On Nov. 15, a reception was held at Florida Farm Bureau headquarters in Gainesville to honor Florida FFA’s Victoria Harris’s election as National FFA Secretary. Harris is the 23rd national officer from the state of Florida and only the third female national officer ever from our state.
Harris had to endure an arduous selection process. She was selected to represent the state of Florida after submitting an essay and completing an interview. Then she practiced with many mock interviews before the process culminated in October at the National FFA Convention.
“It’s five days of really intense interviews and practicums,” Harris stated. “They test you doing facilitations with ten students. They watch you do an impromptu speech. Your entire week is focused on doing your best for a nominating committee.”
The final round is different. Harris said it was just her and the nominating committee, sitting in a circle. No rubrics or score sheets. They ask three questions and she had no problems with the first two.
For the third question, they asked her “If you’re not selected as a national officer, what are you most excited for?”
“This was a hard question,” Harris said. “This six-month journey has been all culminating to hopefully get my name called. But as I was sitting there, all I could think about was this community. It was the people in this room who made my journey and my FFA experience worthwhile. I knew sitting there that if I returned as a national officer, or simply a candidate, that I would be equally loved and supported.”
That piece of mind obviously worked for Harris as she was notified two days later of her selection as National FFA Secretary.
For the next 11 months, she will be stationed at the National FFA Center in Indianapolis and travel to roughly 35 different states.
She will spend the majority of her time at state FFA conventions, camps and conferences. The remainder of her time will be spent meeting with industry representatives, planning conferences, speaking with legislators and learning more about U.S. agriculture.
Harris had one final message for the audience at her reception: “I’d like to thank you as sincerely and as deeply as I can for consistently being there for me and I can’t wait to share your stories and your experiences and the way you’ve molded me this year as a national officer.”
Read more about Victoria Harris in the 2017 Jan/Feb issue of FloridAgriculture.