Where Are They Now? | November 2023 | By Ashley Butler
Meet Kristan Earl,
An alumni member from the Sky View FFA Chapter who is now the President and CEO of Gossner Foods in Logan, Utah - home of the famous Ultra-High Temperature Milk that’s shipped all over the world!
Kristan says that the FFA was just the natural progression as she entered high school, but she had no idea the opportunities that would be available to her because of the organization. She served as her chapter reporter, and later as the State Secretary from 2000-2001.
As a member who took it upon herself to be as involved as possible, Kristan competed in a number of different Career Development Events (CDEs), including prepared public speaking, extemporaneous public speaking, creed speaking, livestock, parli pro, floriculture + more! And true to their name, these events have proven to help her in her career.
Gossner Foods is a family owned business with just over 600 dedicated employees. Kristan’s grandma, Dolores Wheeler served as CEO until she passed away, and just 10 days after her death, Kristan gave a presentation to their entire employee group, assuming the position of President and CEO of the company, and reassuring their employees that their jobs were secure. Kristan says, “I was never more grateful for my public speaking experience as I was that evening!”
Kristan has the opportunity to attend a lot of board meetings in her role, and because of this, is also grateful for the skills she learned from the Parliamentary Procedure CDE.
“Knowing the proper way to make a motion and discuss issues on the table allows me to be a productive and active member of various boards.”
As Gossner’s receives milk from 100 local family farms, Kristan is very passionate about the future of agriculture and food production in Utah, and the important role the dairy industry plays in that.
“I love the amazing people I get to work with. I know that at the end of the day, people’s lives are enriched by their association with Gossner Foods, rather they are an employee, farm family or consumer!”
Kristan also uses her passion for the future of agriculture by being an active alumni member! She currently serves on the Utah FFA Foundation board, and jumps at any opportunity to judge a CDE contest. She says she loves it when Utah’s Annual State Convention comes to Logan, and it’s always fun to see Gossner’s retail store full of FFA students shopping for a snack!
When asked to reflect on the most important skill she learned while in the FFA and how it continues to benefit her today, she said,
“I often reference the trainings I attended as a state officer and the time management and general leadership skills that I learned!”
When asked what advice she would give to a high school student that is thinking about joining FFA, she said,
“There truly is a program for every interest in FFA, so jump in with both feet and take every opportunity until you find the thing that inspires you!”