The 25,000-member Oklahoma FFA is being led by a 19-year-old Cherokee citizen.
Garrett Reed, a sophomore at Oklahoma State University from Locust Grove, Oklahoma, says it’s important for Cherokee youth to aim for leadership roles.
“It’s very important to continue to keep our younger generations of Cherokees well rounded in leadership positions to ensure we are prepared to defend and define our tribe in the future,” Reed said. “FFA truly helped me grow as a person and made me step outside my comfort zone. The leadership training I have received will continue to help me in whatever I do because it has given me a hard work ethic and sense of responsibility.”
Reed was elected as the state FFA president after giving a speech at the 88th Oklahoma FFA Convention in Oklahoma City this past April.
He previously served as the 2013-14 northeast district vice president before winning the office of state president. Reed is majoring in agribusiness with a pre-law option and wants to continue working in the agricultural industry.
While in office, Reed and his officer team are promoting a new program to supply FFA member-raised beef and pork to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
He has challenged every FFA chapter in the state to donate at least one animal this year to the programs to help provide nutritious food to those in need.
“The Cherokee people have a rich history as skilled agriculture experts, and we are proud to see a committed Cherokee student assume the top leadership position in the state FFA organization. Garrett’s drive and passion will fuel the Oklahoma FFA’s important message of agricultural education in the coming year,” said Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden.
FFA develops leadership and encourages personal growth and career success through agricultural education. It has more than 500,000 members nationwide and 25,000 members statewide between the ages of 12 and 21.
Reed’s term as president ends in April 2015. Reed graduated from Locust Grove High School in 2013 and is a Gates Millennium Scholar. He recently was named one of OSU’s Top 20 Freshmen and is a finalist for the OSU Top 10 Freshmen list. He previously served two terms on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council, one of those terms as president.
Reed was accepted into the academic honor societies Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Alpha Lambda and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He is a member of the Farm House Fraternity at OSU.
For more information on the FFA, visit FFA.org.