NJSA Junior Board Feature :: Angie Ruffoni
What is your favorite aspect of being on the Junior Board?
My favorite aspect and the most rewarding part of serving on the NJSA Junior Board is being able to help youth further develop their passion for pigs while continuing to educate our members. Sharing a common passion for pigs that unites kids and families across the nation is inspiring. Ultimately, our members are getting a hands-on education in agriculture that is second to none. The skills and life lessons learned and demonstrated through the ring, along with participating in activities like skillathon, public speaking and career development events prepare them with practical experiences they can apply in every aspect of their lives. The greatest aspect of serving as a NJSA Board of Director is helping youth achieve their potential, along with being a role model knowing that I can make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of NJSA members, families and others. Whether is it helping our shows run smoothly, mentoring a younger member in the MVP program, leading a leadership development workshop at NYLC, or giving a high five to a first-time showman, my experiences on the NJSA Junior Board are truly humbling to reflect on.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
A fun fact about myself is along with showing livestock, I grew up playing a variety of sports, my most fondest is dancing. I danced competitively for over 10 years and was a member of a few different dance companies. I studied multiple genres like Ballet Pointe, Jazz and Contemporary. I traveled to dance competitions to perform and compete both solo or with my dance company, similar to traveling the country for livestock shows.
What is your favorite stock show memory?
Although I am grateful and blessed for the great successes I have had throughout my show career, the moments that have made the largest impressions on me aren’t the banners or buckles. My favorite memories are those early mornings and late evenings spent in the barn with family and time spent with friends in the barn and at shows. As any show family knows, much time and preparation goes into getting ready for the upcoming shows with a lot of work that starts in the barn and never truly ends – for all that our parents do for us, there is no way of repaying them. I am eternally thankful for such a strong family support system and mentors and friends who have supported and cheered me on along the way for every endeavor and adventure allowing me to chase my passions and goals.
How do you hope to impact the agriculture industry?
I strive to provide a positive impact within the agriculture industry by encouraging and empowering our youth to recognize what they truly can accomplish with their incredible strengths, personalities and experiences. My hope is to strengthen the publics’ perception on agriculture through advocacy and connecting youth to the industry, but to also ensure we are meeting youth and their families where they are and helping them understand their responsibility to the swine and agriculture industries. I hope to challenge kids to take advantage of the enormous opportunities afforded to them, always work harder than the day before, give back to others, think differently, ask why and be open to diverse backgrounds. By actively investing my time, experiences and talents within the swine industry, I can continue to help provide and develop resources for youth to further develop these skills. Being passionate about pigs and the people in our industry, I plan to stay involved in a variety of organizations whose missions are to improve and enhance our industry for generations.