In front of more than 2,500 people, FFA student Chloe Hobbs stood in the spotlight and recited five paragraphs reflecting the beliefs of many youths throughout the United States.
“I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task,” said Hobbs while holding a microphone and capturing the judges attention.
After delivering the words of the FFA Creed during the 89th North Carolina FFA State Convention in Raleigh, the Lakewood High School student placed first in the Jim Graham FFA Creed Speaker Career Development Event. In October, the rising sophomore will be traveling to Indianapolis to represent North Carolina at the 90th National FFA Convention. She enjoyed bringing recognition to the school in western Sampson County.
“It felt really good to be able to represent my school and take it to nationals,” Hobbs said.
To earn the top spot, Hobbs had to learn the creed written by E.M. Tiffany, which was adopted at the Third National FFA Convention and revised at the 38th and 63rd conventions. She competed in regional and local divisions before making it to the state level. The FFA members are judged on their voice, stage presence, expression, accuracy and general effect. It also involved questions from judges about the creed and other agricultural topics.
In the competition, Hobbs is excited about representing North Carolina’s FFA, which has more than 20,000 students with nearly 285 chapters throughout the state.
“It puts a lot of pressure on me, but then again, it makes me feel special because I went that far and came out on top,” she said.
Through FFA, Hobbs said she has learned a lot about independence and leadership, which is taught in the creed. She’s also gaining experience through Supervised Agricultural Experiences, a program which allows students to learn about different careers. The previous school year was her first year with the FFA organization. She’s also a member of the Student Government Associated and participated on the cheerleading team.
Hobbs also enjoys singing at Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church, where she competes with other youths through Bible Drill. It involves remembering a lot of verses in a month. Another activity is locating books of the Bible and verses in less than 10 seconds. She also made it to the state level in this competition.
“I have to have them down word for word, so that definitely helped me in presenting the creed in front of more than 2,500 people,” Hobbs said. “I’m used to talking in front of people and projecting my voice.”
Along with FFA and schoolwork, Hobbs said her faith is something that helps with her personal life, when it comes to be a Christian.
Hobbs FFA Advisors are Jacob Scott and John Fortner. Scott praised Hobbs for her accomplishment.
“We are proud of Chloe,” Scott said.
Scott also expressed how her agricultural background played an important part of her success during the FFA competition. Her sister Johnnah Hobbs, a rising LHS senior, also helped to prepare her for the contest. Johnnah also competed at the state level.
“Chloe is from an agricultural family and is able to relate to every line of the FFA Creed,” Scott said. “I have no doubt that is why Chloe was successful in this event.”
The 15-year-old grew up on a farm and is the daughter of John and Susannah Hobbs. The work ethic she learned played a major part in her FFA achievement. When the honor student is away from school, she’s usually busy helping her father on the land which grows crops such as tobacco, corn, wheat and soybeans.
“She’s a good helper and she’s definitely a leader,” Susannah said. “She’s a take charge kind of girl.”