Like many FFA members, Scott Pilchard was introduced to the organization through his involvement in 4-H. Growing up in Clovis, California, in the agriculturally-rich San Joaquin Valley, he was active in various 4-H projects. But seeing the “cool blue corduroy jackets” that FFA members got to wear prompted him to enroll in Introduction to Agriculture during his freshman year at Clovis High School.
The next four years were where Scott found his footing as an individual, much of that coming from the leadership and guidance of his three FFA advisors: Mr. George Lehman, Mr. Jerry Poncetta, and Mr. Tom Dean. “They were like part of my family, we spent so much time together: State Fair, County Fair, judging contests, two national FFA conventions, parliamentary procedure, chapter meetings, field trips were all part of my FFA experience. Those advisors were really good at knowing when I needed a hand of encouragement, and equally adept at letting me know when I was off-course, and needed to pay attention!”
His experience as a chapter officer (Reporter, Vice-President, and President) led Scott to run for state office in 1979 at the California State FFA Convention at Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo. Although unsuccessful, the experience proved to be very valuable to him as he saw leadership qualities he lacked, and was determined to improve in those areas. After high school graduation, Scott enrolled at Cal Poly SLO as an animal science pre-vet major. Hopes of a veterinary career faded quickly, as anything less than a 4.0 GPA wasn’t going to work for a pre-vet major. Turning to Ag Business Management, that focus certainly helped him begin his career in finance following college.
Now, as a Wealth Management Advisor for Farm Bureau Wealth Management, in Scottsdale, Scott has returned to his agricultural roots. “I love the opportunity I have to again be part of the broader agricultural community, especially my work with the FFA through the Foundation. It not only allows me to give back to the organization that gave me so much, but as Co-Chair of the foundation’s Fund Development Committee, I get to help spread the word on how others can give, too.”
Scott has been married to his wife Allison for 35 years, and they have four children and five grandchildren. When he’s not managing investment portfolios, you’ll probably find him working with the Arizona Farm Bureau’s Grill Team, serving the best pulled pork sandwiches in the state!