Matthew Rounsley, State Sentinel

Age: 18
Hometown/Chapter: Tenino/Tenino FFA
Parents: Rob and Julie Rounsley
Siblings: Steven Rounsley and Robert Rounsley

"I joined FFA with the thought that I was just going to show swine but I quickly developed a deeper love for not only FFA but also agriculture," Rounsley said after he was elected. "FFA means more than just showing animals or competing on a CDE/LDE team; it means being part of a family and having support in all your adventures no matter how large the challenge." Rounsley believes FFA members have the greatest supporters - their FFA advisors - who are more than just a teacher, he believes they are family. "FFA is knowing that I have a family no matter where I am and that agriculture will continue to thrive because of the great future agricultures being grown in FFA."

Rounsley was elected to the 2017–2018 State FFA Officer team as sentinel at the 87th Washington FFA Convention.

Matt grew up on a farm with cattle and swine but says he didn't develop a love for agriculture and showing swine until the summer before his freshman year. He has raised, bred, and showed swine at the local county fair for four years as one of his supervised agricultural experience projects. Another SAE Rounsley participated in was teaching younger students in middle school and elementary school about agriculture. Matt's primary SAE project area was home and community development - serving his community through over 1200 hours of community service.

Rounsley twice served as a chapter officer, and twice as a district officer.  He also participated in various CDE and LDE events, even traveling to the California FFA Chico Field Day four different years to compete with his home chapter. Outside of FFA Matt was involved in 4H, National Honor Society and earned the position of Valedictorian among his graduating class.

In Fall of 2018 Matt plans to attend Washington State University and major in Agricultural Education. After graduation he hopes to teach agricultural education in Western Washington. His career goal is to serve as a politician representing and fighting for FFA and agriculture OR serving as the National FFA Advisor.

"As a Washington State FFA Officer, we are responsible for the future of not only WA FFA but also the agricultural education system," Rounsley commented. "My first goal as a state officer is to meet as many members as possible to to encourage them to take risks in life because without taking risks they will never know how much they can truly achieve. Another goal of mine is to continue increasing the state membership, as the amount ofstudents in agriculture education students increases I want the involvement in FFA to increase. My final goal is to advocate in the Washington Legislature for the increase of funding for agricultural education and FFA. FFA and Ag Ed is the future and without funding these amazing opportunities will be diminished."

FUN FACTS:  Favorite Food: Spaghetti  Favorite Color: Red  Favorite Movie: Italian Job  Favorite Song: Wake Me Up  Pet(s): Charlie and Dotty (dogs)