Senior Ryan Best of Elida will be coming up on the end of his high school years and moving onto college. The weeks are getting closer to graduation for the valedictorian, who is following in the footsteps of his siblings.
He has a plan: Best is going to New Mexico State University and planning on running for state Future Farmers of America president in June.
“I would like to major in agriculture education,” Best said. “I feel it is important to help educate the general public about the benefits of the agriculture industry. I feel like agriculture is the industry that helped build this country into what it is today, I feel it is important to preserve that type of education and knowledge.”
He wants to be a liaison between the general public and agriculture sector, and do agricultural research.
“I think it is important to raise awareness about the things that agriculture has to offer,” Best said. “I could go into the extension service or become an agriculture teacher. Something that appeals to me is working for an agriculture corporation.”
Agriculture makes sense to Best because his family has been involved with it, he said.
He says: “I grew up in ag my whole life,” Best said. “My sisters and dad were in FFA, so I always knew it would be part of something I wanted to do.”
Best did not understand what FFA was until he went to the state FFA conference as an eighth-grader. Best said he got excited about the organization then, and started thinking about running for state office. He also grows his own feed and shows animals during the FFA competitions.
“Now, some of those dreams have come true,” Best said. “Hopefully more will come true in June.”
Elida teacher Rod Savage has had Best as a student for five years. He also knows Best’s older siblings because they were once students of his.
Teacher says: “Ryan has sort of followed in their footsteps as a agriculturist,” Savage said. “As a student I believe they were all valedictorians. I assume he will be.”
Savage said Best is conscientious and strives for perfection in everything he does.
Best competed in basketball and baseball this past season. Recently, he learned that he qualified for state in the 3,200 meters. The track meet is next week.
Best said competing in sports is a chapter in his life that is closing and that’s it is time to move on.
He’s also involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“We get together on Wednesday nights to fellowship and talk about God’s word, how it has helped us and the things that God has done in our lives,” Best said.
Favorite classes: English, yearbook and agriculture.
Favorite meal: Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, fried okra and ice tea.