As a Missouri FFA member, Paxton Dahmer, has served the members of the Missouri FFA Association. Today, Paxton finds himself prepared to embark on a new leadership role within the National FFA Association. As the newly elected Central Region Vice President, Paxton will share his love for communication and leadership with more than 760,000 FFA members.
Dahmer says that finding a “place” in high school is a resource that FFA can provide for many high school students.
“I’m not athletic. Sports weren’t my thing; FFA was where I was able to find my place, and when I enrolled at the beginning of my high school career, I had the opportunity to get involved from the very beginning,” he says.
Freshman year, Dahmer says, is a time where many students struggle to fit in, and FFA can help to provide an outlet and resource for many.
Career Development Events (CDEs) and Leadership Development Events (LDEs) were some of Dahmer’s most cherished experiences throughout high school. Dahmer says that honing his public speaking skills weren’t something that came naturally for him, however, through LDEs, he was able to hone his speaking skills.
“I’ll be the first to admit that I was terrible at Creed Speaking; I got second to last place in the contest. I think that I probably forgot a paragraph. But I had a chance my senior to compete in a speaking contest for Missouri Pork. I really enjoyed LDEs my junior and senior years in high school,” says Dahmer.
The experiences that Dahmer was able to participate in have helped to shape his success not only in the organization but in his professional endeavors, as well.
“I was able to build connections within my community and those connections helped to build connections beyond my local community,” he says.
Those connections provided an outlet to connect with the public in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide agriculture education and outreach.
“I had interacted with Missouri Farmers Care a lot during my time as a state officer, and I was able to intern for the organization this past summer,” he shares. “When COVID-19 first hit, we were on a Zoom meeting and we were talking about the issues that were coming up in agriculture. We realized that COVID presented us with an opportunity because consumers were wanting to know where their food was coming from. For the first time, consumers were listening.”
From that initial conversation, Stand For Ag was born as a podcast focused on connecting and sharing with consumers credible resources and information.
Today, Dahmer is preparing for a year-long commitment to the National FFA Organization in Indianapolis, IN. For the first time, the entire National FFA Officer team will live in IN, to engage FFA chapters throughout the U.S. virtually.
To hear more of what Paxton’s preparation, selection for the National Officer team, as well as what his commitment to the opportunity will look like in 2021, listen here.