Nick Weyand’s involvement with both Future Farmers of America (FFA) and RFD-TV began when he was a student at Fallbrook High School. In the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade RFD-TV collaborated with FFA to feature the youth agricultural organization on the television channel’s float, which gave Weyand a role as a reporter for the RFD-TV show “FFA Today.”
“It was just kind of a really good experience. It made me happy that I could help promote the float for everyone,” Weyand said.
Weyand was in tenth grade when his family moved from Los Angeles County to Fallbrook. He joined FFA while at Fallbrook High School and spent three years in the program. Weyand graduated from Fallbrook High School in 2009 and is now an agricultural science major at Cal Poly Pomona.
RFD-TV is a national television channel dedicated to serving the needs of rural America and agriculture. (RFD stands for Rural Free Delivery, a U.S. Postal Service innovation in the 1890s which provided for mail delivery to boxes on rural roads rather than forcing rural residents to travel to a post office several miles away.) Although no cable television companies serving Fallbrook carry RFD-TV, it is available as a satellite channel and throughout the nation more than 600 cable television carriers provide RFD-TV to their subscribers.
RFD-TV’s shows include FFA Today, in which FFA members serve as hosts and reporters. The RFD-TV programming also includes two programs produced by Weyand’s family: Equestrian Nation and the cooking show Cowboy Flavor. While he was at Fallbrook High School, Weyand secured a position as an FFA Today reporter and
covered various FFA events, including participation at the San Diego County Fair and other youth fairs.
The theme of the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade was “A Cut Above the Rest”, and RFD-TV saw an opportunity to showcase the FFA organization and its activities on a world stage. The FFA Today float included FFA’s 2009-10 national officers and the 52 state and territorial FFA presidents (Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands joined the 50 states). The Phoenix Decorating Company created the float which included more than 10,000 fresh flowers as well as commodities grown by American farmers including corn, wheat, soybeans, and cotton. (Tournament of Roses Parade floats must be covered entirely with organic material.)
In addition to being watched by approximately one million live viewers, an estimated 42 million television viewers throughout the United States, and an estimated 100 million television viewers worldwide, the float also received the Rose Parade’s Craftsman Award for exceptional showmanship and dramatic impact for a float over 55 feet in length.
RFD-TV aired a one-hour special titled “Making of the FFA Float”, and Weyand covered the float’s construction for FFA Today. He witnessed the construction and decoration of the float, interviewed Phoenix Decorating Company personnel, addressed the impact of the publicity for FFA and learned how participants are trained to wave in a parade.
Weyand also rode on the FFA Today float as it was being moved from the construction site to the destination warehouse.
“I rode across Pasadena on the float. It was like a one-man parade,” he said.
Weyand watched the actual January 1 parade on television at his home.
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