FFA chief tours Lakeside program 

Pictured at center is Josiah Cruikshank, the National FFA western region Vice President. He visited Lakeside while in Louisiana to get a hands-on look at what the school is doing regarding FFA. Also pictured, from left, are the school’s officers. Lila Jo Walker, Modrick Franklin, Jaiden Beck, Lauren Williamson, Cruikshank, April McClain, Kendall Richardson, Bailey Mangrum, and Lakeside FFA sponsor and Agriculture teacher Mr. Josh Utley. 

By Josh Beavers 

When Josiah Cruikshank, the National FFA western region Vice President, called the Louisiana main office and said he wanted to visit a school FFA chapter, the office directed him to one place in particular. 

That’s how Cruikshank, on a tour of the southern United States from his home office in Oregon, found himself in Sibley last week and down at Lakeside speaking to students about the importance of agriculture and the values that FFA instills in its members.

“I am honored that of all the schools he could have come to, he selected Lakeside,” Lakeside agriculture teacher Josh Utley told the Journal. “FFA is so important to our students and we want more and more young people to see the value of becoming members of this organization.”

FFA stands for Future Farmers of America, but FFA is not just for students who want to be production farmers; FFA also welcomes members who aspire to careers as teachers, doctors, scientists, business owners and more. 

“The focus of FFA is about helping instill the values of hard work, self-reliance, self-discipline and leadership,” Utley said. “FFA is about helping students achieve personal growth and career success through agricultural education.”

Cruikshank was impressed with what he saw at Lakeside. 

“I’ve logged over 50,000 airline miles and visited at least 20 states and nine state FFA conventions,” he said of his time in his position. “It is fun to travel from place to place and see what FFA looks like in different regions of the nation.”