Missouri FFA and Agriculture Education | 2018-19 Officers
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2018-19 Officers

Most American Holiday

McKenzie Loftis

McKenzie Loftis – VP

At FFA Camp there weren’t any fireworks exploding on the 4th of July. Still, I saw plenty of members explode into leadership. It looked different for each individual. One young lady decided she is going to audition for National FFA Chorus. She sure can make you feel America the Beautiful deep in your soul! At the same time she was working towards that goal, other kids were learning what it takes to be a servant leader in their chapter. Others were learning about careers in agriculture, too. Each and every one of these members are headed for a long road to meeting their goals. The unique goals they have set for themselves fit their personality and skill set. We each have a place we belong in this organization and the world. If we can key in on our personal path to success we will begin to see others that are walking alongside us. The partnerships we discover on these paths will last so much longer than forced friendships or “small talk” conversations. As you lead in your respective areas, keep pressing forward along side each other. Pursue your dreams whole-heartedly. Explode forward into your role of leadership.

 

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Do Your Best Today

Regan Ragsdale, Secretary 2018-19

Regan Ragsdale – Secretary

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

 

Sometimes it is hard to be our best – especially in the summer time.

 

It is easy to fall in love with the lull of summer. Easy to sleep in, stay up late, have days on the couch or by the pool, indulge in an insane amount of popsicles and watch the days go by. There is nothing wrong with days like this. In fact, I’m not sure I could survive without these kinds of days. However, these are few and far between if I want the be the best that I can possibly be.

 

Missouri FFA members – you can be your absolute best this summer. Many of you have traveled to FFA Camp at Camp Rising Sun with your goal to become a better leader. Washington Leadership Conference, in our nation’s capital, has stolen hundreds of FFA member’s servant hearts. In preparation for the Missouri State Fair, members are growing cucumbers, cattle and cacti from all parts of the state.

 

The success from these opportunities will come by giving your all and being YOUR best. If you choose not to waste a single second of the 86,400 seconds in each day, then you will be your absolute best.

 

I challenge you to give your all every day this summer and be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

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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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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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Be Better

Abby Bertz, casual

Abby Bertz – President

2018 has arrived. Hopefully 2017 brought you much love, sacrifice and success. With 2018 we find new beginnings and the opportunity for better than we might have had last year.

 

As most of us find ourselves doing, I was recently scrolling through my Facebook feed. On this social media platform, I have friends from my hometown, around the state, nation and even world. Every day, the app provides me with opinions, pictures and memories from each of these people from all kinds of places. Yesterday, however, this app provided me with a special kind of motivation, motivation from a very special lady right from my hometown.

 

This favorite history teacher of mine pledged a word for 2018, something many have begun to do in place of a New Year’s Resolution. This word is meant to be a constant reminder, a solid aspiration, and a theme for the year. Her word? “Better.”

 

Ms. Stever pledges to be better. Not better than anyone, she says, but a better her—a better her for everyone. Every day, she will strive to “eat better, get better, think better, and love better, on and on.”

 

Just like Ms. Stever, we can embody “better” by thinking about how we can better ourselves, get better at being ourselves, and hold ourselves to a standard of better. We can be better friends, FFA members, siblings and students. There is, and always will be, room for better.

 

Better is progress. And, our starting points and progress will differ from every single person around us. That, friends, is the beauty part of “better.”

 

This year, let’s find what makes us better and what makes us want to be better. I know the organization we call home is a stepping-stone in this adventure. Allow it to by helping a friend with his or her upcoming Career Development Event, signing up for your first public speaking contest, going to FFA Camp, or even encouraging others to do the things that you found benefit from.

 

A better you for a better us, and ultimately a better organization, industry and world.

 

Like Ms. Stever, I pledge myself to be better. Will you?

 

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