By: Brittany Hansen, Co-Reporter

On April 5th and 6th, Erin Cantrell, currently a senior and serving as the 2016-2017 Treasurer for the Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Chapter and a VS FFA officer team went down to Ankeny, Iowa to run for State Office.

A State FFA officer is a position of leadership and it is an elected post and they are responsible for providing leadership and direction over the year. Officer duties consist of but are not limited to: motivating members, promoting the organization, act as a goodwill ambassador with the public, to give direction to the work of the organization, and perform all tasks necessary.

State officers also have to have their Iowa Degree, must be a senior in high school, or graduated because the responsibilities to be a state officer is very extensive.

For Erin it was a very long process to be able to run and prepare for it. Erin spent about a month practicing and preparing for the interviews, researching topics, and writing speeches. She had at least nine different practice interviews around the community. “I especially enjoyed getting to practice some of my speeches in front of the Vinton Lions Club,” said Erin.

The speeches have consisted of 5 different agricultural issues including two to three cited facts about the topic. “My favorite topics to talk about were soil conservation, water quality, and the use of ethanol.” -Erin.

She had to go through seven different rounds of interviews, a multiple choice test, a three minute speech, written essay, and a teamwork activity while she was in Ankeny. Even though she did not make ballot, there was much more than just getting on that ballot; it was about the experiences she had gone through. She gained skills in speaking and interviewing that she can use throughout her lifetime. She met so many people through this and many she will spend time with next fall at Iowa State University. “I would say it’s one of the best things I have had the opportunity to do in my high school career.”- Erin. This takes a lot of time, preparing, patience, and confidence to be able to do this.

Congratulations to Erin for running!!