How FFA has helped Batesville’s Leanne Ludwig grow as a student and leader

(Photo: C.J. Miller/Hoosier Ag Today)

(Indianapolis, IN) – Even though the 96th National FFA Convention and Expo wrapped up on Saturday, the event connected thousands of students from around the U.S.—including many from across Indiana.

The Batesville FFA Chapter was among the thousands of chapters that attended the convention last week in downtown Indianapolis.

Their chapter president, Leanne Ludwig, was proud to talk about her involvement and why she chose to become a member of FFA.

“My main motivator was my interest in agriculture,” Leanne says. “I was looking for something to take me to the next level in agriculture and open up more opportunities in it. My dad was also in FFA, so it’s just kind of a family thing. But truly, I was interested in agriculture, and I wanted a new opportunity.”

Students from Batesville High School FFA during the 96th National FFA Convention and Expo in downtown Indianapolis. (Photo: C.J. Miller/Hoosier Ag Today)

Leanne says she has a particular passion for horticulture.

“My dad is involved with vegetable production. We grow about 40 acres of vegetables, and I have been in it my entire life,” according to Leanne. “I grew up in a greenhouse growing flowers, and then my dad started his own business growing vegetables. That’s kind of what has inspired me to take that on. The part that I love about growing vegetables and selling at Farmers’ Markets is starting the plant, so that’s why I’m really interested in horticulture and growing vegetables in the greenhouse.”

She says she’s already making plans for college and beyond.

“At the top of my list right now is Purdue,” says Leanne. “I hope to major in Horticulture and start my own greenhouse one day. I would love to stay in Ripley County and bring my passion back to my home, which is people growing their own food and teaching others how they can do it.”

Leanne says that FFA has done far more than teach her about agriculture.

“When I joined FFA, it opened up my mind to a lot of opportunities and helped me learn what I actually am capable of,” says Leanne. “When I became an officer, I learned how to lead a group. My social and interpersonal skills have also just flourished, and I have become a better person.”

Leanne says she highly recommends FFA for high school students—regardless of whether they’re looking at a future career in agriculture.

“I would tell them to join. I guarantee you’re probably going to be hooked if you’re thinking about joining FFA,” says Leanne. “There’s going to be something that hooks you in and that you absolutely love. You’re going to make friends and you’re going to have a family, like I have with my chapter. You are going to gain such an experience with those friends, and I guarantee you’re going to love it.”

(Story by C.J. Miller with our newsgathering partners at Hoosier Ag Today)