Coon elected FFA state officer

Owen Coon, a recent North Montgomery graduate, experienced a life-changing event Thursday during the Indiana FFA Convention at Purdue University. 

Coon was elected as vice president of the northern region. Achieving his goal of becoming a state officer, now means Coon will delay his freshman year at Purdue.

“I am excited to be a part of this new and amazing team of state officers,” Coon said. “We will be ambassadors for Indiana FFA and will travel all across the state meeting new people. This is a once in a lifetime and unique experience as we provide leadership for over 12,000 Indiana FFA members.”

North Montgomery FFA Advisor Nancy Bell has taught agriculture at the high school for 16 years. North Montgomery has had six candidates for a state office during her tenure, but Coon is the first to be elected. She has been “on pins and needles” ever since the state convention started Sunday.

“I have been devouring TUMS ever since I got here because I have been so nervous for Owen,” Bell said. “I am so proud of him and know he will do amazing things.”

Coon said the election process included up to 14 hours of interviews, which started Monday and continued into Wednesday evening. It was around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday when Indiana FFA listed the slate of officers to go before the FFA membership for a vote.

Bell admits that by Thursday her nerves had turned into excitement for Coon.

“I have known him since he first joined FFA as a sixth grader,” Bell said. “I noticed then that he was very mature for his age and he still is today. This is going to be a life-changing experience which will open us great opportunities for his future.”

Coon, who is the son of Loren and Sherri Coon of Wingate, is looking forward to the duties of his new title. He won’t have to wait long, as he and the other officers are expected to move into the FFA Center at Trafalgar by Sunday.

On Monday, the seven state officers will begin training and creating a plan of activities for the upcoming year. Coon anticipates visiting every high school FFA chapter in Indiana. The officers will provide leadership to local chapters by leading workshops and training. As a state officer, Coon will get to participate in the National FFA Convention.

A recent national trend is more urban schools are starting FFA chapters. Cities such as Chicago and New York have inner-city high schools with large chapters. Coon looks forward to working with new chapters in Indianapolis.

“I think seeing the urban school FFA chapters is going to be very educational,” Coon said. “Seeing their perspective of Indiana agriculture is something I am looking forward to. I think that experience will be educational for our team of officers.”

The last North Montgomery FFA officer was Kyle Bymaster in 1998. Bymaster happens to be Coons’ second cousin.

Coon, who is a 10-year Montgomery County 4-H member, will start his agriculture finance degree in the fall of 2018.