NEWMAN - Doreen Dyt arrived at Orestimba High as a freshman with plans to be involved in FFA and test the waters of what the organization had to offer.
But with the encouragement of one of her ag teachers and eye-opening experiences early on, Dyt immersed herself in FFA beyond a point she ever imagined.
Today Dyt, a senior, leads the Newman FFA chapter as its president and is testament to the broad range of experiences and opportunities the organization offers.
“Coming into high school I knew that I wanted to be involved in FFA. I figured I would float on the surface and not be super involved,” Dyt shared. “But my freshman year Mrs. (Stacey) Costilla showed me all the opportunities that FFA offered.”
In the four years since, Dyt has taken part in countless FFA activities.
She competed at the state level in creed speaking as a freshman, and also was on the novice parliamentary procedure and dairy judging teams.
Since that time, Dyt has continued her involvement in parliamentary procedure, competed in prepared public speaking (finishing fourth in the state as a junior), recently placed third in the section job interview contest to advance to the regional level and shown dairy projects at the county fair.
As a junior, she served as section reporter and chapter vice president.
Dyt, the daughter of Rich and Jacquie Dyt, has also attended a variety of conferences, state convention and the national FFA conference.
“National was so much fun for me,” Dyt shared. “One of the coolest experiences was looking around and seeing all the state names on jackets.”
The national event provided the opportunity to visit with FFA members from across the nation.
“Everyone has such good hearts, and they were all very passionate about agriculture,” she reflected. “It was very inspiring.”
Dyt, who is the reigning Miss Newman and involved in a host of campus activities at Orestimba, said that she has learned first-hand about what FFA has to offer and encourages other students to do the same.
“FFA teaches so many students who don’t have experience in agriculture what the industry stands for and what is involved. Agriculture affects everybody,” she stressed. “It is really easy to stay on the outskirts and not be super involved, but once you start doing the teams and the public speaking and all of that is when you really start to reap the benefits.”
The FFA program, she reiterated, is beneficial to all students who want to be involved, not just those who come from an ag background.
“It is easy for those who are not from an ag background to be a little intimidated, but even if you live in town you can still have an animal and experience ag in a hands-on way,” Dyt commented. “There are so many facets of FFA. Kids can get involved in whatever aspect (they choose). I would encourage anybody thinking about taking an ag class to just go for it.”
Even coming from an ag background, Dyt said, she has found FFA to be extremely educational.
“I knew a lot about the dairy industry, but ag is so much more widespread. I learned a lot about the other various industries,” she shared.
Dyt hopes to attend Cal Poly to major in ag business and minor in dairy science. She said she hopes to go into public relations - with a dairy focus - but has also developed an interest in politics.
Like her FFA experiences, she said, growing up on a dairy has helped shape her as a person.
“Growing up on a dairy has definitely inspired and influenced me,” Dyt said. “It has taught me the importance of hard work. They (her parents) have a huge passion for it, and it is something that I want to do in the future. I want to be in the dairy industry.”
Regardless of her career path, Dyt reflected, she will benefit from the experiences and leadership skills gained through FFA.
“I would not be anywhere without (Costilla’s) leadership and this organization. I will forever reap the benefits of my time in FFA,” Dyt remarked.
Being extremely active in FFA through her four years of high school, she added, has allowed her to use that time “to become the best version of yourself possible.”