By Brittany Braddy, FFA Central Region State Vice President
All my life God blessed me by being able to grow up on my family’s farm, Braddy Farms. I spent many afternoons riding on combines with my dad, checking on cows with my grandpa and bagging up Vidalia Onions during harvest season. Because of this, I have learned and experienced the impact that production agriculture has on the world’s population. No matter who you are or where you come from, you use agriculturally based products everyday. I have always seen that agriculture, in this aspect, brings people together.
It wasn’t until I got to high school, though, that I was able to make a true, personal connection with the industry. Two things happened my freshman year of high school. One is that I joined the Montgomery County High School FFA Chapter and the other is that my dad, mom, sister and I began a business called 4-B Show Pigs. These two events changed my life in ways that I could have never foreseen.
As I began my high school FFA journey my advisor, Jonathan Hardeman, allowed me to compete in the FFA Creed Speaking Career Development Event. This opportunity helped me to dive into the FFA Creed and figure out what the National FFA Organization means to me. To me, the National FFA Organization means leadership, loyalty, kindness, fairness, history, opportunity, respect, hard work, knowledge, service, and happiness all through the means of agriculture. The fifth paragraph of the FFA Creed states, “I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.” I desperately wanted to live out this part of the creed.
These words were what inspired me to take charge and make the most out of not only my FFA experience, but of the agriculture industry itself. I became more involved in my local FFA chapter by running for chapter office, participating in as many career development events as I could, and building up my supervised agricultural experience.
4-B Show Pigs became the center of my supervised agricultural experience. This business focused on the breeding and raising of crossbred market and commercial show swine. My family and I spent hours together at our barn working with our sows and our show pigs. I developed a deep passion for the show pig industry and that became my niche in agriculture. I continued on with this business and my involvement in the FFA for all of my four years of high school, while each year I sought out opportunities to learn, grow, and serve in these areas of my life. I was able to serve as an Area FFA Officer, become a member of the Georgia Junior Swine Boosters Junior Advisory Board, and turn my supervised agriculture experience into a state winning FFA proficiency.
These experiences developed my passion for agriculture and the FFA which eventually lead me to my future career choice. My senior year of high school I applied to run for State FFA Office and was blessed to be announced as a Central Region State Vice-President on Saturday April 28, 2018 at Georgia's State FFA Convention. Now, I am able to continue on in my service in FFA and agriculture through this role while attending college to become an agriculture education teacher. I say all of that to say this: The role agriculture plays in my life is one that allows me to learn about the different parts of the industry, support those involved in the agricultural community, grow in my passion for service, and chase dreams I never realized I had until I was introduced to the opportunities it gave me.