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Atwater twins make history as state FFA officers

Amanda Skidmore, 18, a senior at Atwater High, was elected state FFA secretary on Monday. Her twin brother, Andrew, was elected president. The two are the first twins to serve as state FFA officers.
Amanda Skidmore, 18, a senior at Atwater High, was elected state FFA secretary on Monday. Her twin brother, Andrew, was elected president. The two are the first twins to serve as state FFA officers. bcalix@mercedsunstar.com

Atwater High School seniors Andrew and Amanda Skidmore, twins, made history this week in Galt when both were elected sate officers for Future Farmers of America.

The brother and sister are the state’s first set of twins to be elected as FFA officers, said Jim Aschwanden, executive director and FFA center manager. On Monday, Andrew was elected president and Amanda secretary. They represent 83,000 FFA members statewide.

Andrew and Amanda, 18, both expressed gratitude to their teachers, fellow FFA members, the community and school for being elected.

 ‘Thankful’ doesn’t even begin to describe how we’re feeling,” Amanda said.

Natalie Borba, Atwater’s ag leadership and ag biology teacher, said she’s known Amanda and Andrew since they were in 4-H.

“We’re extremely proud of them. They’ve worked really hard,” she said. “They have this intrinsic motivation and they’re so supported by the other members of the Atwater FFA.”

Both have been involved in numerous FFA activities. Amanda participated in “reciting the creed,” “prepared public speaking,” “parliamentary procedures,” being a dairy judge and forming a marketing plan. Andrew was in ag mechanics, extemporaneous public speaking and various supervised ag experience projects, such as raising animals.

The twins decided to run for state office separately, but they discussed the different outcomes with one another before applying.

“We calculated the odds of us both getting it, and the number was pretty scary,” Amanda said.

More than 80 students from across the state applied to be a state officer. The applicant pool was cut down to 37 students who went through 14 hours of interviews over four days. In the end, the top 12 candidates were voted on by two delegates each from the state’s 320 chapters.

“It was like swimming a relay, and then someone hands you a 100-pound weight,” Andrew said.

Amanda found out she won the election for secretary before Andrew.

“I was in tears,” she said, “but at that point I was more worried about Andrew making it.”

The duo will postpone beginning college for one year and make visits to FFA chapters across the state.

Before being elected, Andrew planned to attend Iowa State University and Amanda planned to attend Fresno State.

“We’ve spent the last 18 years of our lives together growing up in the same household,” Andrew said. “We knew we’d go separate ways in college and that it would be OK. No matter the outcome, there’s always other ways to serve.”

Denise Skidmore, the twins’ mother, said they will make good teammates along with the other officers.

“They get along so incredibly well,” she said. “Each of them has their own strengths. They complement each other in different areas.”

The Skidmore twins will move to the state FFA center in Galt in the summer and join the other state officers, who they call their new family.

Brianna Calix: 209-385-2477

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