FFA Talent Competitions Highlight More Than Just Ag

Macon, GA – If you can sing, play an instrument, or better yet, do both, then FFA has a spot for you. As the organization continues to improve year in and year out, so too does its annual talent show.

“The talent show began as a way for students who don’t necessarily compete in the CDEs or things such as that and they have something outside of just the normal agricultural round for them to really embrace their talents and skills that they were given and showcase those to the other students that we have,” says Sierra Milligan, National FFA Talent Coordinator.  “It allows them to be up on stage and really sing their hearts out. I can’t even describe how exciting it is. I work with the Georgia FFA Talent and I also work with the National FFA Talent and to see students not only from our state excel, but from all the states across the nation do so well. I can’t say anything other than it’s amazing.”

Amazing definitely describes this young lady. Victoria James is a Senior at Pataula Charter Academy in Edison, Georgia and tells me she’s a small-town girl with big world dreams. Victoria says she started singing in the 5th grade and has had a passion for music ever since. One of her biggest fans is her FFA advisor, Kitty Bodiford.

“I’ve always believed that there was something in agriculture or FFA for everyone regardless of their background, regardless of their career choice and this is an example of that,” says Kitty Bodiford, Advisor with Pataula Charter Academy. “Something that I’ve always been able to do is encourage students who I know have talent and push them towards this and that’s why I’ve had so many kids participate in it. It gives those kids that have a little something extra an opportunity to pursue music or to pursue that side of FFA.”

As far as experience, Victoria certainly had the edge in this year’s competition. That’s because as recently as October she was front and center on a much larger scale as in the National FFA show in Indianapolis.

“It was nerve racking at first, I’m not going to lie,” says Victoria James, a senior at Pataula Charter Academy. “That was my biggest crowd. Just the Lord was over me, I couldn’t do it without him and just seeing the crowd with me, FFA is the best crowd you can ever sing in front of.”

Like Victoria, Pickens High School freshmen Emma Long also shared the spotlight in Indianapolis. When asked how the talent competition has benefited her FFA experience, Emma says it’s taught her more about stage presence than anything and has even helped her with public speaking engagements.

“What it does for someone like me, is if you do want to pursue a career maybe in the performing arts industry, it helps you learn more about how you are as a performer, because it’s like anything else, you have your own style the way you do things. My style of performer is, I like to talk to the crowd, I like to get them involved,” says Emma Long, a freshman at Pickens High School.

“So, we definitely gotten some more support which I am thankful for that,” says Milligan. “I want to thank all of our sponsors that do sponsor the talent competition and we have some really great people who back us, and I foresee the future growing even further.”

By: Ray D’Alessio