Adam Torres and Jeremiah Neal discuss leadership and public speaking.
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Texas FFA creates opportunities for our future leaders to cultivate their leadership and public speaking skills. In this episode, Adam Torres and Jeremiah Neal, Program Manager at Texas Tech University, explore Jeremiah’s journey as a Texas FFA member and how the organization has been an important part of his life.
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About Jeremiah Neal
Motivated by change, passionate about leadership, and eager to see the world united. Growing up, he often found himself being involved in more things than he could count. he found himself never having a break, and always tired. After acknowledging everything he was involved in, it hit me that he was building character.
Often, we hear the statement, “I want to change the world,” but we do not realize how that can be done.
Since he discovered his passion for leadership, he has found myself visiting that statement frequently, allowing it to resonate within me. he has concluded that it is not just about changing the world but instead leaving your mark. His favorite statement to reflect on is “the cream always rises to the top,” meaning that the actions and differences you make do not always go unnoticed. Marks add up, and he am here to leave mine, and hopefully one day make my dream of changing the world come true.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and I’m so thrilled and excited to be at the 95th Annual Texas F F A Convention. We’re covering the event live as you can see. See by a lot of the blue jackets right behind me. We’re gonna have a lot of fun today.
And my first guest of the entire convention, so Jeremiah Neil. Hey, I just wanna say welcome to the show. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here. It’s great to be here with all of the blue and gold jackets. It’s just, it feels, feels very welcoming and feels like home almost.
I could say. All right Jeremiah. So the goal here and my mission in coming out to Dallas, Texas, ’cause it is hot out there. Very, my mission is really to find out and to capture some of what makes Texas F F A so special. Like what is that blue and gold magic? So going back into your history, like how did you get started with Texas f f A, where’d all that begin for you?
It all began my sophomore year of high school. I walked into my principals of agricultural class and my ag teacher’s name was Jim Bob Stewart. And he kind of just threw me in. He, he asked me if I wanted to participate in hay judging and livestock judging and, you know, all of the contests that were there and available for students.
And I think that, That already kind of jumps in and, and, and says what Texas f f A is. Yeah. Of course everywhere is different, but for me, Texas f f a was, was very much so a place where I could try new things and, and not feel bad about not understanding or knowing it completely. Yeah. So, So did you grow up in like an agricultural household?
No, not at all. So my family has always had horses or my, my grandpa has always had horses, but never grew anything aside from hor or raised anything aside from horses or grew anything aside from tomatoes and cucumbers in a garden. So, aside from that, no, nothing agriculturally related. In, in my background.
So what do you think kind of surprised you as you started getting into Texas f f A? ’cause I’ll, I’ll tell, I mean, I, I can’t grow. I mean, I tried to grow a couple things. It doesn’t work very well for me. Yeah. Like what surprised you as you started getting involved? The fact of being able to not only understand and support Real science, I guess you could say, but also social science and both are real sciences.
So don’t get me wrong with that, but, you know, there’s a, a big difference between a social science point of view, which is, you know, gonna be all of your speaking events, your, your parliamentary procedure, all of that thing, the, the things that, you know, students that aren’t showing animals or aren’t actually out there on the farm or, or whatever that may be.
They’re not doing that, but they’re on the social side of it. So really and truly, you know, This convention is something that, that those students get to come out and say, I’ve worked hard all year long. I’m either gonna continue working this week and compete, or I get to kind of just see that and, and watch it on the stage.
So, Now I see that button that you’re wearing there. Let’s make sure that the camera can see it for a second there. Yeah. That big old. Okay. So p s o, what does that mean? Past state officer? So in 20 19, 20 19, 20 20, actually the year that Covid started I got the chance to serve Texas f f a as a state officer with 11 other humans that were, that were just great.
Yeah. We were able to, to really just make the year ours, even though the year wasn’t really ours. Yeah. It was a year for, for everybody to learn. But yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, watch this. And I’m always telling my audience, I’m like, Texas, F F A f f A. That’s our future leaders.
That’s where they’re at. That’s our current leaders. They’re leading in, in things like you’re doing as a past state officer. Talk a little bit about the leadership skills and maybe some of the like, just life skills that you learned through being part of this. Yeah, for sure. So being a part of this, actually.
Has driven my whole career now as to where I am. Seeing myself headed, I guess you could say. I’m very passionate about leadership, so hopeful to become a leadership specialist. I’m currently, I’m getting a, a degree in ag education and leadership from Texas Tech University, but I’m once finished with that.
I plan to open up a leadership business to where mm-hmm. I’ll actually go out and, and help and teach students and, and those around, you know not just about, What the world is, but also about what you are within the world. And I say that Ben, and that just simply means, you know, it’s okay to be you.
It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to not understand the difference between a down eared hog and an up eared hog. Or the difference between a guilty, I don’t know. I don’t know any of of those. It’s, it’s okay to not understand that, you know, a duroc may be red and a. Cross hog, maybe, you know, a different color.
So that’s, that’s something that we’re really striving for in today’s time. And I say we are. And that’s myself and those that I surround myself with very, very passionate about the leadership and, and the things that we were able to learn from this organization. So that’s just general communication skills being welcoming and open to.
To knowing and, and to understanding students and their outcomes and their walk. And just so like, so much more. Yeah. I get it kind of full when I get to talking about it, so it makes me, it makes me pretty happy. So now you’re at Texas Tech? Mm-hmm. I feel like, and I don’t know, I could be wrong, but I feel like all the colleges and just the history and just the legacy of F FFA and Texas f f A on the state.
I mean, when you got there, was it kind of like, okay, now you graduated. Obviously you, you can’t. Wear the jacket anymore ’cause you graduated out of it. But now there’s gotta be so many Texas f f a alum and members and people that are out in Texas Tech and otherwise. Can you, I mean, I’m driving in the Uber, like anytime I talk about f FFA and I’m in Texas.
Yeah. Like everybody knows what it is and what, and the significance that it’s had on the state. Like maybe talk a little bit about that and as you transition into your, your next phase of being. Texas, F F A alum. Yeah, for sure. So really unique opportunity here actually in Texas. Mm-hmm. It does vary throughout the different states, but we can actually serve our first year if you’re not the first vice president or the president.
And you can go to school at the same time. So I actually had the privilege to get into Texas Tech, get active kind of. Find my way. Yeah. But also it was still limited because I was busy with F ffa. Yeah. I was still, you know serving over 134,000 members. We were actively, you know facilitating multiple workshops a week.
So it was just fun things, but it’s, it, it comes with the balance and it also comes with the fact of understanding that, hey, this is where I’m at right now. Mm-hmm. Let me live in the moment. Let me understand what I have, who I have, and then I can kind of branch out afterwards. And that’s exactly what I’ve done.
So the year following my, my state office year, it was the year back from C O V I D and I got in and I got as active as possible. I found those organizations and I found exactly what I needed to be successful as a college student outside of the blue and gold jacket. So, so that’s something that I’m also very thankful for.
And Texas F f A actually set us up and they were, they were like, Hey guys, here’s some things that you know, Maybe you should look at, maybe you’re interested in, you know, going this route or that route, or, you know, joining this club or this org that you’ve never thought about. Just to kind of help us find and, and explore those opportunities outside of the jacket.
So 2023 is when we’re recording this ’cause this will be out there for a long time. What’s been, what’s one of your favorite parts of convention and why should people attend? My favorite part of convention would just simply have to be coming here and seeing all of my friends. Mm-hmm. So for someone new that would look like you coming here and seeing all of your potential friends.
And I say potential friends, just simply because of the fact of everyone’s here to have fun. They’re here to kind of get outta that comfort zone and learn about the different CDEs and LDEs that we, each of us may participate in. So I look forward to it because I get to look down there. And I can almost point at about anyone and say, Hey, that’s my friend, and this is how it may be.
The fact that we showed together, it may be the fact that we competed against each other in extemporaneous speaking, but at the end of the day, we’re still friends and we’re still connected through the blue and gold jacket. And even outside of the blue and gold jacket, we’re still connected through the relationship that we built while inside of it.
So ultimately my favorite thing is being able to come and just simply look down here and say, Hey, These are people that I may not look like, I may not sound like, but we’re still friends. We still hang out and we still ultimately help the world grow each and every day by feeding the population and by brainstorming and effectively communicating what we are passionate about to others.
Fantastic. Well, Jeremiah, really appreciate you coming on the show today and for you being you and out here preaching the message of Texas f f a for everybody watching we’re gonna have more interviews coming up. We have a whole series coming up for the Texas F F A convention. So more to come and Jeremiah, thanks again for coming on the show.
Thank you for having me.