In many ways, the agriculture clubs I was involved with in earlier years prepared me for a career in public relations. The Future Farmers of America and 4-H are known to the general public as agricultural clubs for youth. What some people aren’t aware of, however, is that these two organizations offer many opportunities to build leadership skills that last a lifetime; not to mention the opportunity to build strong, lasting friendships. Not only did they teach me about the agriculture industry, they taught me values to become a well-rounded person. Some of these values are directly related to PR, such as: leadership, diligence, teamwork, public speaking, event planning, event promotion as well as how to represent my chapter at the sectional level. Every single skill I learned through 4-H and FFA have helped me become who I am today, and they will certainly help me with my chosen profession in public relations.
In 4-H, I held office as president of my local club for four consecutive years. Some of my duties included: running monthly meetings, preparing paperwork for the officer team, planning community events with the officer team and representing my club at county-wide events. Each of these duties is directly in line with a PR professional’s duties. Being able to represent your client in a competing market is key to being successful.
FFA helped me immensely with my public speaking skills. I held office as Chapter Sentinel and Sectional Representative. I learned how to communicate effectively with my chapter and other officers at a sectional level. As a team, we planned events for all of Humboldt and Del Norte counties to gather together and network.
At the time, I didn’t see any correlation between my leadership positions and my future career. Now, however, I recognize that everything we did as officers prepared me for a future in PR.