Sophomore Becomes the Mineola FFA District President

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Photo Provided by Jacqueline Rand

The Lindale FFA gather to take a photo after the Mineola District Convention at Bullard High School.

Sam Lee, Assistant Editor of Photography/Tech

The auditorium grows silent as she steps on the hard wooden stage at Bullard High School. The beaming spot-light radiates on her while she stands at the Mineola District Convention. All 400 of her peers watch her as she mentally readies herself for her speech. She breathes in and out, then brings the microphone up to her mouth and starts her speech. 

Sophomore Jacqueline Rand was recently elected as the 2020-2021 Mineola District President. Her election was at the Mineola FFA Convention at Bullard High School along with 6 other students from other FFA chapters throughout the East Texas area on January 15.

“I wanted to take the opportunity to make it the best year possible for not only the incoming Greenhands, first-year members of FFA, but also for the members who didn’t get to experience their Greenhand year or just felt like they haven’t been getting all that they can from the organization,” Rand said. “So I just want to be a positive light by helping people with their passion and just basically leading by serving.”

Rand’s FFA story starts with her parents, Holly and Charles Rand, who both grew up with agriculture in their lives and influenced her. Both of her parents graduated from Texas A&M with AG teaching degrees, and Holly Rand taught at Lindale 16 years ago but is now pursuing a different career. 

“We [took] yearly trips before I even was an FFA member to state conventions with my mom and we see people and past state officers that we [would] go eat dinner with when we are in those parts of the state,” Rand said.       

Rand has a history of success throughout her FFA career. Her green hand year, she was the Texas FFA State Jr. Prepared Public Speaking Contest last year.

“As a freshman last year she won her division at the San Antonio public speaking contests. [This is] a $10,000 scholarship as a freshman and she has a chance to do that every year in a different division,” FFA sponsor Casey Jones said. “So knowing that she has the mindset to do it and the willingness . . .  makes it easier and more enjoyable for us.”

There are four levels of FFA conventions: district, area, state, then nationals. To run for a presidential position in these conventions requires knowledge in agriculture, public speaking, and confidence.

“’Once applications are filled out and they are entered they have a test that is over FFA organizational structure, parliamentary procedure, and Texas farm facts,” Jones said. “They also give an interview to a panel of our teachers in the area that would determine, based on the questions they ask you, their willingness and their motivation for running for that office and they also give a speech at the district a mention in front of the entire convention.”

Rand will coordinate and help run the different meetings and will start meeting in May. The officer team will get to plan the district leadership camp, work area leadership camp, attend state convention, and then they put on workshops for chapter officers in our district. 

“She does persevere through everything that she does, so if you know anything about agriculture, if you can’t persevere you can’t get through anything. There are all kinds of hardships,” Jones said. “She just perseveres through everything that she does and always has a smile on her face about it.”