GUSTINE - Involvement in FFA has paid a variety of dividends for Gustine High senior John Toste Jr.
Toste, who was raised on a local dairy, followed in the footsteps of two older sisters who were accomplished FFA members and has since compiled his own resume of experiences in the organization.
“I am passionate about ag and the dairy industry,” said Toste, who said that both his older sisters Makayla and Adriana were role models for him.
During his years in FFA, Toste has shown a swine project one year, taken dairy projects to Los Banos and Merced for three years, been involved in project competition (earning a merit award) and been active in dairy judging.
One of his first big moments in FFA, though, came as a freshman when Toste competed in the creed competition.
“After the creed competition I knew that FFA was for me,” he shared, adding that the event boosted his self-confidence. “I have a speech impediment, so creed speaking helped me. It has helped me be confident in what I am saying, that I am saying the right thing and that I am making a point.”
Toste, the son of John and Sandra Toste, said he also tries to take part in community events in which the FFA is involved, such as walking in the annual Veterans Day parade.
He has also run for section and regional office as part of his FFA experiences.
He has also attended the national and state FFA conferences, and enjoys pitching in to help ag teachers in the school shops and school farm.
Wood shop is one of his favorite ag classes, Toste explained, and he has enjoyed building a variety of projects.
The FFA involvement, he added, has further honed the work ethic which he developed while working on the family dairy.
FFA has taught him “to have that drive, and a good mindset for whatever you want to do,” Toste related. “If you want to set a goal, drive for it. That is basically the big thing in FFA. If you want something, go after it and try to reach your goal.”
Toste said he will major in dairy science and minor in ag business at Modesto Junior College before returning to join the family dairy.