Looking back on her life and career success thus far, though she didn’t know it at the time, Devry Boughner Vorwerk says that deciding to join FFA was her defining moment.
“FFA allowed me to capitalize on my passion for agriculture and let me deliberately choose my career path,” Vorwerk says. “I’m so passionate about giving back because I wouldn’t be where I am today without FFA.”
Serving as vice president of corporate affairs at Cargill, the former California FFA member was recently selected to be a part of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders class of 2014.
The program selects leaders from all over the world and all walks of life under the age of 40, who commit their time and talent to making the world a better place.
These members have already demonstrated impressive leadership skills in their current roles, and are poised to become future decision-makers. They are paired with mentors, integrated into the Young Global Leader community, and strive to make contributions to the global peace and prosperity movement.
Vorwerk was nominated by Cargill, and went through a rigorous criteria process before being selected.
“It was such an honor to be nominated, and even more of a surprise to be selected,” Vorwerk says. She will serve in her class for the next five years, and will focus her efforts on food security, global markets and trade, and the component of youth in agriculture.
“FFA planted the seed of passion for agriculture in me, and I want to figure out a way to engage youth globally in this issue of food insecurity,” she says.
Vorwerk didn’t grow up in an agriculture family, but she did live in the small farm town of Gonzales, Calif. Knowing from a young age that leadership skills were the foundation for a successful career, FFA immediately appealed to her in high school. She was also excited by the agriculture education courses, and opportunities for hands-on experiences through supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs).
“Anyone can choose to be a leader. It’s just a matter of whether you want to accept the challenge,” Vorwerk says. “In my opinion, FFA is the premier youth leadership organization in the world.” She adds that even the way FFA is structured as an organization, focusing on working as a team, is very important for success in the real world.
As for current FFA members striving to reach the same goals as Vorwerk, her advice is to accept the honor and privilege of wearing the blue and gold jacket now.
“Be serious and deliberate about your career in agriculture now, because a career in the future starts today.”
– Rachel Bertone