A northeast Iowa native is the new president of the Iowa F.F.A. chapter, an organization with more than 12,000 members statewide. Dan Venteicher of Edgewood was elected at the state convention in Des Moines last month.

Venteicher says, “I remember being a freshman, going to our state convention, looking up at the state president thinking, ‘That guy’s got his life in order, he knows exactly what he’s doing,’ and now I’m that guy!” He says his goals for the year ahead revolve around simply leaving the organization better than when he joined it. As Iowa F.F.A. president, Venteicher says he’ll have a roster of new duties.

He says, “The biggest responsibility is helping to mentor the new state officer team that’s been elected, serving on a few different boards for the association and the foundation, and just trying to be a good role model and making the right decisions for everyone.” Venteicher says he’s been active in F.F.A. since his freshman year at Ed-Co High School. He says F-F-A just goes by the initials now. It was changed from Future Farmers of America back in 1988.

“You don’t want to have to be a farmer to join,” Venteicher says. “We’re about so much more than just farming. We advocate for agriculture and why it’s important and the fact that without agriculture, you’d be naked and hungry, basically. More than that, we’re a leadership organization and we teach kids you don’t have to be perfect to be successful. You can be yourself. We show them what strengths they have and how to utilize them in the real world.”

Venteicher is a freshman at Iowa State University, majoring in Dairy Science, with future plans that might include opening his own dairy. Venteicher will represent the Iowa F.F.A. in the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California, in January 1st of 2011.

By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester