LAWTON, Ok (KSWO) - For Gabby Barber, FFA was the gateway to a career in zoology. She walked into the ag building in 8th grade, unaware that a national organization would change her life.
"I've really found a passion for not only ag industry, but a lot of things in myself I never thought possible," Barber said.
Gabby is the reporter for Lawton FFA. She's responsible for taking pictures and documenting what goes on within the chapter. In fact, she does such a great job at it, she won the State Reporter's Book Contest her sophomore year at the state convention.
"They called second place and it wasn't me," she said. "I was so overcome with joy and excitement."
Just recently, Gabby won a full scholarship to attend the Washington Leadership Conference in D.C. through Cotton Electric. Gabby will also serve on this year's social media team for the Oklahoma FFA State Convention. These achievements come as no surprise to Eisenhower High's ag teacher, Lindsey Hoerbert, who says Gabby is one-in-a-million.
"Gabby is a character, by far one of the best leadership kids we have," Hoerbert said. "Her morals and principles speak for themselves. She's concerned about grades and concerned about making sure things are in on time. Gabby is that student you hope others would look up to."
Gabby didn't grow up in agriculture, but through Lawton FFA, she found a passion that can speak to the majority of the population: advocating for an industry that touches everyone.
"Only 2% of Americans are involved in direct agriculture and through the things I do, whether that be speaking about it or advocating for it, it shows you don't have to part of that two percent to be a part of agriculture at all," Barber said.
FFA encourages students to get out of their comfort zone and Gabby more than embraced that.