The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Apr. 15, 2021

Snyder enjoys tenure as state FFA officer

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Although it’s been a year of COVID-related challenges, with few of the in-person events and interactions she enjoys best, FFA State Sentinel Victoria Snyder said it has still been a most rewarding experience.

State FFA Sentinel Victoria Snyder in her FFA jacket made right here in Van Wert by Universal Lettering. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

“If I could take anything away (from the experience), it’s probably being adaptable,” said the 2020 Lincolnview High School graduate, who sat down for an interview Friday during National FFA Week. “From a skills aspect, public speaking (and) being a good listener.”

Snyder, the only FFA state officer in memory from Lincolnview, said there are a number of requirements that must be met to become one of the 11 state officers. Those interested must have their state FFA degree and run for a state position no later than the first state convention following graduation from high school and no earlier than their junior year in high school. 

State officer candidates must also fill out and submit an application that, among other things, includes their major FFA leadership activities and offices, write and record a speech of a minimum of 350 words on “Why I Desire to Serve as an Ohio FFA Officer”, submit a signed copy of the Ohio FFA Officer Commitment Form, undergo an interview and a test on FFA and agriculture knowledge, and write two letters to sponsors.

Snyder credits her advisor, Lincolnview vocational agriculture teacher Jordan Dues of Lincolnview, and Crestview FFA and vo-ag teacher Ericka Priest for getting her through the process.

There are actually six state officer positions: a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, reporter, and sentinel, and five at-large vice president positions. Snyder, as sentinel, is the doorkeeper for state FFA meetings and is responsible for making sure the meeting area and any items needed for the meeting are ready. During an in-person meeting, Snyder also acts as a sergeant-at-arms to assist the president in maintaining order.

Although the Lincolnview grad said she has enjoyed her tenure as a state officer, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in some substantial changes to the experience.

“As the beginning, we obviously didn’t know what the year was going to look like, since everything was crazy,” Snyder said, adding that there was no state convention, where state officers are usually sworn in, while many other in-person events and meetings were held virtually because of health concerns.

To help her learn her new duties, Snyder attended FFA camp and met the other 10 state officers in preparation for assuming their new duties. During the past year, she has attended summits on various topics, some in-person and some virtual, and has worked with teachers on virtual workshops for students.

Although her dad, Lincolnview Superintendent Jeff Snyder, was also in FFA when he was a student at Lincolnview in the 1980s, Snyder didn’t have an ag background when she decided to join FFA, the largest student-led organization in the country, as a freshman. She did, however, already have an interest in agriculture in general, and swine in particular, which came after she was invited to a neighbor’s swine confinement barn. It was love at first sight as she saw thousands of cute little piglets running around, and eventually became a vocational interest as well after she learned more about swine, one of the most intelligent animals on the planet.

“They are very, very smart,” Snyder said, while adding that pigs are also one of the cleanest farm animals, being careful to separate the space where they sleep from the area they use as a restroom. Although they do cover themselves with mud in hot weather, Snyder said that was keep themselves cool, since they don’t sweat.

Swine also have distinct personalities, she noted. “It’s funny to see how different they all are with me.”

Snyder is currently a freshman at The Ohio State University majoring in animal science, with a minor in meat science. She also thinks she may want to be a butcher when she graduates, noting she has helped with butchering animals and found the process interesting.

As a side note, Snyder said was able to have an experience most FFA members don’t when she had the opportunity to watch employees at Universal Lettering in Van Wert — the company that makes FFA jackets — stitch the lettering on her personal jacket.

Meanwhile, she is enjoying the remainder of her term as state sentinel and is currently pondering whether she wants to run for state FFA president for the coming year. Regardless of whether she decides to run for state president, Snyder said she has very much enjoyed serving the approximately 2,600 Ohio FFA members over the past year, talking to them, and receiving their input and ideas.

POSTED: 02/27/21 at 1:56 am. FILED UNDER: News