Northeast of Dallas, Texas, south of Sulphur Springs, is the town of Como where the Como-Pickton FFA chapter resides. This year, one of Como-Pickton FFA’s members, Kara Tifft, was selected to serve as a Senior Texas FFA Foundation Ambassador. Along with this accomplishment, Kara has been heavily involved in the Como-Pickton FFA chapter for the last five years. Kara, along with many other students, will be attending this year's Texas FFA State Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, from July 11 to July 15.
Kara has had a lifelong passion for the western and agricultural industries. Growing up, Kara spent time with her grandfather working and riding horses on his cattle ranch.
“He was constantly teaching me the values of hard work and spending time with my horses. I learned a lot from him, and he is such a great, influential figure in my life,” Kara said. These early moments with her grandfather and her parents' dedication to the western way of life inspired Kara to take the Principles of Agriculture class in eighth grade and join her local FFA chapter.
Since then, Kara has immersed herself in the FFA and has participated in many different aspects of the organization through Leadership Development Events and Career Development Events, as well as holding the officer positions of Treasurer, Reporter, and Vice President.
“In the FFA, there are so many different areas of Agriculture,” Kara explained. “Being a part of all the different varieties of things you can do in the FFA is so essential for kids to take part in to learn and grow from. Because eventually, you’re going to wonder what path you want to take in life, and these lessons that you learn in high school FFA and agriculture will take you there.”
Not only does the FFA have many opportunities, but there is also a huge role that Agricultural teachers play in preparing students for success later in life. Since her time in the FFA, Kara has had three amazing “Ag” teachers. Mr. Bowen taught Kara welding skills and the importance of hard work and grit. “Kara is very motivated. As she set goals, she has never wavered from them, she is very determined. Kara is the kind of student that you know will be successful down the road.” Mr. Bowen said. Ms. Claxton taught Kara principles of agriculture, floral design, and public speaking skills. Lastly, Ms. Orren introduced Kara to the Texas FFA Ambassador Program.
The Texas FFA Association was chartered in 1929. Today, the FFA serves as a nationwide student-led leadership development organization for all students to prepare its members for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
The Texas FFA Ambassador program allows selected students to participate in the unique opportunity of meeting, interacting, and assisting special guests, sponsors, and other VIPs, as well as to get a behind-the-scenes experience of the Texas FFA State Convention. This program allows students to network and work alongside adults in the agricultural industry to set them up for the possibility of career opportunities in the future.
Kara plans to attend Tarleton State University when she graduates high school to get a degree in Animal Science and become a large animal veterinarian. “The relationships that I build within my internship at the ambassador program allow me the support and guidance I need in college, and I could not be more grateful,” Kara states.
The FFA allows for many opportunities to set students up for success. Kara’s advice? Join the FFA and be as involved as possible. “If you are on the fence about joining the Texas FFA, do it. Absolutely do it; take that leap because joining the FFA is going to be the best decision of your life,” Kara said. “I personally would not do anything differently except increase my involvement in the FFA. The skills you are going to gain, the lessons you will learn, and the people you will meet are going to take you so far in life.” Kara plans to continue her involvement in the FFA at the collegiate level at Tarleton State University.