Baughman elected to Oklahoma AFR State Youth Advisory Council

Drew Butler
Lone Grove FFA Vice-President Cassidy Baughman (far right) was recently elected to serve on the Oklahoma American Farmers and Ranchers State Youth Advisory Council. The five member council from left to right: Jace James, Paike McNeil, Katelyn Blevins, Abby Bell, Cassidy Baughman.

Lone Grove Senior and FFA Vice-President Cassidy Baughman was recently elected to serve on the Oklahoma American Farmers and Ranchers State Youth Advisory Council. The five-person council acts as mentors for Oklahoma youth and participates in agriculture-based service projects throughout the year.

Baughman was elected during the 2020 AFR Leadership Summit, a leadership camp she has attended since she was in seventh grade. While the summit and leadership election typically take place in Midwest City, this year’s event and election campaign were held entirely online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Baughman posted a recorded campaign speech, participated in Zoom interviews, and the attendees then chose her to serve on the council.

She said she is incredibly excited to serve, and she described some of her duties as a council member.

“One of our general duties is to be a spokesperson for the AFR, especially anything to do with the youth outreach program,” Baughman said. "We also help host and organize all of the youth events.”

Because many of the organization’s fall activities have been cancelled because of the pandemic, the council’s primary focus is on making their spring events as special as possible. She’s most excited about planning next year’s AFR Leadership Summit.

“It’s amazing how much work goes into planning these events, and now there’s the extra pressure of trying to give the AFR as many opportunities as possible while keeping safety in mind because of the pandemic,” Baughman said. “The main focus of the camp is leadership, so it’s an amazing opportunity to help develop leaders within the youth ag community of Oklahoma.”

She said lessons learned at camp can be as complex as creating and achieving life goals and as simple as learning how to do a proper handshake.

“As a student who has attended camp for several years and learned all of these valuable life lessons, it’s so amazing to see all of the behind the scenes work that goes into planning and organizing the event,” Baughman said. “So you really feel like you’re making an impact on some of these kids.”

Serving on the youth advisory council is a tradition within Baughman’s family as her mother, sister, and multiple cousins all having been members in the past. She is thrilled to be carrying on the tradition.

“I’m super excited to serve on the council,” Baughman said. “It’s an amazing opportunity, and I would encourage students in the Ardmore area to attend the camp because it’s an amazing experience.”