Two local FFA students part of state leadership team

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 May 2013 at 12:00 am

Paige Levandowski is VP, and Adam Eick is district president

Photo by Tom Rivers – Paige Levandowski of Albion is vice president of the New York FFA, an organization with 4,000 members. Adam Eick of Medina is president of a district that includes six FFA chapters in Western New York. They are pictured earlier today at Albion Middle School, where they are helping to plan the state convention that runs from Thursday to Saturday.

ALBION – Paige Levandowski was in seventh grade the last time Albion hosted the state FFA convention. She remembers the excitement from about 1,100 students from FFA chapters around the state in 2007.

“Everyone came flooding in and I could see what a big organization it is,” Levandowski, 19, said earlier today.

She has ascended the top ranks of FFA leadership, serving as vice president of the state FFA this past year, when she was a freshman at Morrisville State College. She also competed at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, and earned a silver medal in the job interview competition.

She is back home this week, helping to plan and run the three-day state convention, when 1,100 students from 71 chapters will be in town for competitions, workshops and inspiration.

“It’s nice to be back,” she said. “I’m hoping to see a fire lit in the local chapter and the FFA students.”

She sends a message that students don’t have to grow up on a farm to be involved in FFA or to pursue a career in agriculture.

“If you eat and wear clothes, you are involved in agriculture,” she said.

The industry offers many job opportunities off the farm, including careers in marketing, transportation, food processing, environmental regulations and many other jobs.

Levandowski has a few days left as vice president of the state FFA, an organization with 4,000 members in about 80 chapters. After the convention she will return to Morrisville for finals. She is majoring in agriculture business.

She has crisscrossed the state this year, visiting FFA chapters, especially those in northern New York.

She isn’t the only local FFA member on the state leadership team. Adam Eick, 18, is a senior at Medina and president of a district that includes six FFA chapters in Western New York.

He has visited those schools this year, spending a day leading leadership workshops. Eick also meets with the 13-member state officers team. He is more convinced after this year that FFA can develop leaders.

“FFA gives kids an opportunity to step outside the box and do things they never thought they’d do, and they do it,” he said.

He has made friends from throughout the state, and learned to value their opinions.

“Before I tended to want it to be my way,” Eick said. “Now I weigh all the sides and you make the best decision.”

Eick also plans to attend Morrisville this fall to major in ag business. He will join the collegiate FFA at Morrisville.

“I’ve evolved more professionally in the FFA, by talking to the public and with adults,” he said. “With the FFA you learn to deal with different types of people.”