Written by Emily Pan, Chapter Reporter
SLO FFA is beyond excited to welcome Ms. Brittney Thompson to our program! She is the new student teacher in our agriculture program and will be with us from now through the end of the 2021-22 school year! Ms. Thompson is from Galt, CA, where she grew up. During her time in high school, she was an active member of her school’s FFA, ASB, and sports teams. Upon graduation, she attended Cal Poly SLO where she majored in agricultural communications. Intending to become an ag teacher, she is currently pursuing a masters degree in agricultural education. Meeting her for the first time, we could tell she has a passion for agriculture and always has a smile on her face. We had the fortunate opportunity to sit down with her and learn more about her background, interests, and plans for the future.
Ms. Thompson was very involved in high school as a leader, athlete, and excellent student. She initially got involved in agriculture during her freshman year when she said she “accidentally” signed up for ag biology. However, she quickly developed a passion for agriculture and participated in many agricultural competitions. During her time in Liberty Ranch FFA, she served as an officer, competed in public speaking contests, participated in the agriscience fair, and raised livestock. As a junior and senior, Ms. Thompson competed in the extemporaneous public speaking contest, arguably the most difficult speaking competition, where she had thirty minutes to prepare a four minute speech on a given agricultural topic and present it to the judges. She also participated in parliamentary procedure since her freshman year. Within her first week of high school, Ms. Thompson recalled her ag teacher encouraged her to take part in parli pro and she says her experience in parli pro was the highlight of her high school career as it got her out of her comfort zone and helped her develop a strong interest in FFA and agriculture. As a public speaker, she was very successful, being a parli pro winner at the national level! She will be an incredible mentor to the public speakers in our program.
Besides spending time in FFA competitions, Ms. Thompson also raised and showed pigs all four years of high school. She also served in numerous leadership positions, such as being a public relations chapter officer her junior year, chapter president her senior year, sectional secretary, and regional reporter. We are fortunate that Ms. Thompson brings so much leadership experience to our agriculture program! Ms. Thompson was not only an active member of Liberty Ranch FFA, but she also served as her high school’s ASB secretary and was on their soccer and cheerleading teams.
Ms. Thompson continued her love for cheer in college at Cal Poly where she was a member of the Mustang cheer team all four years. In 2021, during her senior year, she also served as captain of the Cal Poly cheer team. Currently, she is back at Cal Poly serving as their assistant cheer coach. Besides cheerleading, Ms. Thompson also enjoys powerlifting in her free time, and of course, getting involved in agriculture!
At Cal Poly, Ms. Thompson majored in agricultural communications. Although she doesn’t come from an agricultural background, she said her time in FFA really influenced her to pursue this degree. Since she raised pigs during high school, it’s no surprise that Ms. Thompson worked at the swine unit at Cal Poly. There, she was in charge of caring for the pigs from farrow to finish, including feeding; moving and processing new litters; packing; and selling. When asked about her favorite aspect of agriculture, she immediately said it’s the passionate and supportive people that makes agriculture so unique.
Ms. Thompson said she hopes she will be able to help other ag students find their place in agriculture, just like her ag biology teacher did for her. She is super excited to join the SLO FFA family and is looking forward to meeting all of the students and learning more about our program! We are fortunate that Ms. Thompson comes from a strong ag science school where they were actively involved in research and competitions. As we redevelop our program after two years lost to the pandemic and look towards the completion of the new agriculture buildings, we are excited to have her during such a pivotal time. She will bring fresh ideas and a positive attitude to our program and we feel lucky to have Ms. Thompson with us this year! We can’t wait to get to know her more and when you see Ms. Thompson, be sure to welcome her to SLOHS!