FFA: Planting seeds for leadership

Humboldt senior Garren Goodner started his FFA journey with a horticulture class. He enjoys the leadership skills he's learned from the organization.


Local News

February 23, 2024 - 3:58 PM

Garren Goodner Photo by Sarah Haney / Iola Register

Humboldt senior Garren Goodner’s journey into the world of FFA began his freshman year when he enrolled in a horticulture class. Little did he know that this initial step would sow the seeds for a passion for agriculture and leadership. 

“My favorite part of FFA has been being able to be a leader,” said Goodner. “It’s a fun experience to have, going to all the competitions and learning from it, gaining valuable skills along the way.” 

Goodner currently serves s president of the Humboldt chapter.

Reflecting on his early days in FFA, Goodner fondly recalled nurturing plants and tending to his own garden. 

“During the spring of my freshmen year, I was able to plant whatever seeds I brought in and I was able to make a garden at my house,” he said. “I was even able to give my neighbors a few of the plants.”

Goodner’s FFA curriculum has been as diverse as it has been enriching. From delving into horticulture and animal science to mastering the art of welding in ag mechanics, he has embraced each challenge. 

“In animal science last year we learned about various meats and how to judge them. At judging contests we’d learn what good livestock is, “ he said. “That’ll be helpful if I ever decide to start a farm.”

Even though he has enjoyed every course he has taken through FFA, welding has been Goodner’s favorite. “You can really see yourself progress and get better as you go,” he noted.

His FFA journey is marked by a series of accolades and accomplishments, from clinching third place in creed speaking during his freshman year to assuming roles such as greenhand officer and reporter in subsequent years. 

“We have an FFA creed and the creed speaking competition is judged on how confidently you can say it — your tone of voice, your pace, and how well you know it,” he explained. He added that each role he has served in has provided him with unique opportunities to grow and develop.

After graduation, Goodner plans to continue his studies at Kansas State University to pursue business management.

But before he leaves town, Goodner has some advice to incoming freshmen. 

“I’d absolutely recommend FFA to freshmen,” he said. “It’s not as scary as people think it is — you’re just in there to have fun, learn a few things. There are a lot of valuable skills that you’ll keep for the rest of your life.”

As he sets his sights on a horizon of possibilities, one thing remains certain — the seeds of success in leadership that Goodner has planted within FFA will continue to bear fruit for years to come.