FFA lays foundation for this event management student’s career goals in agriculture

Sophomore Holly Schmitt is proving how versatile the field of event management can be, one Future Farmers of America (FFA) conference at a time. Double majoring in agricultural education and event management, Schmitt hopes to one day plan conferences and conventions for an agricultural company. Thanks to her education and heavy involvement on campus, she is well-prepared for her future career.

Schmitt has always loved planning events. From family birthday parties to high school barn dances, she loves the aspect of bringing people together to bond over things they’re passionate about.

Schmitt grew up on a dairy farm in northeast Iowa where she learned the value of hard work. Coming from a family of eight children, Schmitt typically followed in her siblings’ footsteps with school activities. This is how she fell in love with FFA. Through FFA, Schmitt found a sense of community while gaining beneficial leadership and career development skills. Now, nearly five years later, Schmitt has served as the Iowa FFA Secretary and currently serves as Iowa FFA’s President, overseeing the entire state organization.

“My favorite part of FFA is the people and sense of community it has provided me. I’ve made a lot of amazing friendships through it,” said Schmitt. “Everyone who is a part of FFA is one big family–the blue jacket really ties everyone together.”

Schmitt was elected to serve as President in April 2023 and will serve through April 2024. The biggest task by far has been facilitating planning for the upcoming State FFA Conference, a three-day event taking place at Hilton Coliseum. Hundreds of students from across the state will visit the campus and participate in various activities. Schmitt and the rest of the state officers have been diligently planning out sessions, drafting scripts, creating PowerPoint presentations, contacting speakers and completing other important tasks to ensure the event runs smoothly. She served as chair for the previous year’s conference as well.

Schmitt would love to incorporate education into events she plans in the future, providing ag producers and consumers with new skills to apply to their craft.  She has enjoyed seeing how skills she’s learned in classes like AESHM 342, Aesthetics of Consumer Experience, have translated into her current activities. Schmitt recently attended the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, where she identified various event concepts she has learned about through her event management curriculum, as well.

Schmitt is grateful for the support she’s received from her advisors, both in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and The College of Human Sciences.

“They have done a great job making sure that the classes I take truly align with my individual career goals,” said Schmitt.

Schmitt is involved in Sigma Alpha agricultural sorority, St.Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Swine Production Advocates and Dairy Science Club. In her free time, she loves to swing dance and spend time with family and friends.

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