Casey Hall admits she didn't have a background in agriculture.
"I didn't know anything about it. Once I got a taste of FFA activities, I got involved," Hall recently told members of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Club. "I have learned that agriculture is more than cows, sows and plows."
Hall, 19, of Roaring Branch, Bradford County, has become an ambassador for agriculture, serving as state president of the Future Farmers of America, a youth leadership organization which encourages agriculture education in the classroom.
"The real purpose of my job is to educate youth and get them excited about agriculture," Hall said. "FFA encourages people to participate in personal growth opportunities and that starts in the classroom."
Hall, a 2010 graduate of Canton High School who has completed her first year at Penn State where she is majoring in biological engineering, said there are about 8,000 FFA members in Pennsylvania.
Agriculture is the number one industry in Pennsylvania and Blair County, and four Blair County school districts - Bellwood-Antis, Spring Cove, Tyrone Area and Williamsburg Community - continue to offer FFA programs.
Joe Hurd, president and CEO of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce said the Chamber, which dedicates the month of October to agriculture-related activities, struggles to get out the word about the importance of agriculture.
"There are good things that happen within the county from an agricultural standpoint. We want to make the type of connections that need to be made," Hurd said. "Agriculture is a huge success story in Blair County that is not talked about to the extent that it needs to be."
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.