Isaiah Pruitt of Buffalo might only be 16, but he already is getting involved on the state political stage.
He recently spoke and testified in Frankfort on two separate issues.
A few weeks ago, Pruitt spoke on House Resolution 62 that recognized Sept. 18 as Farmer Suicide Awareness Day.
Before that, he participated in a video with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for a suicide hotline. He said the point of the video is for farmers to know there are people there for them when they need help. The video debuted the day he spoke in Frankfort.
“I became so passionate through knowing the facts and hearing how much that affects others every day,” Pruitt said. “Knowing what farmers do for me, what I can do for them may never amount to what they do for me, but if I can do something to contribute back.”
When Pruitt joined FFA, he started working on farm safety. He joined FFA because his mother was involved when she was in school.
“Once I got into it, FFA opened up doors for everything else I’m in now,” he said.
Through FFA, Pruitt started working with Dale Dobson, safety administrator for the Division of Agricultural Education and Outreach. Pruitt sees farm safety as one of his possible career goals.
“Isaiah is one fine young man and is willing to learn about safety when he can,” Dobson said. “He has a passion for farm safety and will do well in life at whatever he does.”
Dobson said he also works for him on his farm and Pruitt wants to learn all he can.
“He will ask questions and listen when I am teaching him the answer,” he said. “He is one of the finest young men that I have got to work with and teach.”
Later in the afternoon while in Frankfort, he testified on State Rep. Brandon Reed’s bill for schools to be allowed the option to display the national motto of “In God We Trust.”
Pruitt said he met Reed after joining FFA and was asked to do research on the motto, later becoming an avid supporter of displaying the national motto, he said.
Since it hangs in government buildings and is on the state seal, Pruitt said schools, as a government entity, should be able to display it as well.
He said it’s more about it being a national motto than a religious stance.
Pruitt said his future career will either be as a history teacher or in some kind of politics. He hopes to one day be the Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture, then move on to a state senator or representative and someday national politics.
LaRue County High School agriculture teacher Misty Bivens said Pruitt was a part of the agriculture communications team that won a state contest in June and competed in nationals in October.
“He was the top scorer in the state contest and was a silver individual at the national contest,” she said. “This is an extremely difficult contest that has a number of different parts and he had to put in lots of time in addition to practice to be successful.”
She said his farm safety initiatives began as a freshman.
“His work to help teach others about farm safety is extremely important to him and has helped him learn a great deal about the agriculture industry,” she said.
The sophomore also runs track and is a linebacker on the football team — one that won the region championship last season.
“I got the taste of the top,” Pruitt said.
But he’s not just involved in athletics on the field. He’s a PA announcer for basketball and middle school volleyball.
He said LaRue County High School Athletic Director David Dawson heard him speak and asked him to try announcing. He’s hoping to branch out into even more sports.
Sometimes, Pruitt will see a name on the team roster and hopes that player gets in the game because their name looks fun to say, he said.