camp sticks out in Owens’ mind as a favorite memory so far.
“Those four sessions were just amazing. I got to connect with students on a personal level,” he said. “I got to hear their story and you’re able to just build off each other and really get to know and understand what this organization is about. FFA - it’s just a family, it really is.”
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