David and Nancy Hall held very different positions during the National FFA Convention where the motion to allow female membership was passed. Fifty years later, they have built a legacy of successful women in the organization.
FFA love stories are common, yet powerful. Longtime sweethearts will recall meeting in a classroom or competing against one another in a leadership development event. David and Nancy Hall have been together for nearly 50 years. However, their FFA relationship is unique, as it is grounded in the delegate vote that allowed women to attain FFA membership.
In 1968, David Hall, from the Heppner FFA Chapter, served as the Oregon State FFA Reporter and was a voting delegate at the convention in Kansas City. The position of the Oregon FFA Association at that time was to vote against the motion on the floor. The motion passed by a two-vote margin, and women were allowed to earn membership the following year.
Nancy was attending the convention as a high school senior and an advocate for female membership. However, she and her fellow classmates were not allowed to interact, travel with, or even stay in the same hotel as the Oregon delegation because they were not technically state FFA members.
When the state officers learned about the situation, the teammates drew straws to determine who would approach the women from their state. David drew the short straw and invited the women to lunch. He was vehemently turned down. Despite the initial rejection, Nancy’s “no” made an impression on David.
A few short months later, Nancy was able to attend the Oregon State FFA Convention as a fully recognized FFA member. David was able to turn that no into a yes, and their first date ended up being the movie night held during the state convention. A year later, they were married while attending Oregon State University.
Today, the Halls have a legacy of successful female FFA members in their family. Their daughters, Jodi Hall Koterba and Linda Hall Brown, both served as state FFA officers in Pennsylvania. Their four granddaughters, Vicki Brown, Kaitlyn Koterba, Mary Brown and Amber Brown, have all been active FFA members and have served various officer positions, competed in state and national events, and earned State and American FFA Degrees throughout the years.
While their positions in 1969 might have been on opposite sides of the vote, they definitely agree on one thing today.
“FFA is a great organization and allows students to take advantage of many diverse opportunities available,” they say. “Agriculture is so many things, and the leadership training available through FFA is something anyone – male or female – can take advantage of and use throughout his or her life.”