Equine-Entrepreneurship, Livestock Ownership, and Agribusiness Placement
What do you hope to accomplish during your year of service to Missouri FFA?
I hope to further expose FFA members to the countless opportunities to grow and serve in this organization and in their professional lives.
What or who motivates and inspires you and why?
Many people inspire me: my parents, advisors, teachers, family friends and FFA members across the state. However, one couple that I think have always given me just a little extra inspiration are Forest and Donna Thompson. Forest and Donna are a couple that live just outside of my hometown and own their own farm. Forest and Donna’s relationship, faith and hard work are something that I look to as an example. I also appreciate their wisdom in tough times. I remember vividly the day Forest told me at church, “McKenzie, if you ever find you can’t accomplish everything, start earlier.” That advice has gotten me through so many busy times. Donna is always willing to listen, give encouragement, and be present. These two individuals are very influential in my life.
What are your plans for the future?
My passion for seeing FFA members grow drives my future plans, which are to become a high school agriculture teacher. I have watched over the past four years as my advisors have invested in the lives of their students. I have also experienced what it is like to be pushed by the advisors. I want to be that role model for students in the state of Missouri. I want them to learn about the agriculture industry and how important it is to our economy. I also want to see them reach their highest potential. The future is now, so today is the day I begin investing in students’ lives.
What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you?
I am scared of clowns. I used to say terrified, but I am starting to grow out of it. As long as one doesn’t walk up and try to talk to me, I am all right. When I was little, however, I would scream and cry at the sight of one. I’ll never forget the first time I was in a local parade. I was marching in the band; my director saw a clown walking around and the fear in my eyes. She told me if he approached me I could stop playing long enough to ask him to leave, and if he didn’t, I could use my flute as a weapon.
Advice to FFA Members
Be on time. If you are five minutes late and five people are waiting on you, you just wasted 25 minutes of time. Things happen. I get it. We are all busy. No one is on time every time, but make it your goal to be. Time holds a lot of value; don’t waste it.
Get involved. This organization has so much to offer! It is up to you what your experience is going to be. You can choose to sit in the classroom and have another class that isn’t any different than the core curriculum or you can choose to step out of your comfort zone and grow into a person you won’t recognize by the time you graduate. It’s your choice.
Enjoy every last second. You are going to build amazing relationships, take crazy trips, and make countless memories. Take time to soak in every second of it.