Kylie Baldwin’s love of agriculture comes naturally.
The Redmond High School senior has lived on a farm her whole life. Baldwin’s a beekeeper and also helps her family raise goats. She’s been involved in either 4-H or Future Farmers of America since she was 5.
Baldwin hopes to become an agriculture teacher and educate future generations about the importance of farms.
“I think it’s so important for students to not have unanswered questions about what’s put on their plate,” said Baldwin, 17. “Agriculture feeds us three meals a day, and puts fuel in our vehicles.”
In March, the 12,000 student members of Oregon FFA elected Baldwin to the position of state reporter. She’ll postpone college for a year while she travels around the state to visit all 112 FFA chapters along with the five other elected state officers, she said. In October, she’ll attend the National Future Farmers of America Convention in Indianapolis.
Baldwin was introduced to FFA in ninth grade during an agriculture class in Nampa, Idaho, where she lived at the time. She quickly fell in love with the program’s unique, hands-on activities and ability to connect with local farmers and ranchers, she said.
“When I first joined my very first ag class, I found my place,” Baldwin said. “It exposes students to things they wouldn’t get in a traditional classroom.”
After her year-long term with FFA ends, Baldwin plans to attend the University of Idaho in the fall of 2022 to study agricultural science, communication and leadership.
Then, Baldwin wants to become an agriculture teacher and foster the same passion she has for farming in the next generation. In particular, she hopes to clear up misconceptions people have about agriculture’s impact on the environment, she said.
“People blame the little guy, when we’re not looking at the auto industry and other industries that are bad for the environment,” Baldwin said. “In fact, agriculturalists are the first environmentalists.”
Lance Hill, an agriculture teacher and FFA adviser at Redmond High School, said Baldwin would make a great leader of future farmers.
“She has a huge passion for telling the story of agriculture,” he said of Baldwin. “She has this innate ability and charisma that even for adults, she has a personality that you’re drawn to.”