Shelley girl named state FFA president

Saydee Longhurst is the first Idaho FFA president from Shelley High School the first Shelley girl and she is the fourth female to hold the state FFA office consecutively.

Longhurst, 17, underwent an intensive interview process during the Idaho FFA Leadership Conference last week in Twin Falls. She’ll represent 5,000 Idaho FFA members from around the state for the 2018-19 year. She was excited and humbled at the opportunity to serve and represent Idaho FFA.

“It was very exhausting mentally and physically for three and a half days, but it was all worth it,” Longhurst said. “I was shocked and couldn’t believe it when they called my name.”

Next week, she’ll attend a Base Camp State FFA Officer Training in Cascade to learn more about her duties as president. In addition to preliminary training, the opportunity will help Longhurst and the other five state FFA officers from around the state get to know each other better.

“We’ll be hitting the ground running,” she said.

Longhurst began setting goals in earnest for a career in agriculture four years ago. Last summer, she was the youngest female to attend the first FarmHer Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, and she plans to go again this year. The FarmHer organization and conference bring women owner/operators, landowners, workers or mentors together to learn more about agriculture, share their experiences and network together to share the story of agriculture.

“I’m really excited to be going again this year. FarmHer shines a light on women in agriculture,” she said.

Longhurst will graduate from SHS next month and in the fall will attend Utah State University in Logan. After a year, she plans to serve a mission for her church, return to Utah State and finish her education majoring in agribusiness. After college, she plans to join her parents, Steven and Robyn Longhurst, in their Taylor-area farming operation.

“I want to take over the farm eventually, but I want to work alongside my dad first and see if he’ll give me the reins,” she said. “It’s hard to know if he will ever retire, he loves farming so much.”

Longhurst also is president of the Shelley High school FFA chapter, the president of the South Upper Snake River FFA District and the president of the Business Professionals of America at SHS.