Contact Hope:

Hope Showalter

State Reporter

Turner Ashby FFA Chapter



My SAE program is placement in Ag Communications. Over the past four years, I have been involved in the school yearbook. Through being involved in this program, I combined my love for journalism and agriculture by promoting FFA throughout the pages, which was a rare subject in past yearbooks. Through what I’ve learned by being involved in agriculture and yearbook, I have also been able to use my skills in the Ag Communications CDE. My team and I placed first at last year’s state convention, and I won high individual. At National Convention, we placed silver as a team and individually. Additionally, through this SAE, I have been able to network with many people and “agvocate” in my community. I have received various opportunities to participate in TV and radio. This year, I got to promote FFA during National FFA Week and I’ve been on the local radio for the past 2 years to promote National Convention and share our chapter’s accomplishments. In my opinion, journalism and agriculture go hand-in-hand  because someone needs to spread the truth about agriculture instead of just watching consumers believe the false information spread by organizations such as PETA. I chose Ag Communications as my SAE because I believe that this is where I have been able to have the largest impact on my community and school, as well as see the most growth in my leadership and public speaking skills.

 Favorite CDE or LDE:

My favorite CDE was the Marketing Plan CDE. It was the first contest that I ever competed in, and we won the State Contest! In this CDE, participants develop and present a marketing plan for a current agricultural product, supply or service. When I was younger, I hated the idea of speaking in front of people, especially when I was going to be judged. This contest opened my eyes to a wide variety of the opportunities that exist within the ag industry that aren’t just production agriculture. I was also able to gain a lot of skills that will continue to help me such as public speaking, interview skills, and creating a thought out plan and presentation. Mainly, this contest holds a special place in my heart because it was my very first FFA contest.

My favorite FFA memory:

I still remember my first National FFA Convention and Expo. At the first session, I was amazed at all of the blue corduroy jackets that surrounded me! I had never seen so many people dressed the same and wanting to celebrate a similar passion. I could feel the excitement and love that was radiating off of FFA members throughout the streets of Indianapolis. That experience changed my life. I was so interested in learning why so many people of different backgrounds from all over the United States were able to find common ground through agriculture. My first National FFA Convention and Expo changed the way that I looked at agriculture, and helped me to find my passion and continue to pursue my dreams!

My future plans are:

I always knew that I wanted to teach in some capacity. For a long time, I wanted to follow in my mom’s footsteps and teach preschool special education. Once I started taking ag classes and joined FFA in ninth grade, I realized that I definitely wanted to pursue something agriculture related. I’ve decided that I want to continue being involved with FFA by becoming an ag teacher and FFA advisor. I plan to attend Virginia Tech next year to major in Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education with an emphasis in Ag Education. After graduating from Tech, I plan to attend West Virginia University to receive my Master’s degree in Ag Education. Though my plans aren’t likely to change all that much, I am excited to see more opportunities that may arise for my future!

One Interesting Fact about Me:

I didn’t come from an agricultural background. The most exposure that I had to agriculture were the few times that I visited my grandpa’s poultry houses and our beehives at my house. When I joined my ag classes in ninth grade, I was exposed to all of the great opportunities that exist within the agriculture industry! (There are a lot!!) My advice to anyone who feels as though agriculture isn’t something they are interested in, take another look. There are so many different career paths that you can take to still have an impact on the industry.

The Virginia FFA Association is a resource and support organization that does not select, control or supervise local chapter or individual member activities.Educational materials and resources are developed by FFA in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education as a service to local agricultural education agencies. The Virginia FFA Association affirms its belief in the value of all human beings and seeks diversity in its membership, leadership and staff as an equal opportunity employer.