Carrie Taets Northcott is an FFA Alumni from Annawan, Illinois, who took agriculture classes and joined the organization because of her love of agriculture. Oh, and her dad was the teacher. Her story resonantes with me, particularly her ability to speak to large groups without hesitation. FFA teaches that kind of self-confidence. She is a scientist working in cardiovascular safety at Pfizer. Thank you for sharing your FFA story Carrie!
In what FFA activities did you participate and which was your favorite?
I was involved in many activities. I was my dad’s stand in for teams when he needed help. I did livestock judging, speech, parliamentary procedure, dairy judging, played the flute in the state band, etc. etc.
My favorite career development event was horse judging. I was a natural, even though I had never ridden horses. I went on to compete/judge in college. It is part of the reason I am where I am today. It taught me how to make decisions, and speak in public. Now I give talks to rooms of hundreds without issue and I attribute it to FFA.
What did FFA give you that you use in life today?
I still remember the support and positive message FFA had. While attending a convention (I can’t recall if it was state or national), the organization’s president gave his speech and said, “It is better to aim for the moon and miss than aim for a cow pie and hit.” That has always stuck with me. I even post it on my door.
A horse judging team coach from college, gave me a sheet titled “Think & Win”, which lists several positive phrases. These are things that I use day to day. You have to just try and set those dreams high. What is the worst that can happen? You fail? Big deal. Dust yourself off and try again or try something new. You just have to go for it.
It is because of FFA that I am who I am now.