Agribusiness major named national FFA president
In middle school, Brian Walsh was a shy kid with limited experience in the world of agriculture. All that changed when he donned the coveted blue FFA jacket worn by so many of his friends.
As soon as Walsh joined his school’s FFA chapter, he began to flourish, taking leadership roles in the organization and finding a home among the young agricultural enthusiasts.
FFA — which provides leadership, personal growth, and career success training through agricultural education — not only helped pull Walsh out of his shell, it put him on the national stage.
Walsh was recently elected president of the National FFA Organization, a prestigious role that makes him the chief motivator of 579,000 FFA students across the country.
“I never expected this in a million years,” said Walsh of Woodstock, Va., a sophomore majoring in agribusiness and minoring in leadership and social change. “FFA has a unique way of developing people and bringing them out of their own skin. I found a place where I was at home and connected with people who cared about me and wanted me to grow.”
He will spend the next year traveling nearly 150,000 miles in more than 40 states as he meets with CEOs of major agricultural businesses, interacts with high-level politicians in Washington, D.C., advocates for industry, and, perhaps most importantly, inspires the next generation of agricultural leaders.
“Brian understands who he is, and he knows how to communicate effectively with others,” said Andy Seibel, Virginia FFA state specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education. “In my opinion, his character is what truly sets him apart from his peers.”