Shattuck’s Addie Swanson – FFA Spotlight Presented by Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma

By Derrick Smith

The Future Farmers of America program allows students to learn about more than just how to raise, take care of, and show animals. Shattuck senior Addie Swanson says that the program has benefited her in more ways that she imagined it would.

“Some key things I have learned while in FFA would probably be leadership, how to work together, trust, and empathy,” she said. “I have also moved out of my comfort zone, and also learned a variety of social skills and public speaking. So much has come out of my time in the FFA.”

Swanson is a Senior at Shattuck Public Schools, where she has attended since Pre-K. She was introduced to FFA the summer before she entered the eighth grade and was instantly hooked. “My Ag teachers talked me into going to alumni camp the summer going into eighth grade year,” Addie said. “I was a little scared at first, because I thought the FFA was just for kids who showed animals. After that camp, I was head over heels for the FFA and haven’t stopped loving it since.”

The thing Addie enjoys most about the program is how welcoming it is to anyone. “I love how anyone can fit in,” she said. “Everyone has a place in FFA. No matter the background, there is always something for everyone. Also, I really enjoy Alumni Camp each summer and our different Career Development Event trips.”

During her time in FFA, Addie has also won a variety of awards and honors. “I won first place at State Agriscience Fair my freshman year, and then I got 27th at Nationals with my science report,” she said. “I have been to state entomology, state opening and closing ceremonies, and state for a marketing plan I wrote. I have been the top salesperson in Blue & Gold sales for 4 years now, and plan to make that 5 this coming year.  My greatest achievement in FFA is being chosen to be FFA Chapter President my senior year. We have a great team of officers and it’s going to be a super year.”

While they work hard in FFA, Swanson says they also know how to have fun. “Two years ago our chapter started an activity called ‘Barnyard Olympics’ to help our chapter come together and bond,” she said. “Each officer gets to draft 12-14 members on their team. My team really didn’t have any athletes but we had the best time working together, laughing at our mistakes, and making new friends. We did terrible and came in last but we had the best time being together. We were a mess.”

For someone new to FFA or just considering it, Addie has some advice. “Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, even if at the time, things are scary and awkward, it all gets better. Some of my greatest friends I met in FFA, and I would not take back any awkward moment I have had with the FFA.”