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By: Texas FFA
May 13, 2013

Values. Ethics. Leadership. What are these things? Although these concepts are frequently mentioned, do we really understand what they mean, as well as how they affect the FFA and agricultural industry?

For the past four years the Texas FFA Association has made a commitment to provide its members an education in ethics and values-based leadership. In 2010, a partnership was formed with the Soderquist Center for Ethical Leadership to train former FFA members so they would be able to educate students through interactive presentations at State Leadership Conference, Area Camps, District Camps, etc.

This year, we have three dynamic individuals who have been selected as the 2013 Ethical Leadership Fellows. They have made a commitment to their job, and are excited to work with you this upcoming summer and fall!

The 2013 Texas FFA Ethical Leadership Fellows have a few words to share.

Dean Black – Past State FFA Officer – Texas Tech University
“Hello, Texas FFA! My name is Dean Black. I am a 23-year-old master’s of agricultural education student at Texas Tech University. As a recent graduate of Texas Tech University, achieving an undergraduate degree in agricultural communications, I have truly recognized the importance of my involvement in the Texas FFA Association.

While serving as a Texas FFA Vice-President in 2008-2009, I worked to promote agricultural education and FFA by providing service to over 65,000 FFA members statewide. Though I have served as an officer on the chapter, district, area, state, and collegiate levels, effective principles of leadership remain the same. Within my experience, it is the concept of ethics and values based leadership that rises to the forefront when considering the possibility of leaving an everlasting impact wherever you go.

It is with a great deal of excitement that I begin my appointment as a Texas FFA Ethical Leadership Fellow. The program offers a unique opportunity for Texas FFA members to receive instruction on the importance of ethical leadership, equipping participants with skills necessary to succeed as leaders well beyond the realm of FFA. It is my personal goal that all Texas FFA members begin to practice their own abilities as ethical leaders. Along with my team, I will work to strengthen the relation between ethics and leadership in this grand organization.”

Heston Heller – Past State FFA Officer – Texas A&M University
“Howdy y’all. My name is Heston Heller. I am a Past State Officer from the Area II Association and the 2011-2012 team, studying agricultural systems management at Texas A&M University. This organization has given me so many great opportunities that I cannot wait to give back and do my part in continuing the success of the Texas FFA.

FFA taught me many aspects of agriculture, leadership and promoting, which you hold dear to your heart. I took these qualities and helped start an organization at Texas A&M called Farmers Fight to promote the positive principles and values of agriculture to those who do not already know. Through Farmers Fight I learned one main concern of those not directly involved with agriculture is the farmer’s ethics. After observing this, I know that being an Ethical Leadership Fellow is extremely important if we are to keep agriculture rooted in the American way of life.

The Texas FFA Ethical Leadership Fellows offer an awesome and different perspective on leadership. It gives students the opportunity to stretch their skills in leading and expand their knowledge of ethical practices so they can be great leaders inside and out of FFA. All leadership should be ethics based, so I believe that no time is too early to learn the value of being ethical. I am extremely excited about this next year and look forward to serving you once again.”

Krysti Kelley – Past State FFA Officer – Texas Tech University
“Hello Texas FFA. My name is Krysti Kelley. I am currently a sophomore at Texas Tech University where I am studying interdisciplinary agriculture (agricultural education). I grew up in Deep South Texas in the border town of Mission, Texas.

My entire life I have been involved with agriculture and the FFA. My dad is a hay farmer, and my mom owns a feed store. So I was practically born with a show halter in my hands. I was a junior FFA member from the eight to 14 years old. When I entered high school, I become extremely involved with the leadership aspect of the FFA. I served as a chapter, district, area and just retired from my position as a 2011-2012 Texas FFA State Officer. Currently, I am actively involved in the Texas Tech Collegiate FFA. Throughout my time as an officer, I saw the importance of using your values and ethics to guide your decisions as a leader.

I am so incredibly excited to serve as an Ethical Leadership Fellow. After our recent training with the Soderquist Leadership Center in Siloam Springs, Ark., I know this year’s team of Ethical Leadership Fellows is truly committed to instilling the members of the Texas FFA with the power to make their own decisions that mirror their ethics and values. Remember Texas FFA, ‘Personal leadership is the process of keeping your vision and values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with them.’ (Stephen Covey)”

To learn more information about the program and how you can interact with the 2013 Texas FFA Ethical Leadership Fellows, visit http://texasffa.org/page.aspx?ID=159. The Texas FFA Ethical Leadership Fellows program is funded through a generous donation by a past State FFA Officer and his wife.