FFA Spotlight

Age and school: 16, Chestnut Ridge High School

Family: Rhett and Kim Funston (parents), Derek Weyant (half brother), Robert Feathers (half brother), Ashley Funston (sister), and Kailee Weyant (sister-in-law)

FFA Chapter: Chestnut Ridge FFA

Years involved with FFA: 2 amazing years

Amount of time spent on FFA: Both years that I have been in the FFA program, I have been highly involved. From going on trips, helping with events, attending and working during meetings, serving as our treasurer this year, and from doing the best I possibly can in my agriculture class, I have put in an abundance of time, and I’m glad I have. And I hope to put in a lot more time and effort.

FFA projects: Lambs, swine and goats

Favorite FFA memory: There are so many wonderful memories I have from FFA, and I hope to have many more. It’s so difficult to just chose one “favorite memory” because they are all my favorites. But if I had to chose one, it would have to be playing football at night behind the school with my fellow chapter officers. It got too dark for us to play anymore, so two of my friends pointed their trucks to where we were playing and turned on the headlights. It was such a fun night for all the officers, and it was a great bonding experience. Even the simplest memories can be the best.

FFA accomplishments: My very first year in FFA (2013, I was a freshman), I was elected chapter treasurer, I acquired my Greenhand Degree and was also given the special Star Greenhand Degree. I attended states in the summer of 2013 and competed in Livestock Evaluation. My team placed eighth out of 16 possible places, and I placed 35th (singly) out of about 90 or so places for individuals.

How has FFA prepared you for your future aspirations: FFA has taught me so many lessons and has given me so much knowledge, and even though the future career I would like to have (RN) is not involved with agriculture, I will still apply things I have learned from the FFA to my everyday life. Things like leadership, how to work well with a team and how to communicate properly with others. That is definitely not all I have learned but just a few examples of skills I have acquired.

Special thanks: For me, there’s a lot of people to thank for making my FFA experience enjoyable. I have to thank my parents for allowing me to even join FFA and for allowing me to attend all events that I have attended and also for supporting me through it all. I would also like to thank my adviser of 2013, Douglas Gayman (who retired that year), and my new adviser, Mitch Persun. They have both been wonderful advisers and teachers, and I cannot thank them enough for all the advice, help and time they have put in for the FFA program and for helping me along the way. Finally, I want to thank all my FFA friends for sharing the journey with me. It isn’t over yet, but they have been such wonderful people and have made me laugh so much and have also supported me through my endeavors through the FFA. I hope they will be there to finish this journey with me.

Quote: “To everyone that is considering joining FFA, is already in it or has no idea what FFA even is, it is not just a program to teach us about farming or to tell us how to till soil. It’s a program that has so many areas to learn about that you had no idea were parts of agriculture. Aside from the educational areas, FFA can teach you about leadership, which is a key skill in life. Throughout my adventures in the FFA, I have learned so much, and I will carry that knowledge with me the rest of my life. And not only have I learned through this program, but I have also made so many friends – friends that I will also carry with me for the rest of my life.”