BRIGHT FUTURE — Get to know Orangefield FFA’s influential Bryce Blacksher

Published 6:10 am Saturday, November 5, 2022

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ORANGEFIELD — Many people think Future Farmers of America is all about agriculture.

That still holds true today, but what a lot of people don’t know is FFA helps members develop public speaking skills, financial literacy, problem-solving abilities and greater civic responsibility.

One thing for certain is Orangefield senior Bryce Blacksher checks off all of those boxes.

Blacksher is the second year High School FFA Program president.

He has been involved in FFA since his freshman year and an officer since his sophomore campaign.

“I really like getting everyone excited about what we do in FFA,” Blacksher said. “What is really great is our numbers have rose the last couple years.”

Principal Rea Wrinkle said Blacksher is mild-mannered and a great influencer for FFA throughout the campus.

“He’s so full of positive energy and is such a hard worker in everything that he is involved in,” Wrinkle said.

Blacksher, the son of Angie and Ronnie Blacksher, brings a lot of excellent ideas to the mix.

“Where we really get a lot of positive ideas is from the State Convention in Dallas,” said Blacksher. “We had such a blast there this summer. There is so much energy at those meetings, and we all feed ideas off each other from across the state. You get to meet so many interesting people there and build new friendships. A lot of the convention is about team-building, and that helps me bring back fresh ideas for what we can do here at Orangefield.”

Blacksher also thoroughly enjoys a couple other camps, including a Career Development Event (CDE) and a Leadership Development Event (LDE).

“At the CDE camp it’s a lot about problem solving, learning how to present yourself and job interviewing skills,” said Blacksher. “We meet people from different local schools and get to brainstorm. It’s a great opportunity.”

Blacksher likes the different aspects of what the LDE Camp holds.

Orangefield senior Bryce Blacksher stays busy in Bobcat Country through FFA, cross country and track. (Van Wade/Orange Leader)

“With LDE, you get to learn about things like nursery landscapes and what it takes to keep things growing from flowers to trees and how to help protect our environment. We learn a lot about landscaping,” said Blacksher. “We also go and learn things like milk quality and how to preserve it and a lot about cheese quality. The learning experience at those have been so valuable.”

Blacksher and his FFA crew organize several dress-up days throughout the year, which are a blast to see what everyone comes up with.

They organized a Trick-or-Treat in the Bobcat Trails neighborhood last week.

“It was great to see all of the smiles on the little kids, which makes you feel great inside,” Blacksher said. “We also put together a Greenhand Camp. That gives us a chance to go to the junior high and energize those kids on what the FFA is all about. It’s a good recruiting tool. I remember when seniors introduced me to it when I was their age. I was hooked. The thing about Orangefield is we take a lot of pride in FFA, and our instructors are amazing.”

Blacksher also gets things done with his legs. He runs for track and is part of the District 22-3A champion Bobcat Cross Country Team.

“This was really my first year in cross country,” said Blacksher. “My track coach thought it would be a good idea, as far as my training for track goes. It certainly helped. I wasn’t necessarily one of our best runners as far as the distance but I was thrilled to be part of a really good team. We thought we had a shot at district and we got it done.”

Blacksher said Orangefield has a chance to be really good in track, with a team track title possible when the district meet comes.

“I like to run the 400 meters and can’t wait to be a leg on the mile relay,” he said. “We’ve got some really fast guys and hope to make our mark.”

Wrinkle has enjoyed Blacksher as a student-athlete, too.

“He just likes being involved,” said Wrinkle. “That’s what is so special about our kids on campus. We’re still a smaller school and we have so many of them who like to be part of as many things as possible. Bryce fits that mold and is just an amazing all-around kid.”

Of course, grades are important as Blacksher navigates his busy schedule.

“My parents have always urged me to be a good student and a good citizen,” said Blacksher. “My coaches have also stressed how important that is. I’ve been able to maintain A’s and B’s and still have time to enjoy what I love to do.”

Right now, he is striving to have the best senior year he can with all of his friends.

“Orangefield is such a tight school, where we all pretty much get along and root for everyone,” he said. “It’s flying by, and I can’t believe we are already on our third six-week period. After I graduate, I plan to go to Lamar State College Orange for my basics and then major in accounting at Lamar in Beaumont.”