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FFA great journey for Earll

By Jean Caspers-Simmet
simmet@agrinews.com

Date Modified: 04/11/2013 9:06 AM

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For National FFA Week, which is Feb. 16 to Feb. 23, Agri News talked to state FFA officers from northern Iowa. This week we are featuring Josh Earll, Northwest state vice president.

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I'm a freshman at Iowa State University majoring in agricultural education. I 'm originally from the Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA chapter in Sibley.

Q: What are some of the things you've been doing as a state FFA officer?

A: It really varies! Lately I have been preparing for the 85th State Leadership Conference from April 22 to 23, as well as doing a lot of chapter visits all around northwest Iowa. I have also had the opportunity to recently meet with Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, talking about the importance of agriculture and education in the great state of Iowa.

Q: What are your future plans for school and career?

A: I plan to continue my education at Iowa State, majoring in agricultural education. Most people may think I want to teach after I am done with college — I 'm not sure that is what I would like to do. I hope to be an auctioneer, Realtor, and appraiser in northwest Iowa, as well as having a farm.

Q: What are your FFA goals?

A: My FFA goals are wherever it takes me. The journey has been great, and I will ride this FFA "wave" as long as I can. There are so many opportunities through FFA, I can only hope I get to continue with it. I hope to remain active with the Iowa FFA as long as possible!

Q: Who are your mentors?

A: I have various mentors including family, friends, past state officers and professors. I would say my biggest mentor is my dad, Mike. He is always there for me and definitely understands. He was a past state officer, and my FFA advisor, so he understands what I'm going through. He is always calm, and seems to guide me on the right path.

Q: Tell us about your Supervised Agricultural Experience Project.

A: My Supervised Agricultural Experience is Beef Production — Entrepreneurship. I started with smaller livestock, and moved my way up to cattle. I specialize in cow/calf pairs, breeding the cows and then selling the calves.My SAE is an integral part of the agricultural economy, because I am breeding my cows to have calves to eventually feed the world. I plan to continue my SAE program by expanding my herd size and having the best quality of cattle for the consumers. My SAE has taught me many skills. The most important skill it has taught me is management.Buying and selling cattle is a huge part of my business, and I need to buy or sell at the right time. While managing my time, I manage the amount of feed my cattle get, when the calves get weaned off the cow, and when to vaccinate. This has been an outstanding learning experience.

Q: How has FFA helped shape who you are?

A: FFA has helped me shape who I am by bringing out the real me. I'm able to see what I love and sometimes what I even strongly dislike through the FFA. FFA has brought out my passions, which I can bring out now that I know what they are. FFA has taught me so many leadership skills that have made me the man I am today. It is really an amazing organization! I am honored to be a part of it!

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?

A: When I have free time, which is not much, I love to stay active. I enjoy playing sports and getting involved in clubs and organizations on campus. I'm on an intramural basketball team, and I enjoy playing. I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I'm also taking classes to get my Realtors License.

Q: What advice would you give to young people starting in FFA?

A: Advice that I would give is finding something you are passionate about and go with it. At times I feel like people get caught up on what they are "supposed" to like, and they don't worry about themselves and what they love. Practice good habits in high school because good habits transfer to college.