by: Haley Pritchett- Shelbyville News
Julia Hamblen will be postponing her college career for a year to serve as the president of the state Future Farmers of America (FFA).
Hamblen, a 2020 Shelbyville High School graduate, was one of seven chosen to move into the FFA leadership house for this year. As president, she will oversee all of the work that the leadership team does, and insure that all tasks are accomplished. She will also help organize many conferences and help with competitions.
The house is located in Trafalgar. Currently, because of the pandemic, she is living in a lodge quarantined. Hamblen and her team will move into the house next week.
The house is similar to an apartment. There are two hallways separated by gender, a living room, dining room, and kitchen.
“The purpose for all of us living together is so we can really build that family relationship together and really come closer as a team,” she said. “It is basically an FFA paradise here.”
Hamblen had to put a lot of thought into whether or not applying for the leadership board was a good decision for her future. She said she talked with a lot of people who were worried about her taking a “gap year.” The more she thought about it, and talked to past officers, she decided that this role was the best investment for her future.
“Yeah I’m taking a year off college, but I’m not going to sit around at home and do nothing. I’m actually working and getting experience,” she said.
Hamblen wants to be an agriculture teacher, which makes this experience even more valuable to her. She looks at this time as getting workplace experience to help better prepare herself for her future career.
She will be attending Purdue University in the fall of 2021 to study teaching with a focus in agriculture. She comes from a long line of teachers. Her mother, Marijo Hamblen-Snow, has been teaching for over 25 years, and her stepfather, Andrew Snow, is also a teacher. Her brother is currently in school studying education.
“I basically grew up in a classroom,” she said. “I’m really excited to follow in my family’s footsteps – we’re a family of teachers. I think it’s going to be so fun when my brother and I get full time jobs in the education field one day,” she said.
Although she knew she always wanted to be a teacher, it was not until she joined the FFA that she realized what type of teacher she wanted to be.
“Agriculture is the backbone of our country. Everything around us, agriculture has a role. Think of the clothes you wear, or the food you eat, or the desks we sit at, everything comes back to agriculture. What I love about it most is that not many people are educated in the agriculture field and that gives me more opportunities to teach.”
Hamblen is excited by the unknown of this year.
“We were told from the very beginning that this year is going to look very different from what we’ve had in past years because of the pandemic. I think it’s really cool to think about what is going to be different about the year and how we’re going to be the officer team to do things differently,” she said.