From corduroy blue to crimson and gray

By Sarah Appel, CAHNRS Academic Programs

College is a distant concern for most high school students. But for students involved in FFA, college is brought to the forefront through opportunities like the National FFA Convention.

Maya Wahl is surrounded by students wearing blue corduroy FFA coats on a convention floor.
CAHNRS Ambassador Maya Wahl talks with high school students from Illinois at the 2017 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.

The convention offers members the chance to not only compete in various National FFA competitions, but also network with colleges and businesses related to agriculture.

WSU, and CAHNRS specifically, is proud to be one of those colleges. Surrounded by almost 100 other colleges and universities, the Crimson and Gray will be worn by our representatives with Cougar pride.

Thanks to Wilbur Ellis, three students and an advisor will represent CAHNRS and WSU at the national convention in Indianapolis, October 24th-27th. This is an incredible opportunity for WSU and for the students to represent CAHNRS at a national FFA event.

“FFA was an experience that helped me understand who I was, what my role in the industry could be, and how many incredible people would be there with me along the way,” said Elizabeth Warren, a current CAHNRS Ambassador representing CAHNRS in Indianapolis. “My main goal is to make deliberate connections with students and to serve as a living, breathing example of what kinds of incredible opportunities they could experience and gain as CAHNRS Cougs, or even Cougs in general.”

“There are a lot of resources available to FFA members in terms of finding out which university, community college, or trade school is right for them,” said Alyssa McGee, an Animal Science sophomore. “It is the face-to-face interactions that students remember most, and our presence in the Ag Expo will help students realize their potential for success in CAHNRS at WSU.”

Our CAHNRS representatives hope to inspire and provide collegiate insight for all the students and parents visiting the WSU booth.

“I know it can be intimidating to reach out and ask questions. But reaching out and inviting them to ask questions is really important for setting kids up for success,” said Leticia (Letty) Trejo, a senior majoring in Agriculture and Food Security.

A huge blue banner with the letters FFA hangs from a pedestrian bridge while many people wearing blue corduroy coats walk under it.
The National FFA Convention takes over downtown Indianapolis for a few days each year, with the streets flooded with blue corduroy coats.

For some students, college, inexperience around strangers, and an overwhelming sense of a new place can be a lot to handle. The WSU booth will offer a place of familiarity and be a welcoming break from the new experiences for those students, especially the ones from Washington State.

“As a member, I remember attending the convention and visiting the WSU booth,” McGee said. “Seeing the crimson booth amongst a sea of blue corduroy felt like home. I always knew I wanted to go to WSU, but spending a few minutes with those caring, committed, and passionate individuals helped me realize even more so that I was making the right decision.”

The National FFA Organization teaches, prepares, and encourages future leaders in the world of agriculture. WSU and CAHNRS are extremely grateful for the opportunity to play a part with this organization. We send a big thank you to Wilbur Ellis for sponsoring the trip!

The team will leave October 23 and get back to Pullman on October 27. Elizabeth, Letty and Alyssa are all looking forward to representing CAHNRS at this exhilarating event and working with future Cougs.