The Future Farmers Association of California has a new president that grew up here in North County and recently graduated from Templeton High School — Dean Hill. It is a long and arduous process that takes months and many interviews. Still, in the end, a former Templeton Eagle will be traveling up and down the state educating the youth about agriculture and getting them excited about the future.

Hill started with a screening process where he turned in an application and an essay stating why he was qualified and wanted to work as a state officer. Next, he began an interview process where after each round of interviews, the pool of potential offers was cut down just a little until there were only 12 remaining.

The 12 remaining students were grouped into six separate pairs, representing the six different positions. They had a final one-on-one chance where the judges asked two impromptu questions to the candidates with the best answer earning the spot.

“There were about 370 delegates that all voted who they thought would be the best six officers, and at the end of the day, I had more votes, so I was placed as president,” Hill said. “It is a big honor. No one from Templeton has ever been president, so my chapter is very proud.”

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Contributed photos

As president, Hill will live in a house in the Stockton area, and spend the year advocating for agriculture throughout California.

“I get to spend this next year going around chapters all across the state teaching some of the 93,000 members that are a part of the organization in California,” Hill stated. “There are going to be workshops, conferences, and we really try and connect with the students as well as teach them about leadership and how to be better advocates for agriculture.”

Going into the process, Hill wasn’t sure if he would be selected for any of the six positions, let alone the president, and applied for colleges as most graduating seniors do. Hill was accepted to Cal Poly, and the college agreed to hold his spot for next year while he spends time working with youth that could end up at their university.

“I will be going to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for Agricultural Systems Management next year. Cal Poly was very flexible and very easy to work with. They held my acceptance, so I will still be an admitted student for next year, but yes, my position there is locked, and they are as excited as I was, and it was nice to have support like that,” Hill said.

The 18-year-old has already moved north and has just begun his year of influence on a generation of future farmers in California.