From showing at the Big Fresno Fair to judging it

Published: Feb 17, 2023

Byline: Laila Rollin

In a small community outside of Fresno called Riverdale, agriculture is the core of the culture, and the town’s commitment to youth organizations including FFA and 4-H is a great example of what that looks like.

I should know, because Riverdale is my hometown, and I experienced this commitment first-hand – and it played a big role in my journey to Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Through these clubs, students are laying the foundation to build their own networks and grow themselves into professionals who represent the future of the agriculture industry. Nutrien Ag Solutions plays a big role in supporting these very important programs, and as a longtime member of both organizations, I’m proud to be part of the Nutrien team today.

Showing animals at a local county fair is an important part of the 4-H experience across the US, and it was a tradition in my family as well. A student raises an animal, names it, trains it, shows it at the fair and then sells it. I had the opportunity to do this many times throughout my childhood and teen years, and I learned the hard work it requires to raise livestock.

Our family tradition began with our own herd of cattle, Sweet Haven Dairy. Every year, we walked the pens looking for heifers and cows to show at the local fairs. This not only taught us to compare the qualities between one cow and another but to commit and follow through on these projects from beginning to end. We did not win every time but stood at the top of the class more often than not. 

This year, instead of showing, I was judging the Round Robin classes with my dad by my side. Walking up into the ring with my Nutrien hat, shirt, and sweater, I was there to represent both my family and my company.

There was a shortage of judges this year, and I’m proud that two Nutrien employees stood up to give a helping hand.

But volunteering when we’re needed is only the beginning. Nutrien Ag Solutions is also a Silver Sponsor at the National FFA Convention, and we support by investing in students’ projects through our Give Back to Your Roots Grants Programs. All FFA chapters have the option of applying for up to $5,000 in grant money to invest in their community efforts.

As an example, the South Lake FFA Chapter in Florida used a Give Back to Your Roots grant to revitalize its membership and rebuild its greenhouse, which was destroyed by a hurricane. I’m proud that we made such an impact on that chapter!

National FFA Week

This year’s National FFA Week is February 18 to 25. 

Learn more

Role of FFA & 4-H on the Family Farm | AgAmerica

Nutrien Ag Solutions and FFA: Building the Future Together - National FFA Organization