Like many other students, the Johnson siblings are missing out on important milestones in their lives due to COVID-19. While they may not have been afforded traditional graduation ceremonies, the Johnsons have made the best of their situation.
Tori and Tripp Johnson come from a family of farmers. The brother and sister duo grew up surrounded by their dad’s peach trees and broiler houses in the Meadow community where their extended family has farmed for years. Each one is a graduate in the class of 2020; Tripp from Hobbton High School in Sampson County and Tori from the University of Mount Olive.
Tori, who majored in Agricultural Education, was a member of the Collegiate FFA and has been on the Dean’s List several semesters. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and has received the American FFA Degree. Although she is not yet employed, Tori would like to teach agriculture at a local high school, ultimately developing an FFA chapter there where she would have access to a greenhouse and livestock animals.
“The University of Mount Olive has provided me with several hands-on learning opportunities,” Tori said. “It is important, especially as a future educator, to learn by doing. UMO has helped me do that inside and outside of the classroom.”
Tori believes that she, Tripp and, their older sister, Royce share a passion for agriculture. “We have all been heavily involved with FFA, but we have all had a bit of different experiences. We all love plants, animals, and the overall nature surrounding us, which does help bond my family. With our mom being sick since last May, my siblings and I have been motivated to do well. I want to be successful in my life and decided to keep going with my college career and even picked up a summer class so I could graduate on time. My mom has been a great motivator, and I am following in her footsteps by also becoming an educator.”
Tripp, a member of the senior class at Hobbton High School, looks forward to his upcoming graduation. Throughout his high school career, he has been an active member of the local FFA chapter and served as a chapter and regional FFA officer. He has served as FFA chapter president and as a Southeast Region Vice President for the past two years. Tripp is currently in the running to be a North Carolina FFA State Officer, a position that could provide him the opportunity to serve FFA members from all across the state.
Tripp has received several awards during high school including the FFA Star Greenhand for the most active freshman FFA member, the FFA Blue and Gold award, Best All-Around Student during both his freshman and junior years and Most School-Spirited Senior.
“Hobbton High School definitely prepared me, not only for my future career but for the real world. At Hobbton I came in contact with students of different races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic classes. We had so much diversity in school that it taught me to appreciate everyone’s ideas and opinions because we all have different experiences.”
Tripp plans to attend North Carolina State University in the fall and major in Agricultural Business Management. In college, he hopes to have the opportunity to be an active contributor to the North Carolina FFA Association, as well as, becoming involved with North Carolina Farm Bureau and the N.C. State Young Farmers and Ranchers. In the future, he would like to work for an agriculture company promoting the ag industry.
Growing up in a rural town that is economically dependent on agriculture has helped to fuel Tripp’s passion for agriculture. His grandmother shared her love for plants with him and helped to spark his interest in horticulture. Additionally, Tripp’s love for FFA began as he watched his sisters actively participate in FFA. “My sister, Tori, inspires me every day with her passion for teaching youth about agriculture. She makes me want to be more involved in promoting the agriculture industry.”
Tori and Tripp are both excited about their future endeavors and look forward to celebrating with their family. For now, Tori says, “My brother and I are reaping the rewards given to graduates; such as free Krispy Kreme donuts and Pizza Hut pizza.” Congratulations, Tori and Tripp! We know these siblings will thrive in the agriculture field.