FFA has given Isaac Miller even more appreciation for agriculture.

“FFA has only strengthened how much I love agriculture.  There is no other place I can be as close to agriculture as when I’m farming,” said the Spring Valley-Wykoff FFA member who joined five years ago.

The Kingsland junior explained he decided to become part of the global organization to learn more about agriculture in general, besides just what he can learn on his family’s farm. 

“I like the fact that you work alongside people who are also passionate about agriculture,” he said.  “You meet new people, learn new skills and learn in committees and teams with people.”

He’s served on several committees during his years in FFA.  He’s also part of the ag mechanics career development event (CDE), and is now serving as chapter vice president.

“The most important thing about FFA is that it allows people from farms or towns to become better educated about agriculture, which is the source of their food.  People can have a much better appreciation from where their food comes from,” said Miller.

He credited his FFA experience with broadening his education. 

“FFA is extremely important to me.  It has allowed me to develop skills that I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” he said. “I know I would have missed out on a lot of opportunities to become a more skilled person in general if I hadn’t participated in FFA.  My education has been improved by FFA because I’m learning skills that wouldn’t develop nearly as well if I had just gone to school.  Leadership skills, communication, cooperation, and knowledge of agriculture are just a few skills that are emphasized at a much greater level in FFA than in a formal education.” 

His supervised ag experience (SAE) is working on the family farm now, which has kept him busy dealing with everyday problems that creep up in a farming operation. 

“Solving problems, like cattle getting out, has taught me to deal with unexpected situations and fix them,” he said. 

Plus, with FFA, he’s had the opportunity to travel, tour and meet people.  He has been to the University of Minnesota campus in the Twin Cities, which gave him a good idea of where he might be going to school someday.

Miller knows that he’s got farming in his future so a lot of the skills he’s developed in FFA can also be used on the farm.  The skills range from communication skills to mechanical skills he’s gained through being on the ag mechanics team. 

“I would like to become a large animal vet and also farm. I love working with animals, especially cattle.  I also love science,” said Miller.  “I would like to farm because I’ve grown up working on our farm, and I’d like to continue that work and also grow our business in the future.  In case the farm doesn’t do very well one year, I’ll have an off-farm job to fall back on in case things get rough.  My skills as a veterinarian will also transfer over to the beef side of our farm, so my two jobs will complement each other.”   

His work on the farm and his FFA education will provide him with a foundation for his college career. 

“Colleges look at the extracurricular activities and take into great consideration what you’ve been involved with. FFA is a well-known organization that definitely looks good on a college application,” he added. “I now pick learning opportunities that match my goals.  I will pick courses in college that follow my goal of becoming a vet.”

He has few regrets about his decision to join FFA, save one missed opportunity. 

“If I could start FFA over, I would.  I wouldn’t change much about my experience except turning in an officer application for my sophomore year,” he said. “I think it’s important that I stay involved in FFA after graduation because I have been through the hoops and can help the younger kids have better and more informed experiences in FFA.  If you’re a student and you aren’t involved in FFA, you’re wasting potential.  If you’re in FFA, get involved and you won’t regret it.”