0320 Cortney Schmidt
By Melissa Mussman
OCHEYEDAN, Iowa — With the Iowa FFA Convention just around the corner, Cortney Schmidt, northwest Iowa vice president, is in a reflective mood.
Schmidt, who is a state FFA officer, grew up on a farm just north of Ocheyedan. Her father and uncle raised 200 stock cows, had 900 head of cattle in the feedlot and grew 1,600 acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa.
Schmidt and her three younger siblings did a lot of the general chores. Cortney also helped feed the bottle bucket calves.
Schmidt got interested in FFA as a high school freshman. She attended the Iowa FFA convention.
"Running for state office was a goal of mine since I went to the state convention for my first time," said Schmidt. "My adviser told me the best way for me to obtain my goal was to become active within the chapter and run for local and district offices, and that is just what I did."
Schmidt was president of the Conductive Meetings Chain. She was also involved in parliamentary procedure, the public speaking contest, and a chapter officer as an officer at large.
Schmidt was recently named the district president, and that allowed her to become the northwest Iowa vice president on the State FFA officer team.
As one of six state vice presidents, Schmidt has the opportunity to coordinate district activities such as their district leadership camp, Greenhand activities, and district officer interviews and convention.
"When I found out I was going to be a part of the state officer team, I was so excited," said Schmidt. "It felt like I had finally reached my goal."
Schmidt has had a great year.
"I have learned a lot," said Schmidt. "I am a better person because of it."
Although she is sad that her term is ending, she feels it’s time for another FFA member to have a chance.
This year she plans to run for state FFA president and is thinking of running for a national office later. She is also pursuing her American Degree.
Schmidt is also a full-time Iowa State University freshman. She is majoring in ag education and ag communications.
"I have enjoyed being a state FFA officer and now I am trying to help my two younger brothers with their experiences in FFA," said Schmidt. "My little sister is also bound and determined to be in FFA once she is old enough."
Schmidt has been forced to deal with Bells Palsy, a facial paralysis.
"It happened overnight, but it has made me a stronger person," said Schmidt. "I don’ take as much for granted, and I am now able to relate with other members in FFA who also have disabilities."
Schmidt is now pretty much back to normal.
"At first it was rough, but God gave it to me for a reason," said Schmidt. "I felt he was trying to build my character for this year as a state FFA officer. This just made reaching my goal that much sweeter."