My SAE consists of a commercial Angus cowherd and a registered Boer goatherd. I raise my goats to show in the summertime at local and state fairs. With my cattle, I implement artificial insemination to maximize the quality of my product.
What do you hope to accomplish during your year of service to Missouri FFA?
During my year of service to Missouri FFA, I desire to inspire FFA members from across the state of Missouri to take advantage of the opportunities that FFA provides. All 25,375 members have a unique skillset, and I would like to help them find their passion within that skillset. As FFA members, when we reach our potential and continue growing within this organization, together we are amazing. Along with our theme, “Cultivating Tomorrow, Today,” I hope to teach members that their choices and actions today influence their tomorrow.
What or who motivates and inspires you and why?
I will always remember walking into the agriculture room during the annual FFA picnic before my freshman year. My dad pointed out the pictures of him winning the state beef proficiency, earning his state degree, and the pictures of cousins who had earned their way onto the wall as well. My roots motivate and inspire me to strive for my best and to work hard at everything I do. My dad is one of the most diligent, passionate and caring people I know. His love for agriculture and the beef industry has been a driving force for me during my adventures in FFA, and he has been serving as my role model throughout my life. I aspire to live my life with the same passionate and hard-working attitude that he inserts into his daily life.
What are your plans for the future?
After graduating from Mizzou, I plan to work in public relations and communications with an agriculture commodity group or organization. I want to advocate for farmers and about agriculture to consumers. I hope to use my passion and knowledge about the industry to assist farmers and agriculturists in their goals to feed the world. I want to help consumers and the non-agriculture population understand what we in the agriculture industry do.
What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you?
The Derks family comes from a long line of farmers. In fact, on both my mom and dad’s side of the family I am a sixth-generation farmer. I always think it is interesting to learn about a person’s roots, and my farming roots have grown from a long line of farmers that range from swine to cattle to row crop.
Advice to FFA Members
My advice to FFA members is to be yourself. Find your skillsets, passions, and unique interests and grow them, cultivate them, and be the best you that you can be. Throughout our time in FFA, we are presented with numerous opportunities to try new things and meet new people. These opportunities are learning events to discover more about ourselves. Do not be afraid to keep putting yourself out there, developing yourself, and learning about yourself in order to find your calling.