Jason Hommes | Staff Writer
A Central Lyon FFA student was elected to a district office position at the FFA northwest district convention at East Sac County High School in Lake View, Iowa, Saturday, March 3. The student, Kade Griesse, will be the first Central Lyon FFA student to ever serve in a district office position when he takes up the role for the 2018-2019 school year.
“It’s quite an honor,” said Griesse, a junior. Griesse ended up running against one of his friends from another school in the district and the two of them initially tied in the voting, but Griesse won the tiebreaker and was elected for the position of vice-president.
Any FFA member within the district can submit an application for a district officer position if he/she is interested. This year there were five positions that needed to be filled: vice-president, secretary, treasurer, sentinel and reporter. “After you submit your application, you go to an interview day,” explained Griesse. “I think there were 28 or 29 applications and so all of us went to the interview day. You do an individual interview that’s kind of like a job interview where they ask you a few questions about yourself, and then you do a group interview where you’re given an idea and you have 10 minutes to come up with a presentation and only five minutes to actually present it. They watch you make your presentation to see how you work within a group, and after that you take a short quiz on the knowledge of FFA. So it’s after those three steps at the interview day when you get nominated.”
After Griesse learned he’d been nominated, the next step was to prepare for the convention, where he’d be required to give a short speech and answer a couple questions before the vote. “There was actually a tie between my friend and I so we had to go back in and answer more questions,” said Griesse, who said he was a bit nervous before the speech but felt relaxed after getting through it and answering the questions he was asked. “We were told beforehand that there hadn’t been a tiebefore, but just in case there was, we’d have to go back in and answer another question. We didn’t think there was any way that it would happen but it did.”
Griesse said the additional question was one he was prepared for. “The question was ‘What would you bring to the northwest district?’ and that was a question Mr. Rockhill and I had been preparing for, so I thought I answered that question pretty well, and I ended up winning the tie. My answer was that I’m a very sociable guy and everyone has a story and I think those stories bring knowledge, and because Central Lyon has never had a district officer I explained I believe I can bring a new story, a new set of knowledge, and a new outlook on FFA that would really benefit the northwest district.”
“I knew Kade could do it,” added Josh Rockhill, the agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor at Central Lyon. “We had two other students who were running and I was extremely happy with how they all did, and Kade was lucky enough tomake it on to the ballet. Just having the opportunity to get into that spot was awesome, and he did a really good job.”
Rockhill said Griesse knew he had to be on-point with his speech and how he answered questions. “I worked with him for probably a good two weeks. Even when I’d see him in the hallway I’d ask him a question I thought he might be asked, and I’d critique him a little bit to help him improve his responses. Basically I was just giving him impromptu questions and just trying to prepare him to be ready for everything because there was no way to know what questions he’d get asked at the convention.”
Griesse has been amember of Central Lyon FFA every year he’s been in high school and said he wants to make his senior year the best one yet. “That’s really what you want to get out of it. Being a district officer will be a lot of work but it’s really quite an honor so you just kind of have to step back and just remember that it’s such a privilege to do this. You hear a lot of new stories and meet a lot of new people and that’s kind of what I want to try to take away from it.”
For Griesse, the most exciting partabout the convention was when he got to take the stage after being announced as a winner. “The stage was rocking,” he said. “You come through the tunnel and then they announce ‘And your northwest district vice-president is … ’ and there was a pause, and then when they said my name all I could do was smile because it’s quite an honor.”