Darren Riskedal picked quite a year to be president of the Illinois FFA – the year of the drought! But he does not believe the historic dry spell will discourage young people from agriculture-related careers. “I really feel like the students and the members who have that farm background and have their hearts set on going back into production agriculture would probably be more likely to stick with it,” says Riskedal, “and just realize that that’s an issue that arises with agriculture and farming and there's many more issues like that, but we’ll just take them as they come and roll with it.”
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Riskedal, 19, is from Leland, in La Salle County. He is taking a year off from his studies at Joliet Junior College to serve as state FFA president. He says most of the job as president involves traveling and meeting members, as opposed to addressing production agriculture.