WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Spreading the word about agriculture is a passion many have, but only a few have the opportunity to actually do it in a leadership position.

Hoping to continue his love for both FFA and the agriculture industry is Jacob Mattox, a former Indiana FFA southern region vice president, who will be representing Indiana as he runs for a 2013-2014 National FFA office at this year’s National FFA Convention, which will take place Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 in Louisville, Ky.

“Jake is awesome and is so genuine and sincere,” said Coty Back, previously assistant director of leadership programs for the Indiana FFA.

Back, who served as National FFA eastern region vice president from 2006 to 2007, noted that he has been impressed by Mattox’s ability to connect so well with everybody he meets, which he added will serve him well not only in the national officer interview process, but in life, as well.

“I’m elated. I couldn’t be more excited to be Indiana’s candidate,” Mattox said, adding that he has been preparing for the upcoming interviews every chance he gets, whether it is by brushing up on his FFA facts or learning everything there is to know about agriculture.

The first round of the interview process for National FFA office will begin the weekend prior to the official start of the convention.

Sunday through Tuesday, Mattox will go through several rounds of interviews, which will test his public speaking and leadership skills, FFA and agriculture knowledge and passion to serve others.

After the initial round of interviews, Back explained, the nominating committee will cut 50 percent of the candidates from each of the regions, leaving the top 50 percent of the individuals to go through the second half of the interview process.

Those rounds will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, but Back stressed that the new officer team would not be announced until the last session of the national convention on Saturday morning.

Although he noted that Indiana’s national officer candidate has been attending Purdue University, where he is majoring in agriculture education while preparing for the interviews, he believes Mattox has a good chance of making this year’s officer team.

“His odds are just as good as any one else,” he said.

Mattox noted that he chose to get ready for the interviews and go to school at the same time because while he loves FFA, he wants to be able to get his college degree in a reasonable amount of time and doesn’t want to put all of his eggs in one basket in case he isn’t elected to a national office.