The final months of the 2020-2021 school year are looking promising for Oakdale High School junior, Micaiah Richison.
Now in her third year as an OHS FFA member, Micaiah was recently selected to be an officer on the Central Region FFA team. She was selected from a group of close to 40 students from throughout the region and will serve as Reporter for the 2021-2022 school year.
“Which is a really an amazing opportunity, because California FFA is split up to six different regions,” the newly elected officer stated, adding that she will serve on a panel of seven chosen officers serving over 46,000 members.
Micaiah hasn’t always been a part of the ag world, however. As a student who first became familiar with FFA and all that it offers her freshman year at Oakdale High, the junior shared the program has a lot to offer all students, regardless of background.
While she has served as a Chapter Officer for OHS FFA the past two years, it was the encouragement of Ag teacher Matt Marshall that expanded the OHS junior’s participation in the program.
“I started getting into different competitions, then I started showing animals and that’s how it all started,” she shared. “Mr. Marshall just pushed me to keep going and keep trying different things.”
As the newly elected officer speaks of her three year tenure with the FFA program, her passion for the program becomes evident. Now in her third year of showing meat market goats, Micaiah shared of the many things she loves about the program, what excites her most are the varying opportunities.
“The program is just about helping you find what you’re good at and what you want your future to be,” she said.
Admitting to once being afraid to speak in front of a group, it’s a challenge which she clearly overcame through the Regional election process.
“I actually utilize the school farm. It’s a really amazing way to not only be able to interact with other people but also an amazing facility to keep your animal at,” she added of other program benefits.
Earlier this year, the OHS student applied for the Regional position, was scheduled for an interview and was then notified that she had advanced. For the final phase of the process she prepared a speech, which was delivered to the delegates via Zoom as well as fielded impromptu questions from the group.
“It was definitely nerve-wracking because you can’t read people’s emotions as well as if you were in person,” she said. “It can be very tedious to do stuff through Zoom.”
Upon hearing of her appointment as an officer for the Region, Micaiah noted not only a feeling of excitement but gratitude as well.
“I was really, really excited,” she emphasized. “For me, coming into my freshman year, I honestly had no idea what FFA was. As I learned about it, I thought it was so amazing to think seven individuals could be running something so big.”
It also was important for her to realize that the organization is about much more than agriculture.
“I really enjoy FFA because it’s where I first felt able to fit in, really,” the officer shared, choking back some emotion. “Coming to high school, I didn’t really have a place. Getting involved in FFA, I was able to make a whole bunch of new friends.”
The Oakdale High FFA program has done more than just offer the student a place to feel accepted and “fit in,” her journey through the program has also helped with her future career goal. Upon graduating from OHS, Micaiah plans to attend two years of Modesto Junior College with aspirations to then attend UC Davis. Her end goal is employment as an Ag teacher.
“I’ve known I always wanted to be a teacher, I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to teach,” she said, noting bouncing around from varying subjects to teach, as well as career choices.
“I realized I had a deeper and better connection with my Ag teacher, than I had with any other teachers on campus,” she shared. “I want to be able to really connect with the students, and plus I just love the FFA program in general. Being able to teach students about the opportunities that the FFA program has to offer, while being a teacher; I think that will be amazing.”