Arkansas FFA President Kinsey Watkins became ‘hooked’ on FFA in eighth grade Kinsey Watkins has always been surrounded by agriculture.
Growing up on her family’s Guy, Ark., farm, she showed market goats and lambs in 4-H at the age of 5, but it wasn’t until she reached junior high that she discovered her true passion.
“I was heavily involved in my local 4-H Club and I had many leadership opportunities,” the 18-year-old freshman at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Ark., said. “When I was in eighth grade, I took my first agriculture class and from then on I was hooked. In ninth grade, I was considered an official FFA member and from then on my FFA career sky rocketed. I tried to get involved as much as possible and sought out every opportunity I could partake in. I continued showing and raising livestock, held leadership positions, and competed in leadership events many times at the local, district and state level.”
The Guy-Perkins FFA Chapter member has continued to excel in the youth agriculture organization since her first year in high school, and on June 3, during the 89th Arkansas FFA State Convention at Camp Couchdale in Hot Springs, Ark., she was elected to lead the state FFA Organization as the 2016-2017 state president.
Kinsey said she worked very hard to be elected president, and it took a couple of days for her win to “sink in.”
While serving as the president of the state association, Kinsey will have to balance her first year of collage with her FFA duties.
“I will be helping with hosting leadership camps, meeting and touring with Agriculture Industry Representatives, traveling across the state to different FFA Chapters, and attending many conferences,” she said. “I will also be attending the National FFA Convention and serving as a national delegate and discussion group leader for a committee at nationals.
“One of the many reasons of why I chose Southern Arkansas University was of how supportive they are of Arkansas FFA State Officers. It will be little more difficult to juggle school as well as serving the association, but I knew all of this before I ran for office. I plan to work hard in college and always stay focused and committed to the FFA Association as well.”
She is majoring in agriculture business at SAU.
She plans to continue her Supervised Agriculture Experience project, which is sheep production.
“FFA has allowed me to develop my SAE,” Kinsey said. “This SAE allows me to raise and sell market lambs. This project has grown and will continue to grow through the years.”
Over the years, Kinsey has seen a great deal of success in the show ring with her livestock, including toping market and showmanship classes with both sheep and goats, including the Arkansas State Fair Grand Champion Market Lamb
Ironically, she is not the first member of her family to hold the position of Arkansas FFA President. Her cousin, Sam Harris, who is also from Fulkner County, Ark., was the 2015-2016 president.
Kinsey credits her parents, Mitchell and Diana Watkins, with her success in FFA and agriculture.
“I honestly don’t think I could have had a more supportive set of parents,” she said. “If there was ever a competition or livestock show, they were always there helping me and cheering me on. They always knew what my goals were and tried their hardest to help in any way they could to allow me to achieve those goals. I could never repay or thank them enough for all they have done for me.”
In addition to many 4-H and FFA honors, Kinsey has been recognized for her achievements in academics and leadership. She has served not only as the president of the Guy-Perkins FFA Chapter, but as Future Business Leaders of America vice-president, Beta secretary, Student Council vice-president, 4-H president and class president from seventh to 12th grade. She was also the 2015-2016 Arkansas Junior Sheep Council president.


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