LINDALE, Texas (KETK) – High school FFA students are given the opportunity to run for officer positions, and the highest position in Texas is the Texas State FFA officer team. Jacqueline Rand from Lindale is one of the eleven who were voted in.

“We were all so excited to be there, we love each other so much and it’s truly a life-changing experience, just getting into office,” said Jacqueline Rand, Texas FFA State Officer Team, Lindale High School Graduate.

Growing up she was always around the FFA while her mother was an ag teacher and in high school, she decided to give the organization a try. Now she gets the chance to help future members see how great agriculture can be.

“Our main job is just to be a friend to the members, encourage them in all their endeavors, and just be a representative for them and their voices on the state level,” said Rand.

Rand represents not only Lindale but all of Texas. She will have the opportunity to speak to the growing amount of FFA students around the United States.

“The last few years our membership has continued to grow, which is really interesting when you think about it, because a lot of times when people hear of FFA, they think about farming and think it’s a dying industry,” said Kristy Meyer, Communication Manager, National FFA Organization.

It’s a big year for the national organization as they have seen an 11 percent growth rate and are close to reaching 1 million members.

“In the next five, ten, 15 years, we hope to continue growing our membership and really bringing agricultural education to more members for them to understand how important this is in everyday life and really help them become the new producers and the next generation of leaders for us all,” said Meyer.

Rand is excited to watch the FFA continue to get bigger and to have the opportunity to meet new people.

“FFA has definitely been a source of true camaraderie for me, I always tell people I’ve been in several different organizations, but there’s just no true understanding and fellowship that you get from your fellow FFA members,”  said Rand.

For now, she is attending Baylor University while completing her responsibilities on the state officer team, but she left future and current FFA members with this piece of advice.

“Just be yourself, be open to people’s opinions and always be willing to grow,”  said Rand.

Rand added that the Texas State Officer Team will be traveling around the state to speak at local schools, and if any East Texas FFA chapters are interested they can reach out to the Texas FFA Association.