Erin Wollett named 2012-13 FFA State Treasurer
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Sometimes young folks set high goals and not only achieve those goals, but do so well in trying that they go beyond their original expectations. That’s what happened to Porter Township resident and Centerburg High School graduate Erin Wollett.
Wollett, a member of Centerburg High School FFA who has also been active in Condit Livestock 4-H Club, graduated from Centerburg High School last year and just finished her freshman year at Wilmington College where she’s studying agricultural education and animal science.
It was during her freshman year in high school that Wollett set a goal: she wanted to work towards becoming a state FFA officer.
Ohio FFA officers consists of the six constitutional state FFA officers: State President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Reporter, Sentinel; and 10 non-constitutional district presidents representing each of Ohio’s 10 FFA districts.
The odds are slim of getting a state FFA officer nomination, let alone being selected to fill one of the 16 positions. There are 309 FFA chapters in Ohio’s 10 districts, with over 23,000 active members.
“I’ve always been involved in FFA,” Wollett said. “In January they opened up the applications for state and district officers, so I turned in an application for District 7 and my advisor’s recommendation.”
After submitting her application, Wollett had to wait until an April 14 applicants interview session at The Ohio State University to complete the next step in the application process that included a written exam, a general interview process, a presentation followed by questions and answers, and extemporaneous speaking.
“If we scored well then we were placed on the ballot of the 10 Ohio districts,” Wollett said. “I found out on the Tuesday before the (May 3–4) State FFA Convention I was on the ballot for District 7 President.”
As the convention began, Wollett knew she was already nominated for District 7 President, and if selected that would be a goal achieved – a non-constitutional state officer. But while at the convention she found out she was also on the ballot for State Treasurer, a constitutional office.
“We found out we had two District 7 nominees for FFA State Treasurer,” Wollett said. “One of us would become State Treasurer and the other would become District 7 President. On the first day of the convention we had five minutes to prepare another extemporaneous speech, then we went onstage for a two-minute speech in front of the delegates.”
The official delegates at the State FFA Convention consist of two members of each of the 309 FFA chapters in the state of Ohio. The 618 delegates voted and, near the end of a retirement speech at the close of the second day of the convention, 2011-12 State FFA President Jessica Shanahan announced the 2012–13 Ohio FFA Officer Team; and Erin Wollett learned that she was selected to serve as 2012–13 Ohio FFA Treasurer.
The convention closed with an installation ceremony for the new officers who will serve from July 1 of this year until July 1, 2013. The 2012–13 FFA state officers have already held one team meeting, and they will meet once each month during their terms in office.
“It hasn’t really set in yet,” Wollett said during an interview last week. “I decided a long time ago that I wanted to become a state officer, and now that it’s here it’s surreal. There’s no words to describe it, but it’s a neat experience.”
Being a State FFA Officer is not just an honorary position. In addition to their monthly team meetings, state officers are responsible for a host of chapter visits in the fall and spring, there will be workshops to attend, and over the summer months state officers serve as counselors at the FFA Summer Camp’s five sessions.
“There will be a lot of opportunities and challenges being state treasurer,” Wollett said. “I know I’ll be driving a lot of miles; but I also know that I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.”
Erin Wollett said she intends to stay involved with FFA, and hopes to become an FFA advisor and Agricultural Science instructor. She is the daughter of Porter Township residents Amy and Larry Wollett.
FFA is a national organization dedicated to preparing its members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. Local, state and national activities and award programs provide opportunities to apply knowledge and skills acquired through agriculture education.
For additional information about FFA in Ohio go to < ohioffa.org >.