“…And the champion livestock judging team hails from the Snowy Range FFA!”
Those who have attended Wyoming’s state FFA convention have heard those very words echo throughout the convention hall, but few have had the chance to meet the woman behind the excitement-filled announcements.
That voice belongs to Emily Priebe.
Priebe’s love for FFA started in a humble, small town in the middle of Wyoming.
“It all started in tropical Shoshoni, Wyoming,” Priebe said jokingly, “I was encouraged by my parents to join as they had a strong affiliation with the ag program for many years through our farm and ranch.”
From her start in Shoshoni’s FFA chapter, Priebe eventually went on to be a state officer for Wyoming FFA, which was followed by a year of service as the National FFA Secretary. From there, Priebe knew FFA was something she always wanted to give back to.
“I was elected as National FFA Secretary, a distinct privilege that changed my life forever,” Priebe said.
Priebe’s positive experience in FFA has inspired her to volunteer much of her time to Wyoming’s state convention. Every year, she sets up behind stage and gives the convention’s sessions life with the use of one tool—her voice.
“One year I said we should announce from the front of the house to speed up traffic and make it easier for the officers,” Priebe said, “We decided to try it, and knowing that at national convention I did nearly all the announcing, [the convention manager] thought I could do it. So it began.”
Priebe’s commitment to announcing state convention has created an atmosphere of excitement for many FFA members and volunteers around the state.
“Emily always remains flexible which brings a lot of ease to the convention team,” Stacy Broda, Wyoming FFA state advisor, said. “We are so lucky and thankful she shares her love of FFA with us during convention.”
“I have also had ag teachers come and say thank you for the excitement that comes across when their team wins,” Priebe said. “I love finding ways to make it special, meaningful and fun.”
Priebe now works at John Deere and attributes her success there to the positions, experience and volunteerism she received and continues to receive through FFA.
“I would not work for John Deere if it were not for FFA,” Priebe said. “When I was elected as a national officer, I only had one request: to visit John Deere during business and industry visits. Walking up to the corporate headquarters for the first time was like many folks getting to go to Disneyland.”
That experience led to her long-time career in the agricultural technology industry.
“Through FFA, I fostered a relationship with John Deere, interned there, was hired full time and have held several positions with them over the last 12 years,” Priebe said.
Not only have the skills Priebe learned throughout her FFA career helped her succeed at John Deere, but the leadership she continues to perfect through convention announcing also helps her in her career.
“The skills I learned in FFA help me to lead my team,” Priebe said.
Priebe admits that she tries to grow every year in leadership, whether through announcing or coaching state officers, to make the experience better for the FFA members involved.
“As I tell many officers, ‘If you are green you are growing, and if you are ripe, you rot,’” Priebe said. “I never want to rot, and I have a lot of room to grow. Each year I grow with Wyoming FFA and hopefully others can do the same.”