Age and school: 17, senior, Central High School
Family: Parents, Pam and Jim Russell; brother, Jacob, 19; sister, Meghan, 12
Years involved with FFA: Four
Amount of time spent on FFA: I have two classes during the school day involving agriculture, then there's random events that happen throughout the year. There's just different events all the time.
FFA projects: I work at our family company (JH Russell Trucking) in addition to working at a Verizon store. I'm building a rabbit cage right now. It's like different things a lot of the time.
Favorite FFA memory: I went to a national conference - National Institute of Cooperative Education in Nashville, Tenn. It was basically like a business conference, and I met people from all over the country.
How has FFA prepared you for your future aspirations: My future goals are to start my own business. I've had a lot of experience with people skills during FFA, so that has really helped me. I'm able to talk to people a lot easier than your average Joe would be. I have a lot of connections now all over the state and all over the country. I've got a lot of people skills from it.
FFA accomplishments: I got fifth place at the state lamb judging competition during state FFA Week. I just acquired my Keystone Degree.
Special thanks: My adviser's been great. He's really been inspirational for me. He's always been trying to get me trying new things. If it wasn't for him, I probably would be not as great with people. My dad was really good for me. When I first started, I was like I don't know if I want to be a future farmer. My dad and my pap, they were both in the program.
Quote: A lot of people tend to think that FFA is only about cows and being out on the farm. I've done a lot of things with FFA that haven't really been what your city kid would think about, like milking cows. It's given me a lot of experience with people and that's probably the thing I love most about it.