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Josh Earll is new Iowa FFA President

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 05/13/2013 2:34 PM

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DES MOINES — Josh Earll, an Iowa State University freshman majoring in agricultural education, is the new Iowa FFA president.

"I'm very excited," Earll said. "I'm honored. This is an exciting time for FFA and agriculture."

Earll admits it's a little overwhelming. Since Tuesday night when the new officers were announced at the conclusion of the Iowa FFA Leadership Conference at ISU in Ames, he's been doing news media interviews and trying to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, text messages and telephone calls.

Earll succeeds friend Steven Brockshus. Both are members of the Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA Chapter where Earll's father, Mike, is the FFA advisor and agricultural education teacher. His mother, Mary, is a librarian at Sibley-Ocheyedan.

Steven's younger brother, Dylan, also from Sibley-Ocheyedan, was elected Northwest Iowa vice president, the post Earll previously held.

"The last time Iowa had back to back presidents from the same FFA chapter was in the 1980s," Earll said.

Earll is especially excited for his father, who will retire at the end of the school year.

"It's a good farewell for him,'' he said. "My dad has been my hero as I've gone through life. He is always there for me, and definitely understands. He was a past state officer, and my FFA advisor, so he really understands what I am going through. He is always calm, and seems to guide me on the right path."

He hopes to see continued growth in FFA membership in the coming year. The organization has roughly 13,400 members in Iowa, which is the fourth all-time high.

"I also hope to see FFA and ag education expand to more high schools," Earll said. "My main vision is to affect as many high school FFA members as possible."

Earll's career goals are to be an auctioneer, Realtor, and appraiser in northwest Iowa and build his family's farm.

His Supervised Agricultural Experience is Beef Production – Entrepreneurship. He started with smaller livestock, and eventually moved his way up to cattle. He now specializes in cow/calf pairs.

He said that the most important skill his SAE has taught him is management.

"Buying and selling cattle is a huge part of my business, and I need to buy or sell at the right time," Earll said. "While managing my time, I manage the amount of feed my cattle get, when the calves get weaned off the cow, and when to vaccinate."

For Earll FFA means endless opportunities.

"When I was a freshman in high school, I had no aspirations of being a state officer," Earll said. "I hoped to play college football. But as I got into FFA and saw all the benefits and gained new friends, my passion for football changed to FFA.

Other Iowa FFA officers are Reporter Brad Pickhinke of East Sac FFA, Secretary Abrah Meyer of Wapsie Valley FFA, and state vice presidents Lauren Weirup of DeWitt-Central FFA, Southeast; James Leonard of Newton FFA, South Central; Logan Kelly of the Coon Rapids-Bayard FFA, Southwest; Tony Moellers of North Fayette FFA, Northeast; Trey Forsyth of Charles City, North Central; and Dylan Brockshus of Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA, Northwest.