SAN BENITO — Christian Cavazos leads by example.

As a leader, he aims to uphold the values he and his fellow FFA State Officers try to instill in fellow FFA members around the state.

Yesterday was truly special for Christian because he, along with President Jacob Traylor from Gilmer and Vice President Connor McKinzie from Stephenville were invited by Veterans Memorial Academy to speak to the FFA students.

Cavazos is a former student at VMA and experienced major success as an FFA student there.

Their purpose for the day was to instill leadership and encourage the students to be the best they can be.

Ag teacher Eddie Garcia hoped the speakers would help the students establish leadership skills and discipline they could use in their daily lives.

Cavazos is no stranger to FFA gold, making him an ideal state officer.

In 2013, when he was a freshman at San Benito Veterans Memorial Academy, he had that year’s grand champion steer, a feat that earned him $22,000 at the Sale of Champions auction.

That kind of success didn’t happen overnight.

Cavazos said he worked hard and dedicated copious amounts of time to his animal and any animal that came before and after.

All three state officers had the same message for the students, be extraordinary.

Two contradicting words when put together mean something great, Traylor said.

According to the leaders, there are three ways to get there.

“You have to make the choice to be extraordinary,” Cavazos told the students.

The average person makes about 35,000 conscious decisions a day.

“You have thousands more choices to make, make sure they are positive and good,” Cavazos said.

The second is to be unique and embrace your uniqueness.

“We are all created to be unique,” Traylor said. “Be extra you.”

The FFA program in San Benito as a whole can be considered extra.

Over the years, the FFA program has developed a reputation for excelling and sometime over excelling.

Garcia said it’s because of the kids. This year they have done exceptionally well.

“Across the board, we had a sale of champions,” Garcia said. “They have been very productive in their season.”

Thirdly, in addition to making good choices and embracing uniqueness, the students were encouraged to “Light it up.”

With all the darkness that is sometimes in this world, what can we do to make it brighter, said McKinzie.

FFA BY THE NUMBERS

649,355 – FFA student membership

7,859 – The number of FFA chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

115,630 – Texas has the largest membership in the country

1928 – When Future Farmers of America was founded