Lyle Logemann, an agricultural education major at Eastern New Mexico University, was elected by delegates throughout the United States to serve as the western region vice president on the 2019-20 National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Officer team.
As one of six students on the team, Lyle will commit a year of service to the National FFA Organization, traveling more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public and more.
The ENMU student shares what the role of western region vice president means to him.
How long have you been involved in FFA? How did you become involved with the organization?
I have been an active member of FFA for about eight years. My first experience in FFA began around the time that I took "Intro to Agricultural Education" with my high school science teacher Vigo Torske. I became involved in this organization primarily because of my first Ag teacher, Mr. Rod Savage, who saw potential in my abilities as a student at a young age and convinced me that FFA was a good fit for me since I was not interested in being an athlete.
What was the process for becoming the FFA western region vice president?
The selection process first begins at the state level. Each state selects an individual candidate to represent them at the national level. The eligibility to run requires that you be selected by your state, possess your American FFA Degree and turn in the application by the deadline. The process is quite extensive and requires an individual to be well versed in a wide variety of areas, not only limited to FFA but agricultural education as a whole. I was selected from a pool of nine candidates who ran from the western region. This was the largest pool of candidates in over sixteen years to run, which amounts to 44 states being represented at the national level.
What are your duties as vice president?
As national officers, we represent the face of the organization. We travel over 100,000 miles in one year, visit thirty or more states and even travel to Japan for an international experience. While visiting the states that we travel to, we present workshops centered around professional development, leadership and agricultural literacy. We also give keynotes and speak to a variety of different students, Ag Teachers, sponsors and parents who all have an interest in FFA or who would like to. Our mission as National Officers is to guide, influence and impact the people that we come in contact with, which inspires them to attain premier leadership, personal growth and career success. We also host several conferences and attend state conventions, seminars, state fairs and FFA camps in individual states.
What are your goals as vice president?
I am an American Patriot through and through, and I am also a very traditional person who loves the heritage of this organization. I have three main goals as a national officer, and that is to help students build character, train for useful citizenship and foster patriotism among themselves and those that they come in contact with. My hope is to inspire students to act in their community and value the sacrifice of those who have fought and died for our freedom. My desire is to help students understand that we as Americans did not buy freedom with blood, we rented it, and we are still making payments. My desire is to inspire students to take action in our country and stand up and be counted as its future leaders.
What does being elected mean to you?
Being elected national western region vice-president is the opportunity of a lifetime. It has been four years since New Mexico has had a National FFA Officer, so I am proud to represent my home state at the national level. This opportunity means that I will be able to interact with thousands of people who are just as passionate as I am about agricultural education and the future success that it has. FFA has provided me a corridor to pursue my interests. I could not have done it without the dedicated Ag teachers in New Mexico, and also those who work day in and day out for this industry and try to make a living. Being a national officer means that I have the opportunity to use my voice for the industry of agriculture and also help students find their own voice and talents for their individual interests.
Which part of being vice president are you looking forward to the most?
I am most looking forward to interacting and meeting with members across the nation who are taking part in what FFA has to offer. We are the largest student lead organization in the United States that comprises about 700,000 FFA members in 50 states and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Each member has a story to tell, and although I will not be able to interact with all of them, I still have the opportunity to meet many of them and hear about the talents and interests regarding their future goals. I look forward to making lifelong friends and making memories that I will never forget.
What is your advice to students looking to join FFA or be part of its leadership team?
My advice to members revolves around four specific rules:
- Never try to be better than anyone else.
- Learn from others.
- Never cease to be the best that you can be.
- There are three ways to be a leader; the first is by example, the second in by example and the third is by example.
If a member can follow these principles that they will have no problem doing well in life if they couple these principles with hard, diligent work.
Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in the Portales/Clovis area. The high plains is where I call home. My father, Bill Logemann, was a horse trainer and cattle hauler. My mother, Sharon Logemann, is a banker. My grandfather Travis Nuckols is a commission cattle buyer, and my grandmother Joanne Nuckols is a retired school teacher. My interest in agriculture did not develop until my entrance into FFA. Although I had been raised around agriculture, I did not gain an interest for it until I joined FFA and learned about the opportunities that are available for professional development. In high school, I worked for a farmer/rancher who operates south of Portales on a cow calf operation and grows wheat and alfalfa for animal forage. When I started college at ENMU, I took an interest in livestock sale barns and have worked previously at Clovis Livestock Auction and Roswell Livestock Auction. I would say that I grew up with an Ag background, but it did not come into focus until I joined FFA.
Why did you choose your field of study?
I am an agricultural education major at ENMU, and I am a junior. If it were not for my three high school agricultural instructors, Rod Savage, Chris Flanagan and Bryan Mitchell, I would not be where I am today. They were my teachers, coaches, mentors and heroes while I was in high school, and I spend more time in the Ag shop than any other classroom because that is where I felt that my talents could most potentially be developed. I have personally seen what FFA does for kids, and I want to reciprocate my Ag teacher's investment by also influencing students who enter my future classroom. I am going to be an Ag teacher because of the influence that my Ag teachers had on me.
How has your time at ENMU helped you prepare for your role as vice president?
ENMU has been a great place to attend school. You will not find a better community, and Dr. Swafford [assistant professor of agriculture education] has been a Godsend. He has turned the department around and has made it an engaging and successful program. Students feel welcome and challenged at the same time to be the best that they can be. Since I grew up in Portales, I knew that ENMU would be a great place for an undergrad because I already knew the community and knew that I could also work while attending college. ENMU is about students, and that is what is important. ENMU has helped me because it is determined to see students reach high achievement. Many of the people that I went to high school with and also the surrounding high schools with are still great friends of mine. What makes ENMU so great is that it provides a family atmosphere, and being the homebody that I am, I gravitate towards that family atmosphere.
Which organizations are you a member of at ENMU?
ENMU Educators Rising, ENMU Collegiate Farm Bureau
What do you hope to pursue as a career?
I intend to finish my undergrad at Eastern New Mexico University by attaining a degree in agricultural education and pursue a master's degree in agricultural education from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. I intend to teach agricultural education at the high school level.