EATON — Johnathon Cottingim has been elected to a sentinel post with the Ohio Future Farmers of America. Cottingim, 18, graduated from Preble Shawnee earlier this month as valedictorian. Last week, he was also elected 2016 Preble County Junior Fair King.
FFA sentinels are tasked with assisting the chapter president in maintaining order, as well as keeping the meeting room, chapter equipment, and supplies in proper condition. To be elected to the position, one must first apply, take a competency test, and go through an interview process with past officers, FFA officials, and high ranking members. Finally, the candidate must give a speech before the local chapter, after which members choose whether to approve and assign a position.
Cottingim completed the application tasks with the assistance of agricultural instructor and FFA advisor Carmen Kennel.
“Throughout the year,” Cottingim said, “I’ll be doing workshops and things, and focusing on diversity among our FFA members and in Ohio agriculture. Ohio has some of the most diverse agriculture of any state in the nation, and I want to continue that.
“I’d also like to do a workshop focusing on the difference between strengths and talents,” he continued. “A talent is something you’re born with; a strength is something you have to work at. They say a strength is 50% talent, 25% skill, and 25 percent knowledge. Here in Ohio, we’re blessed with thousands of talented FFA members, but we really need to let them know it’s not enough to just be talented — you have to be knowledgeable and you have to work hard to make yourself the best you can be.”