Ryan Peterson chosen as national FFA officer

Published 8:44 pm Thursday, November 24, 2005

By By NORMA LERNER / Edwardsburg Argus
NILES - Twenty-year-old Ryan Peterson, a Brandywine High School graduate and a sophomore at Michigan State University, recently learned the value of seizing an opportunity.
Ryan is one of six individuals elected to hold a national office from a field of 37 candidates. He will be helping to lead a 490,017 member organization as a National FFA Eastern Region Vice President.
Peterson is the son of Rick and Nancy Peterson of 787 Peterson Road, Niles, who operate a beef steer farm. For years Ryan has shown beef in open shows and at the Cass County Fair where he captured the title of grand champion beef showman and also showed hogs.
In his national role, Peterson will log more than 100,000 miles to meet with FFA members, agriculture teachers and FFA supporters as well as top business, government and education leaders in approximately 40 states. He will also participate in an international experience tour to Japan. His responsibilities will include providing personal growth and leadership training for students, setting policies and promoting agricultural literacy, according to a news release from the National FFA Organization.
The national FFA officer selection process is intense and includes a rigorous assessment of each candidate's years of academic and extracurricular accomplishments. Nominees must first qualify at the state level, then an in-depth application is submitted to the national organization.
As an FFA member, Peterson was named chapter star farmer and was a member of state champion agricultural issues and parliamentary procedure career development event teams. For his supervised agricultural experience, he raised and sold market steers and hogs, performed welding repairs and maintenance duties on his family's farm. He also provided concrete landscaping for homes and businesses in his area.
At MSU, Peterson is majoring in agribusiness management and is a member of the MSU Rodeo Club, the Farm House Fraternity and the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources Undergraduate Leadership Development Committee. This means his education will be put on hold for a year since he will be reporting in December to the National FFA office in Indianapolis for training.
Peterson's Cassopolis chapter FFA advisor is Carrie George.