Missouri FFA and Agriculture Education | Blog
Latest news and reflections by Missouri FFA officers.
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Ends Are Just The Beginning

Adriene Aubuchon, VP 2018-19

Adriene Aubuchon – VP

This time of the year seems it seems like everything is coming to an end. Convention, banquets and contest season have all been winding down, and it’s easy to be swept up into the lull of doing nothing. If you’re a freshman, you’re just completing your first year in FFA, and if you’re a senior, you’re wrapping up four amazing years in an organization that’s likely brought many memorable moments.

Have you ever heard the saying “When one door closes, another one opens”? This perfectly sums up these four years you’ve spent in FFA. This chapter might be closing, but something new is on the horizon. Change is good. We will carry the friendships, memories and life lessons with us throughout our whole lives. You might be hanging up the blue jacket, but you will never be done with FFA because it changes your life. And when something impacts you this much, it sticks with you forever.

Just because school is out and summer vacation is here doesn’t mean that we have to stop being involved in FFA for a few months. Camp, Helping Youth Prepare for Excellence (HYPE) Academy, Helping Youth Maximize their Agricultural eXperience (HYMAX) and county and state fairs are adventures full of memories just waiting for us.

Ends are just the beginning of new opportunities. Enjoy the ride.

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Enjoy Your Present

Madison Bader, VP 2018-19

Madison Bader – VP

One of my favorite times of the year is spring. While it is probably the busiest time, with planting, conventions, contests and end-of-the-school-year events, it is full of so much energy and happiness.

At the same time, it can be stressful. You want to be done with school and be outside, but you are stuck doing tasks that seem boring and tedious. I assure you, I am the same way. By the time it gets warm outside with the flowers growing and the sun shining, I would rather be outside and soaking up the rays than doing paperwork.

 

Looking back, I wish I spent more time focusing on everything I did in FFA instead of wishing I was doing something else. Dont get me wrong; I loved planning and putting together banquets and studying for career development events, I just wished I spent more time living in the moment rather than taking for granted my time in this organization.

I would do anything to have another year in my home chapter with my friends I have been with since grade school, but God has bigger plans for me. In order to accomplish those plans, we all have to move out of our comfort zones and into the world for which FFA has prepared us.

 

So to all of you wishing this year was over and it was summer vacation, take a deep breath and know these times go more quickly than you think. Someday you will miss filling out those applications and doing those tedious tasks. We all have big things in store for us, but we always need to appreciate and acknowledge what got us there in the first place.

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Remembering Your Roots

Madelyn Derks, VP 2018-19

Madelyn Derks – VP

“Shhhhh!” a FFA member whispered as our advisor rounded the corner of his garage and… SPLAT! His face met the cool whip covered plate my officer team prepared. Not waiting for the retaliation that was sure to occur, we took off running. Every year, my advisor hosts our annual FFA end-of-the-summer gathering. It is a time for leaving seniors to share memories with incoming freshman. More importantly, it is a time to encourage new members for the upcoming year and reflect on the past with retiring members.

 

Summer is here and with that warm Missouri climate, comes exciting adventures of livestock shows, camps and working with our Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs). As we begin our journey to Camp Rising Sun or any FFA event, we should remember our roots.

 

Our roots are the lessons and skills that we have fine-tuned from previous experiences and events. New contests and challenges bring the willingness to open our minds to new ideas, skills and lessons. As we improve ourselves with shining new skills, it is when we combine them with what we have already learned that we become amazing. When we take our experiences from previous events and build upon them with new lessons, we can completely rejuvenate ourselves for tomorrow.

 

Our roots are the base to what grows into a flowering and prospering plant. FFA members, I encourage you to remember your roots as you take on new experiences and learn new lessons this year!

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Hold the Gate

Audrey Martin, VP 2018-19

Audrey Martin – VP

Fair season is upon us and with that, comes the hectic nature of the fair. Many of you will be exhibiting the animals or projects that you have spent countless hours taking care of.

 

When you get to the fair with your animals or project, you may find yourself a little more stressed than normal. Maybe you are behind schedule, or your animal got out of its pen last night, or you are tired of all the people in the barn that seem to be in each other’s way.

 

In those stressful moments, remember that you are an FFA member. You will be around many younger kids who have far less experience than you, and I challenge you to put them first. 4-H kids are looking up to the FFA members and are learning from you.

 

FFA members, you will have far less trouble unloading your pigs or washing your calf than the younger kids, so let them go first. Hold the gate open for them when they are struggling and help show them what it means to be a FFA member.

 

You set an example for the younger kids of how one should act in and out of the show ring. Remember that we represent the FFA Organization whether or not we are wearing our jackets. Therefore we need to all do our best to help everyone have a positive experience at the fair.

 

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Missouri Agriculture Bands Together to Combat Childhood Hunger

Drive to Feed Kids Logo
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – The 2018 Drive to Feed Kids officially kicks off today. The goal for this collaboration is to raise funds to provide food for hungry Missouri children, pack 100,000 nutritious, kid-friendly meals at the Missouri State Fair and to stand in the gap for the Missouri children who face food insecurity.

 

In 2017, Missouri Farmers Care (MFC) launched Drive to Feed Kids to combat childhood food insecurity and showcase Missouri agriculture. The inaugural Drive raised nearly $150,000 for Feeding Missouri, the coalition of Missouri’s six regional food banks, provided 52,000 nutritious meals and 9,000 pounds of food donations to Missouri children who face hunger on a regular basis.

 

According to the latest data from Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap”, there are more than 240,000 children in Missouri who don’t know where their next meal will come from. Missouri counties with the highest rates of food insecurity are disproportionately rural, where one out of every three children faces food insecurity.

 

“We have seen hunger and food insecurity increase in rural areas over the past decade,”said Alan Wessler, D.V.M., MFC chairman. “Some things are out of our control. We can’t control the economy. We can’t create rapid recoveries for rural communities who have suffered economic setbacks. However, we can join together as an agricultural community to do what agriculture does best-feed people. That’s why Missouri Farmers Care, with its more than 45 member organizations, is leading the way with Drive to Feed Kids.”

 

Events of the 2018 Drive to Feed Kids will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, in conjunction with the Missouri FFA’s Food Insecurity Day when hundreds of FFA members from across Missouri will work side by side to package 100,000 meals. The Drive will culminate on Saturday, Aug. 18, with a check presentation to Feeding Missouri during the Cole Swindell/Raelynn concert at the Fair.

Missouri Farmers Care encourages companies and individuals to participate in the Drive to Feed Kids by becoming a sponsor. If you would like to partner with MFC to benefit the Drive to Feed Kids, contact Ashley McCarty, MFC executive director, at ashley@mofarmerscare.com. Individual donations can be directed to http://mofarmerscare.com/drive. All proceeds will be dedicated to Feeding Missouri network food banks who work daily to alleviate against childhood hunger.

To learn more about Drive to Feed Kids, visit www.mofarmerscare.com/drive.

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Missouri FFA Sponsors Missouri FFA Public Speaking Academy on UCM Campus


Sixty-six FFA members from across the state participated in the Missouri FFA Public Speaking Academy held June 5-7, 2018 on the University of Central Missouri campus.

 

The Missouri FFA, along with Case IH, made it possible for FFA members to benefit from the professional staff at University of Central Missouri.

 

During the three-day event, FFA members used the Internet and other communication technology to develop and refine an effective speech.  Dr. Terry Cunconan, Dr. Wendy Geiger, Dr. Sam Cox, and Dr. Nikki Freeman from the University’s Speech Communication Department conducted the three days of intense learning.  The academy was designed to help FFA members increase their confidence, develop organizational skills, use language effectively, analyze audiences and improve speaking skills by judging themselves honestly and critically — while keeping a positive attitude.  Each student presented his or her speech in competition at the conclusion of the academy.

 

Awards were presented at a banquet held at the Ozark Room of the University Conference Center on Thursday, June 7, 2018.  The banquet included the presentation of certificates of completion to each of the participants and recognition of the winners in each division.  The finalists in each division (Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced) were presented plaques and a State Public Speaking Pin from the Missouri FFA Association. Case IH was the primary sponsor

for this year’s academy.  The academy was also sponsored by Seitz Fundraising, Harmison’s Hometown Fundraising, University of Central Missouri Communications Department and UCM’s Ag Club, and the Missouri FFA Association.

 

Assisting with the three-day conference were State FFA Officers –Allie Lock, State Vice President of the Carrollton FFA Chapter, Andi Montgomery, State Vice President of the Everton FFA Chapter, Regan Ragsdale State Secretary of the Paris FF

 

A Chapter, and Hannah Viets, State Vice President of the Sweet Springs FFA Chapter.  Jessie Peterson

served as a valuable intern for the event.  The Conference Coordinator for the academy is Marie Davis, Northeast District Supervisor for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education in Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Missouri FFA has 25,375 members representing 343 chapters. The National FFA Organization has more than 653,000 members representing 8,568 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

The FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.

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2018 Food Insecurity Day

Drive to Feed Kids LogoMissouri FFA ispulling together details for our second Food Insecurity Day at the Missouri State Fair.

 

First of all, we are pleased to partner with Missouri Farmers Care, Missouri State Fair, The Food Bank of Central & Northeast Missouri, Meals of Hope and Feeding Missouri on this and other events at the MSF this year in regards to Food Insecurity.

 

We plan to pack 100,000 Meals at the Missouri State Fair on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. These meals will stay in Missouri; in fact the goal is to work to get at least 15,000 to 20,000 meals to each of the six food banks located in the state (truly a state effort).  This day is also the Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive Day at the Fair.  Missouri Farmers Care has been gracious enough to again add our sponsorship needs to their efforts as they are working to raise $250,000 for the Backpack program in Missouri.  We have been included in this effort and we need to provide FFA members to assist with various activities during the Fair in return.

 

What does the Food Insecurity Day look like on August 14, 2018?

THERE ARE MODIFICATIONS FROM LAST YEAR.  We heard that an 8 a.m. start was difficult for some chapters to fascillitate, so we are working to adjust our schedule and MSF and MFC are behind us 100 percent. We have scheduled two packing shifts this year.

Here is the TENTATIVE schedule and associated items as of May 15, 2018:

 

8:30 am – Registration for morning volunteers at the Directors Tent on MSF grounds

9:00 am – Welcome – State President

9:05 am – Introduction of Partners (with a few remarks) – MSF, MDA, Food Banks, Sponsors

9:15 am – Scavenger Hunt instructions

9:30 am – FFA Members transported to Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall by trams provided by MSF

9:45 am – Instructions for packing

10:00 am – News Conference with Partners

10:15 am – Begin Packing with first shift

11:30 am — Registration for afternoon volunteers at the Directors Tent on MSF grounds

12:00 noon – Noon Meal in the Directors Tent for BOTH morning volunteers and afternoon volunteers

12:30 pm – Speaker – Diane Sullivan – Advocate for Agriculture and working to end Food Insecurity

1:00 pm – FFA members transported to Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall

1:30 pm – Begin Packing with second shift

3:30 pm – Conclude packing and clean up

By 5:00 pm – turn in scavenger hunt paperwork at FFA Building for a thank you gift for your participation

5:30 pm – Sponsors dinner with speaker Diane Sullivan – Invite only!!

If you are interested in helping, please contact your FFA advisor. Questions may be directed to Keith Dietzschold at keith.dietzschold@dese.mo.gov 

 

Thank you for service to FFA members across the state.

 

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2018 Missouri AgriScience Fair Results

Animal Systems – Division 3
Jacob Toombs – Bolivar

Animal Systems – Division 4
Isabella Kidwell and Dylan Sparks – Troy

Animal Systems – Division 5
Daryin Sharp – Bolivar

Animal Systems – Division 6
Jenna Hahn and Collin Nichols – Troy

Environ Services/NRS – Division 3
Alex Rhode – Boonville

Environ Services/NRS – Division 4
Lexi Vickrey and Megan Hargis – Troy

Environ Services/NRS – Division 5
Isaiah Massey – Troy

Environ Services/NRS – Division 6
Jordan Miller and Tyler Linneman – Carrollton

Food Products – Division 3
Caroline Herigon – Boonville

Food Products – Division 4
Gabi Hall and Gracie Bachtel – Carrollton

Food Products – Division 5
Preston McDowell – Tuscumbia

Food Products – Division 6
Jennifer Austermann and Hersh Patel – Troy

Plant Systems – Division 3
Jacob Love – Troy

Plant Sysems – Division 4
Olivia Conrow and Mason Ray – Boonville

Plant Systems – Divison 5
Addison Burns – Gallatin

Plant Systems – Division 6
Jacob Maclean and Abbegail French – Troy

Power, Structural/Tech – Division 3
Gabe Lorenz – Boonville

Power, Structural/Tech – Division 4
Adam Lester – Boonville

Social Systems – Division 3
Bryanne Knowlton – Troy

Social Systems – Division 4
Briley Gregg and Sally Schmidt – Carrollton

Social Systems – Division 5
Britany Jones – Boonville

Social Systems – Division 6
Allie Lock and Katy Grant – Carrollton

Agriscience Fair 2018 Candid2
Agriscience Fair 2018 Candid3
Agriscience Fair 2018 Candid6
Agriscience Fair 2018 Candid4
Agriscience Fair 2018 Candid5
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Direct Your Actions

Quentin Carlyle, VP 2018-19

Quentin Carlyle, VP

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to watch movies.  Upon viewing the opening scene, I become completely immersed in the characters and the plot.

 

Much like a movie, our lives are a series of events.  The cool thing about your movie is that not only are you the main character, you are also the director.  While the director does not always get the opportunity to write the story, they are given the responsibility of deciding how the script will play out on screen.

 

In life, you will not always have the luxury of planning out every situation into which you will be placed.  Sometimes things are just out of our control.  However, even when you might not have control over the “plot” of your life, you still possess the power to direct how you will “act” in every “scene.”

 

May marks the time when FFA members across the state reap the rewards of the hard work sown throughout the year at their chapter’s annual banquet.  Think of your chapter banquet as marking the end of a movie, one hopefully filled with scenes of great memories and successes.  But remember, just because the final credits for one movie have been written, it doesn’t mean the story is complete.  It just means you now have the opportunity to direct your sequel — whether that be accepting new roles and responsibilities within your chapter, forging deeper into your supervised agricultural experience, or, like me, heading off to college for brand new adventures.

 

As FFA members we understand the importance of working to better ourselves, and in the coming year it is your responsibility to make sure this happens in your life. So, take the opportunities you are given to cultivate your tomorrow, today!

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Focus On Now

Madison Bader, VP 2018-19

Madison Bader, VP

One of my favorite times of the year is spring. While it is probably the busiest time, with planting, conventions, contests, and end of the school year events, it is full of so much energy and happiness. Still, it can be stressful. You want to be done with school and be outside, but you are stuck doing tasks that seem boring and tedious. I assure you, I am the same way. By the time it gets warm outside with the flowers growing and the sun shining, I would rather be outside and soaking up the rays than doing paperwork.

 

Looking back, I wish I spent more time focusing on everything I did in FFA instead of wishing I was doing something else. Dont get me wrong, I loved planning and putting together banquets and studying for career development events, I just wished I spent more time living in the moment rather than taking for granted my time in this organization. I would do anything to have another year in my home chapter with my friends I have been with since grade school, but God has bigger plans for me, and in order to accomplish those plans, we all have to move out of our comfort zones and into the world that FFA has prepared us all for.

 

So to all of you out there wishing this year was over and it was summer vacation, take a deep breath and know these times go quicker than you think. Someday you will miss filling out those applications and doing those tedious tasks. We all have big things in store for us, but we always need to appreciate and acknowledge what got us there in the first place.

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Breaking Barriers

Paxton Dahmer, President 2018-19

Paxton Dammer, President

Throughout our high school careers, we often hear our advisors tell us, “You get out what you put in!” This is the case for me, at least. Our advisors are often our main source of inspiration and motivation, and although we tend to dismiss their advice and move along, they are pushing us in the right direction.

 

Missouri FFA offers us endless opportunities to develop leadership and personal skills. As I entered my freshman year, I hadn’t quite reached my full potential. With a push from my advisors, I broke through my shell and discovered the “soft skills” that FFA promotes such as public speaking, teamwork, networking and creative thinking. Breaking our personal barriers isn’t always easy, but it is an essential step in our journey.

 

For me, this happened at HYMAX (Helping Youth Maximize Agricultural Experiences) Academy. Spending a weekend with other members that were my age from each area of the state reassured me that FFA was the organization for me. I still remember learning about methods of “AGvocating” for our industry over the course of the academy. HYMAX taught me countless life skills that I have applied to the rest of my FFA career, and I have no doubt that it introduced me to some of the most passionate people I know.

 

As we finish the school year, I look forward to spending the summer traveling the state and meeting members as we break through our personal barriers and discover success! If we take the advice of our advisors, we have the skills it takes to be successful!

 

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My Missouri FFA Paradox

Rhiannen Schneider, casual

Rhiannon Schneider – Vice President

Merriam Webster defines a paradoxical situation as one that has seemingly contradictory qualities or phases. When reading this definition, I decided that paradoxical was the perfect way to describe Sat., April 14. As a few of my teammates and I gathered around the picnic table outside of the Missouri Cattlemen’s building, awaiting the announcement of the 2018-2019 Missouri FFA State Officer Team, we were sad. We were sad because just over 365 short days ago, we were in their seats. We were in this building, in these chairs, and even feeling these same emotions.

 

Yet, even as I sat there with a little bit of bitterness, I couldn’t help myself from paradoxicallysmiling. Although I know that my journey in this FFA jacket is quickly coming to an end, I also know of the greatness that this new team possesses. I know that all 16 of its members have an undeniable passion for not only the blue and gold, but also for the entirety of the agriculture industry that we so proudly represent. I know that this team will serve our association with pride. I know that Adriene, Allie, Andi, Audrey, Chloe, Dillon, Hannah, Hattie, Madelyn, Madison, McKenzie, Paxton, Quentin, Regan, Ryan and Shelby are world changers. And, I can’t wait for FFA members to meet them.

 

Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Greatness then, is not an act, but a habit.” To the future leaders of the Missouri FFA Association, let yourself be great, just like we know you will.

 

To the entire Missouri FFA Association, you have risenfar above expectations this past year. Keep working, keep learning and keep rising, because you posses greatness, and seeing that unfold is a special thing to be part of.

 

It is truly a paradox to wrap up my year as a state FFA officer. While I am oh, so sad that my journey must end, I am thrilled to see what the future holds. It has been real, it has been fun, and it has been real fun, Missouri FFA.

 

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Missouri FFA to Honor Andrew McCrea

 

This year, the Missouri FFA Association is pleased to recognize Mr. Andrew McCrea for his service to agricultural education and the Missouri FFA.

 

Andrew McCrea is a farmer and rancher, an award-winning radio and tv broadcaster and a nationally-recognized speaker. He is the host of the nationally-broadcast radio feature, The American Countryside, a program that has won five Oscars for rural and agricultural broadcasting. McCrea has interviewed hall of fame sports stars, Emmy and Grammy winners and even been body slammed by professional wrestlers! His broadcasting work has taken him to all 50 states and six continents to interview thousands of guests for his program. The American Countryside is unique in broadcasting because all of the interviews are done on location. His broadcasts are heard daily on nearly 100 radio stations and Sirius XM satellite radio. The television version of the show is a regular feature on U.S. Farm Report.

 

In addition to McCrea’s broadcasting duties, he continues to own and manage the farm and ranch where he was born and raised. McCrea Farms operates nearly 4,000 acres of crop and pastureland in northwest Missouri raising corn, soybeans and beef cattle. A past chairman of the Missouri Beef Industry Council and representative to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, McCrea remains active in a number of agricultural groups, both as a participant and as a frequent speaker.

 

McCrea’s past is rooted in Missouri FFA, beginning with the King City FFA Chapter in the late 1980’s. He served as the 1991-92 Missouri State FFA President and 1993-94 National FFA Secretary. He also worked as a trainer for National FFA from 1995-2005 and continues to assist the organization with national officer training and behind-the-scenes work at National FFA Convention. Since 1996, McCrea has conducted Missouri FFA State Officer Training, in addition to working with state officers in Illinois and Arizona. He is the Missouri State FFA Convention manager and is the director of both Area Officer Institute and Public Speaking Institute. McCrea has received the chapter, state and American Honorary FFA Degrees.

 

McCrea and wife Paula, along with children Luke and Allison, reside near Maysville, Missouri, where they are the fifth and sixth generations to operate the family farm. He’s quick to credit his VERY supportive wife, kids and father who handle the chores at home while he travels.

 

The Missouri FFA extends a special thank you to Andrew McCrea for his many years of service to agricultural education and the Missouri FFA.

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Missouri and Kansas FFA Chapters Donate Over 4,400 Items in Western Farm Show Food Drive

FFA students from Missouri and Kansas collected an impressive 4,457 food items for an annual food drive at the recent Western Farm Show.

 

The food cans and other non-perishable items have been donated to Harvester’s – The Community Food Network, a regional food bank serving a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas. The FFA donation totaled 2,334 pounds, which Harvesters says will provide 1,945 meals.

 

Each year, participating bi-state FFA chapters collect food items in their local communities and deliver them to the Western Farm Show, which is held at the American Royal the last weekend in February. For the 2018 food drive, 14 Missouri chapters delivered 3,613 items and six Kansas chapters accounted for 844 items.

 

“Harvesters is grateful to the Western Farm Show for its commitment to fighting hunger in our region,” said Logan Heley, Harvesters Food and Fund Drive Manager. “During the past seven years, the Western Farm Show has donated more than 31,000 pounds of food which have provided more than 25,000 meals.”

 

Ken Dean, Western Farm Show manager, said participating students not only support an important cause, but also have the opportunity at the show to expand their agricultural knowledge and learn about ag industry career opportunities. “Our show usually coincides with National FFA Week, which embraces the FFA and the important impact it has on its members,” Dean noted. “These Missouri and Kansas FFA students can be very proud of the dedication they have shown to supporting those in need.”

 

Produced by the Western Equipment Dealers Association, the Western Farm Show also features the latest farming and ranching equipment, livestock demonstrations, cooking shows and a Health and Safety Roundup, as well as other attractions for farming and ranching families.

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The Greatest Show

Mariah Fox, casual

Mariah Fox – 1st VP

We all know how it feels to go to the movie theater — the anticipation of the trailers before the movie, the tasty popcorn, and of course the movie that is going to be seen. I love going to the theater and seeing the new movies that I find trailers for over the television.

 

Recently, I saw the movie “The Greatest Showman.” The movie shares the differences among a group of individuals in a circus act. Throughout the movie, challenges are faced and later the cast must overcome obstacles each faces while performing. In the end, the entire cast all come out successful as a team and create the greatest show known to man. I absolutely fell in love with the concept of the movie! As I reflected later on what I had seen, I realized the film has so many different meanings. In fact, the movie really relates to the conclusion of our year in the FFA.

 

State convention is just one month away in the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Missouri. As FFA members, convention is our greatest show. It’s our time to show off what we have been working on for the year. Just like the characters in the movie being different in their own way, we are also each different. We all bring a unique and different skill set to our contest teams, speeches and especially our FFA chapters.

 

The 90th Missouri FFA Convention is where we make up the greatest show. Together, we will all make up the greatest show of the year. I challenge you all to bring your best to the convention to make your team, chapter and state proud!

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