Adam Torres and Kathy Beck discuss Texas FFA and positive competition.
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Positive competition through the Texas FFA has contributed to many of its members’ success later in life. In this episode, Adam Torres interviewed Kathy Beck, Associate Broker – Beck Residential Group at Keller Williams Realty. Explore Kathy’s journey as an FFA member and how that led to her building skills that would benefit her career.
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About Kathy Beck
Experienced Real Estate Broker with a demonstrated history of helping families relocate, move up, right size, and invest in the Dallas area market. Skilled in Sales, Pricing Strategy, Organizational Leadership, Strategic Sourcing, and Management.
Kathy Beck and the Beck Residential Group specializes in bringing together buyers and sellers to achieve their real estate ownership goals in the DFW Metroplex. Whether buying, selling, or investing, Kathy and her team of real estate professionals are recognized as experts in the DFW market regularly performing broker price opinions for the secondary market and giving sound advice to sellers when pricing homes for sale.
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 to be at the 95th Annual State Convention here in Texas. And today I have on the show Kathy Beck, who is the co-chair for the Texas F F A State Convention Host Committee, Dallas, and also a Pass State officer.
Kathy, welcome to the show. Thank you. Thank you for having me. All right, Kathy, so that was a long title, and, you know, we’re gonna get into what a, what a host committee, um, officer does. Yes. And co-chair does. But, and also as a past state officer, I’m really excited to get into your story and really, you know, what that means, like to be a state officer and the level of responsibility.
And I’m, I’m gonna take you back to all of that. That’s a long trip. We’ll go there. So, but just to get us kicked off, I mean, how did you originally get introduced to F F A? Okay. Well, um, f f A for me started when my brother mm-hmm. Was in the F ffa. Mm-hmm. He, and how he started, I’m, I don’t know his story, um, but he showed a steer at the county fair and I thought that was so cool showing a steer.
I mean, you’re, yeah. You’re leaning him around like a dog or, you know, and Yeah. Showing them and, and, but then when, when I wanted to do that mm-hmm. I was like, oh, there’s this organization associated with. This ag class too. So I enrolled in the classes, um, for my electives and then also joined the F f A.
Mm-hmm. So the, the desire to show a steer in the county fair is what led me to the F F A. Now, were you in an agricultural family overall, or no? No, not really. Mm-hmm. We didn’t do anything commercial agriculture. Mm-hmm. The people in my family had, um, cattle and mm-hmm. Horses. I had an uncle who raised broilers.
Um, For No that, and the reason I ask that too is because one, one of the things that I’m at convention doing is I’m trying to figure out and to see like all these different things. ’cause I’ve noticed that there’s people that have agricultural backgrounds, people that don’t, there’s people from all walks of life in F F A, like sometimes.
Um, you know, people think that, oh, you have to be a farmer or a rancher, and it’s, that’s not the case. Like there’s a lot of different skills and opportunities in Texas F f A overall, right? Absolutely. Lots of opportunities and, uh, because we weren’t farmers, ranchers, um, we had a barn, so we put our, my steer in there and I raised a hog one time too, um, one year, but it was, um, That was my project.
You had to have a project. Yeah. And that was my chosen project. It doesn’t have to be an animal. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And it doesn’t, there are, there are lots of different, um, Avenues. Mm-hmm. I guess for participating in F F A, how, how did those early years, like, I wanna stay in the early part a little longer.
Okay. ’cause we’re talking a lot about development and we’re talking about the values and just what F F A brings to, to these members, these, these young adults as they’re growing up. And that organization, like, like how did that affect you, do you feel early on? We’re going way back there. Way back there.
Um. I guess for me, I, I just did what a normal kid does. You know, I’m in high school, this is what I wanna do, so I’m gonna enroll in that class. Yeah. We’re gonna learn about breeds of animals and things like that. Yeah. But, um, so when I joined the F F A, there were these competition. Things going on. These Wait, what?
There’s a, there’s a contest for judging an animal. Yeah. Wait, there’s a contest for how to conduct a meeting. Um, and I think that’s what my na my nature is one of competitiveness, you know? So I’m like, I always wanna win. I always gonna go for it. And these, oh, there’s contests. Let’s see what I can do. Um, and then just putting in the effort and working mm-hmm.
To, to participate in those activities. Taught me some. Some work ethic things. It started, it started building the life skills that I call on daily today. Mm-hmm. And it, and that started in the f f a, so you advance and we’ll, we’ll get into the today part in a moment, but you advanced through your, your, let’s say early years of Texas f f a and you make it to state officer, like, what does that mean?
Like, that’s a big deal. It, it was a big deal and at that point in my life, it was the biggest deal. Oh, it’s huge. That ever happened to me. Yeah. Huge. Um, so the, to be able to get up, up to the level of state mm-hmm. Vice president, you have to come up through the district and the area at that time. Mm-hmm. Um, And so that meant I had to be a chapter officer.
Mm-hmm. So I had to, it’s a lot of responsibility. I had to run a lot of run for office for that. That’s a lot of responsibility. And then, and then we conducted the meetings and we, we, we talked about what, uh, contests we wanted to participate. Mm-hmm. All the things. And then I had to run for district office.
Mm-hmm. Hmm. So then I was elected there by the members. Our, our organization is still student led. Mm-hmm. And members vote. And uh, then I went to the area level. Mm-hmm. And then from area I was chosen to run for state. Wow. What was that like? So that I didn’t really know what was. I get coming down the tracks.
Hold on. I get intimidated for everybody that’s watching this. Just so you know, like when you’re in front of this huge crowd, I mean you’re, I went last year was in Fort Worth. I went to last year. We’re in this big old dome, I don’t even know, convention center. There’s all these people out there yelling and I’m like, and this year we just actually earlier today, the corporate sponsors walked out on stage and to see all of these individuals, I get intimidated.
So I’m like, for these state officers to be up there doing what they’re doing. Wow. Well, back in the day, we, we campaigned. Oh, oh really? For the office and so much like what we have in the exhibit hall today. Mm-hmm. We set up a tabletop booth ohs. Cool. And I stood at the booth. That’s cool. That’s cool. And as all the members were going by, you know, we’re shaking hands and vote for me and kissing babies, you know, kissing babies.
So, but that was the first time I ever had my picture taken and put onto a card Wow. For campaigning so that I could hand. This Yeah. To hand out these things. Um, so that kind of taught me a little bit about networking and throw mm-hmm. Again, all the life skills. Yeah. Were, were just, they were just happening to me.
Yeah. Without me really realizing that, that it was happening. Um, and of course, I guess you don’t really realize that you’ve achieved growth until mm-hmm. You’re past that point and you look back to see it. Yeah. And so that, that whole thing was just, A whirlwind for me. Mm-hmm. That the year that I was state vice president.
Mm-hmm. Um, I was, I traveled around my area and I spoke at the end of the year awards banquets. Wow. Um, for the different schools. I, I think, I think overall I may have done like a hundred banquets. Oh my gosh. You were on a, on a Roosevelt campaign. Yeah. Like doing Stu speeches. That’s amazing. And, and I was collecting the, um, the, uh, Agenda, the brochure mm-hmm.
Thing for the banquets. And I had all the chapter officers sign mm-hmm. The, the brochures. And so I had this stack of brochures for chapters where I had been to speak and occasions where I was chosen. Wow. To speak. Wow. And I’ll tell you the, the only reason I was able to get up in front of those people mm-hmm.
And to say anything that sounded like. Sense. Yeah. Um, is because I went into the public speaking contest Oh, really? In f f a. Mm-hmm. And preparing for that, learning how to, uh, speak impromptu on my feet. Um, I did prepare public speaking. Yeah. So I, I had my speech memorized, but for the an for the, uh, questions after, you know, we had to, we had to do some answering and speaking on our feet.
And so, um, my ability to even address someone face to face mm-hmm. And look ’em in the eye mm-hmm. Came from. That preparation for that contest. And that’s something that, so for everybody that that’s been watching this full series, um, uh, we, you’ve heard multiple guests at this point that have told you about the idea that, you know, a Texas F f a member and student, they’re gonna look you in the eyes when they shake their hand.
Yes. Like, they’re gonna be respectful. They’re Yes ma’am. Yes, sir. Like, that’s, these are values that are taught, of course, at home, but also through the chapters. Am I, am I off on that? Um, no, you’re exactly right on that and. That’s, that’s why this is so strong. Mm-hmm. Because it is consistent throughout our organization, through all levels.
Our motto’s the same, our, you know, everything is, is um, is there to help develop those skills that an F F A member should possess. And so, And, and the self-confidence that I gained from, from actually standing on my feet and delivering speech to someone. Most people will never do a hundred speeches in their life.
Like what you just described. I mean, I know you started by saying that you were just going through the normal things. This is not the normal things or opportunities that people have. I would not argue to be able to do a hundred speeches in front of a hundred different organizations and a campaign at that, at that age.
And we’re not talking. You weren’t even in college yet. No, that’s not, this is young. Yeah, I was a senior in high school. Wow. Yeah. Senior in high school. Um, and so, so yeah, once, once I was elected, um, this, just the bond then, then the relationship building skills began because as a team, my officer team, we, we relied heavily on one another to get through that year of, of some pretty high expectations.
Oh yeah. And so, and I’m still really dear, good friends with my officer. Oh, I’m glad you said that because I was gonna ask you. So have those relationships continued and carried on into your adult life? Absolutely. Have continued and carried on. Um, and it’s, we may not see each other Yeah. For a few years.
Like we had our reunion year. Um, In, I’m not gonna say years, you don’t have to say. But anyway, we had our reunion year and we hadn’t seen one another in 30 years. Wow. But it was, we picked up right where we left off, get outta here, and there was this, we were intimate, it was like a time machine. Intimate strangers is really what we were.
Wow. And the, the feeling there was. It was just, it was kindred. They felt the same. We had the same experience. We had gone through that and I, and participating in the past state officer organization kinda has some of that same feeling because everybody’s year’s different and it’s all unique, but we all know what it was like mm-hmm.
To be in the spotlight like that, um, as an f f A member. And so that, yes, those relationships last. Yeah. They, they’re just, you’re bound. You just. So talk to me a little bit about what keeps you in, let’s just say the f f A game even today. Like, uh, as a, as a co-chair, as a, as a P s O, like being part of the organization.
Like what keeps you motivated and excited to still come out and, and give your time? What keeps me motivated is seeing. The young people. I was in their shoes. I was in that jacket. Yeah. I was there. I know how overwhelming this is. Mm-hmm. I also know how exciting it is. Yeah. I also know the endless possibilities that come into being, oh, I could do that.
Oh, I can do this. What do you mean? I could do that? Oh, I could. There are so many opportunities and so the thing that keeps me coming back, Is to get some of that myself, selfishly, that energy, it, it is contagious. It is, it is phenomenal to be on the floor for that opening ceremony for these general sessions.
Um, but what keeps me coming back is just the, the desire to pay back for what the organization built and gave to me and, and you know, if we, we always have to pay it forward. Mm-hmm. Well, um, I’m doing that. Yeah. So there’s, um, a lot of corporate sponsors, a lot of individuals here, and I want you to maybe take a moment and talk to, to some of the leaders out there that maybe, so a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs, executives that watch this show.
And, um, if they’re not here and if they don’t know about the Texas F F A, why should they get involved? Well, we have done, I think we are on a second round of study for, um, industry. Perception or, or industry experience with F F A members versus non F F A members and industry, not just the ag industry.
It’s wherever an F F A member ends up in a career. We’ve targeted those and, and we have stats to back this up too, that corporations I hands down value and. Get better productivity out of F F A members versus non F FFA members? For, for most, most jobs, most of the, most of the people that, I don’t know the numbers off the top of my head, so I’m just speaking in generality.
Mm-hmm. But the, just people who don’t know about F F A, you should learn about what the students go through so you understand their skill level because they’re. Productive human beings. Yeah. They are good people. Good. They’re, they, they’re taught manners. I’ve been called Ms. Beck, Ms. Beck, Ms. Beck. The level of maturity is off the charts.
I’ve been a lot of places. It’s in and level in maturities. It’s off the charts. It’s tough. I incredible. I forget that they’re in high school, right? I totally forget exactly. You carry out a, a conversation at a high level with someone in high school and. It’s, it’s just so impressive to see this kind of young person going out into the workforce.
Yeah. So if you’re a, a corporation, a, a sponsor, and you’re looking for. Oh, uh, some, some sort of program. Um, we have internships. You, you could just try one out, you know? Yeah. You Well, that’s why, I mean, so last year, so our story is last year we came to convention. Okay. And, um, that’s how I was just so impressed.
I, we, we produced the Growing Our Future Podcast with Aaron Alejandro, and we, that’s how I got to see it. And Aaron was telling, he is like, Adam, just. Come out, just come out and I’m like, Aaron, we’re a media company in Beverly Hills. Like, what am I gonna do? We don’t cover agriculture. And I’m like, I don’t know what, like, what am I gonna, he said, just come out.
It’s not just agriculture. Not that agriculture’s a bad thing. I just, just isn’t what we covered. Yeah. And so I was like, all right, I’m coming. Let’s go. And uh, so I came out and when I got here I was like, oh no, this isn’t just. I don’t, and I don’t mean just agriculture, but it’s just much more than agriculture.
So agriculture’s a big component, but the life skills and the leadership skills, the, all the other things. Like we, our first intern immediately after that was one of our ambassadors and we hired that intern right after that, Sean, who’s been working really hard for us on this convention. Yeah. And, um, we’ve been pleasantly surprised.
Not surprised at Sean. ’cause we, we, I scouted him for a reason. He’s our guy, but, Like other people that are missing this. I’m like, and then, so now as my, one of my, my missions is to help more corporations and more people see what’s going on. So this year, um, we brought back, or I shouldn’t say brought back, but we introduced it now this year, exp Realties here, Jim Wong.
And that was one of our contexts. That were like, Jim, you gotta come, you gotta come. And guess what? Jim came, and now I’m sure exp Realty’s gonna be doing some more things with, with, um, with Texas f f a next year. And it’s just gonna continue to grow because for anybody that’s out there talking about, uh, there’s talent or there’s not enough talent, or people don’t wanna work or this or that, Uhuh come to Texas, f f a.
Come to Texas, f f a, we have over 165,000 members. So we, we have a workforce that is going to hit Yeah. The market. Yeah. And, um, for those who are in tune with it, you know where to target mm-hmm. Your efforts, um, for productivity in your companies. Yeah. One, well, last question. That long title, what does the co-chair do?
What do what? Tell me about, I, I need to know. Wait a minute. It was the, the host committee. There you go. The host committee. Yes. For, so every, the, the convention moves around from city to city. Mm-hmm. And in each city we have, that hosts the convention. We have a group of, uh, individuals. Local to the area who have connections through the industry.
Mm-hmm. Most ag related, some not ag related. And we raise the funds to pay for the convention and, um, the leadership programs that happen throughout the year, I. For ag teachers and students alike, and so it’s a, it’s a fundraising committee. Fantastic. I had to ask that one because that was a long title. We need to know what they do.
Well, Kathy, really, it has been a pleasure having you on the show today. I’m thrilled to, to be part of this and to have a past state officer and a co-chair of the host committee on, on the show so that we can get your perspective on what it’s like to rise through the ranks and, and to be on that a hundred, a hundred per a hundred campaign.
Campaign. Yes. So thank you for coming on the show. Seriously. Well, thank you for having me. I’ve certainly enjoyed it and I hope, I hope Industry sees this podcast and understands what we’re turning out here.