Montana FFA Executive Director Named Montana Young Professional Woman of the Year

July 6, 2021

SIDNEY –  Montana FFA Foundation Executive Director, Gwynn Simeniuk, was named Montana Young Professional Woman of the Year on June 11 at the Montana Young Professionals Summit in Sidney, Montana.  

The goal of Montana Young Professionals is to bring young professionals from across the state together to foster relationships and grow from personal and professional development opportunities.  

Fostering relationships and growing both personally and professionally is no stranger to Simeniuk. Her time at the Montana FFA Foundation began in May 2017 as the Program & Events Manager after she graduated from Montana State University with degrees in Agricultural Education and Animal Science. During her second year at the Foundation, she simultaneously earned her Master’s in Science Education – Biology from Western Governors University. Then, in January 2019, she was promoted to Executive Director. An Opheim native, Simeniuk has demonstrated a strong, dedicated work ethic and embodies a progress-oriented, difference-making individual.  

Personal and professional growth isn’t the only thing Simeniuk has helped sprout while at the Montana FFA Foundation. Using her talent and instinct for fundraising and development, she facilitated a 43% revenue increase in 2019 through an in-kind land donation and maintained the increase in 2020 by procuring a strategic multi-year grant to hire a Director of Development at the FFA Foundation.   

As Executive Director, Simeniuk started the Foundation’s Emerge Education program, a special project designed to benefit all Montana FFA chapters and members. From 2019 to date, she secured $65,000 in Emerge Education funding which local FFA programs can apply to use for leadership development and increasing community impact by updating or enhancing agricultural education classroom STEM equipment and curriculum. From serving as an FFA State Officer in 2013-2014 to leading the FFA Foundation, Simeniuk is consistently driven to create opportunities for young Montanans in agricultural education. 

During the pandemic, Simeniuk’s vision led the Foundation in coordinating a unique version of the John Deere Ag Expo, an annual leadership conference held in Bozeman that usually brings over 1,500 FFA members to Montana State University. Despite restrictions, she had the idea to host in-person FFA contests in twelve different communities by working with individual county health departments and securing PPE (masks, surface disinfectants, infrared thermometers, etc). 

“Montana Young Professionals is committed to providing career development opportunities, networking, and community engagement opportunities for young individuals across the state. Gwynn exhibits the same commitment to agricultural education students in Montana. She takes on any challenge with remarkable resourcefulness and tact to find unique solutions. With her professional demeanor and steadfast ambition to grow the next generation of leaders in Montana, Gwynn shines as a young professional in our state,” said Jacob Martin, Marketing and Development Coordinator for the Montana FFA Foundation.  

The signature program for MTYP is an annual summit, but the group supports young professional programs across many different communities in the state throughout the year. 

The Montana FFA Foundation supports 99 FFA chapters across the state of Montana, representing over 5,000 members. The Montana FFA Foundation’s mission is to cultivate partnerships, promote awareness and secure resources to enhance Agricultural Education and the Montana FFA Association.

Source: MT FFA Foundation