Missouri FFA and Agriculture Education | Blog
Latest news and reflections by Missouri FFA officers.
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New Year, New Me

Alexandra Gast

“New year, new me.”

A common phrase we hear after the start of a new year. This statement is made by the individuals seeking change in their life and have a desire to be better than the year before. But here is a truth that very few people seem to accept: You will be the same you, same as the year before, if you do not work hard and make an effort to be better.

 

You see, change doesn’t happen overnight and neither does success. It takes countless hours of hard work, combined with passion and a desire to be better. In the next few weeks, FFA members across the state will be signing up for a contest team, beginning the preparations for their spring speeches, or gathering a team for Ag Issues. As this preparation starts, you must make a choice: will you approach this season of life just like before — lacking the hard work and passion to be successful? Or, will you commit yourself, learn something new, spend the extra hours to perfect your skills and knowledge?

 

FFA members, this season will only be different if you try. It will only be different if you change. Work hard, be excited for what’s to come, and set goals for the upcoming year. Believe in yourself and work hard.

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Stay in Practice – And Wash Your Hands!

Brenden Kleiboeker

FFA members, as I write this blog to you, I am preparing for a New Year, however I am laying in bed sick. Being sick over Christmas Vacation is no fun, and has led me to question many reasons why I am sick. However, being sick has helped me put together some thoughtful insight for the New Year for you.

I spent most of last week on the road doing chapter visits, I had a great time visiting FFA members across the state, however one thing I did not do enough is wash my hands. After a visit, I would swing through a drive through for a meal, and even think to myself that I should wash up, but decide I did not have time and go ahead and eat my meal. Just like in our everyday life, we often think doing the little things will take too much time. However, when it comes down to it, taking a single minute to wash my hands could have kept me from getting sick and spending multiple days in bed.

Whenever I came home from Columbia, I realized that I had forgotten my Vitamin C tablets in my dorm room. “No biggie” I thought to myself. I did not realize how big of an effect this could have on my immune system. A cold and a respiratory virus later, I wish I would have stayed in practice with my vitamins. Just like practicing for an LDE or CDE, if it works for you, do not quit doing it, or you will see the negative feedback later.

FFA members, learn from my mistakes in the coming year: do not overlook the little things, and stay in practice and I am sure that you will be successful!

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Feed Just One

Kensie Darst

“If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
–Mother Teresa

There is nothing more rewarding than uplifting others through service. Mother Teresa devoted her life to serve the poor and the impoverished. She spent countless hours, traveled many miles and made an unforgettable mark on the people she encountered. Teresa was admired by many for her heart of service. She believed that her life had purpose. With that purpose, she fulfilled her calling to serve others during their times of need.

 

Mother Teresa is recognized to this day as a humble individual who fought through harm’s way just to help someone else. She knew that she could not help all of those who were in need, but she became blissful to know that she changed the life of just one human.

 

Throughout our lives, we face times when we lend a hand to help our friends and family. As an FFA member, we live a life of service. Be willing to take any opportunity to serve others this year with a grateful heart. Whether this be through cleaning and fixing the local community garden, picking up trash along the highway with your chapter or simply beginning a food or clothing drive to provide for local families in need.

 

Mother Teresa is an individual who many looked up to, though she did not desire the recognition. Her life relates to the last line of the FFA motto, “Living to Serve.” Members, I challenge you to make a difference in the lives of others this year to fulfill your true purpose as a member.

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Build YOUR Confidence

Walking into the National Agriscience Fair, Dylan Sparks looked at the rows upon rows of project presentations and didn’t know how he would measure up. He and his partner, Bella Kidwell, are members of the Troy FFA Chapter. They agreed the National Agriscience Fair was something they will never forget.

 

Matt McCrory, an advisor of the Troy FFA Chapter, said the fair is broken into different segments.

 

“Students discover a problem, research it, develop a hypothesis and conduct the scientific experiment to test the hypothesis,” he said. “They write a research paper displaying their research, data and results.  Students then make a display board portraying their research project and take part in a 10-minute interview with judges explaining their concepts, steps and analysis.”

 

The Agriscience Fair allows students to further explore topics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

 

“They get to choose from a variety of category areas based upon their interests, including Environmental Services/Natural Resource Systems; Food Products and Processing Systems; Plant Systems; Power, Structural and Technical Systems; and Social Science,” McCrory explained.

 

Sparks and Kidwell decided to explore the Animal Systems area.

 

“Dylan and I did a project about artificial insemination in swine,” Kidwell said. “We looked at what type of rod would be the best to use. It was between a traditional spirette rod and an intrauterine rod. We tested on a litter of gilts and sows.”

 

In addition to learning about swine, Sparks said he also developed leadership skills throughout his project.

 

“It helped build my confidence while speaking in front of people,” he explained. “It helped build my writing skills as well.”

 

Kidwell and Sparks won at the state level and went on to win the national competition in 2018. Sparks is moving onto nationals again this year. He attributes his chapter’s consistent success to teamwork and collaboration.

 

Sparks said he remembers an older member reaching out to help them with their project.

 

“He read over our essay, listened to our speech and gave us tips,” Sparks said. “We all just work together to refine everything. It’s not just your project–it’s almost the whole chapter’s project.”

 

Similarly, Gabriel Simmons and Allison Harris, members of the Tuscumbia FFA Chapter, believe their chapter’s successes are due to the encouragement of others involved.

 

“I am blessed enough to be in a chapter filled with people who are both passionate about what they do and encouraging to those around them,” Harris said. “The members in my chapter strive not to be perfect but instead to be the best they can be. This certainly makes an impact on every individual member of the chapter, school and community by pushing them to be the same way.”

 

While the students attribute most of their success to those around them, Tuscumbia Advisor Nick Parks said his students are self-motivated as well.

 

“What makes our chapter successful is the time our students put into the project outside of school,” he explained. “They put in countless hours both inside and outside of the classroom.”

 

Invasive species was Simmons’s topic of choice this year.

 

“I was investigating how well the public understood invasive species,” he said. “I created a survey. Section 1 consisted of questions where subjects had to identify invasive flora and fauna, and non-invasive flora and fauna. They also had to classify these species as either invasive or non-invasive. In section 2, they had to answer questions related to the problems associated with invasive species.”

 

Harris chose to do her project on preventing corrosion of mild steel.

 

“Acid media, which is used heavily in dairy industries, can cause severe damage of goods and structures,” she explained. “I used beet root, grape seed, green tea, and Moringa oleifera extracts. These extracts were added to an acid solution, and each was tested at three different concentrations. The change in mass was calculated at the end of the experiment, and I found that each of the treatment groups was 100% effective at preventing corrosion.”

 

Both members competed at the National Agriscience Fair this year. While they are excited about their successes thus far, they are also appreciative of the skills they have gained.

 

Parks said that while the main purpose of the fair is to encourage students to search for solutions to common issues in agriculture, it also allows for many personal growth opportunities.

 

“While learning about the uses of acid media, I learned how much of an impact it makes in various industries, the environment and the economy,” Harris said. “However, I also learned to be persistent and work hard to accomplish my goals, no matter how difficult it may become.”

 

Each student agreed that the Agriscience Fair has presented them with lessons and opportunities they didn’t foresee. Whether it changed their future career path, helped them with interview skills or allowed them to explore a new area of agriculture, each student has taken away more than an award from the experience.

—By Brandelyn Martin

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Sacrifices

Isaiah Massey - 1st VP

Isaiah Massey – 1st VP

“There’s a popular quote going around that the person you will be in the next five years is based on the books you read, and the people you hang around.  Now this is very true, but this is more than just those two variables. The person you will become in the next five years depends on everything that you do. Your actions yesterday affect your life in the future.”

 

This is an excerpt from my favorite motivational speech called Feed Your Mind by fearless motivation.  I listen to this speech at least once a day because it challenges me to make the best choices I can make in the long run. A situation where I truly had to put this speech to practice was the end of my junior year in high school.  After FFA banquet, I had a dilemma. On one hand my football coach was telling me about the football programs that were scouting me to play for their program. On the other hand, my advisor was telling me that I had the potential to become a state officer.

 

Both choices would take a yearlong of commitment, and I had a big decision to make going into my senior year. Do I go down the path that I’ve known my entire life, or do I choose a path that I’ve only been in recently? As I got home from banquet I went downstairs to my room and laid out my football jersey and chapter jacket.  I looked at my football jersey and reminisced all the years I’ve had playing the sport with my friends when we were younger. As I studied my FFA jacket, I thought about all the friends I have made, all of the skills I have learned and the potential I have found in myself. The very thought of hanging up my cleats made me feel like I was disappointing a lot of people, but the thought of not perusing FFA made me sick to my stomach. With tears in my eyes, I had to think about that phrase that I always played in my head. “The person you will be in the next five years is based on the books you read and the people you hang around.” That phrase spoke volumes to me in that moment as I realized the amount of growth I’ve experienced because of FFA and that path that I am on, that if it weren’t for FFA then I wouldn’t be the man I am today.

 

FFA members, there will be many decisions to make in life and most of those decisions will require sacrifice. Still, the question you must ask yourself first is who the person is you want to be in the future? And, what are you going to do to speak your future into existence?

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Dared To Be Diversified

Diversifying her livestock enterprise sounded like a good plan. Yet, it was the greatest challenge Bucklin FFA member Amelia Liebhart faced with her supervised agricultural experience project.

 

“Raising and exhibiting Salers cattle along with my sisters and fellow family members was a given, but expanding into swine and goats was not,” she explains.

Initially met with resistance, Liebhart says her family couldn’t understand the interest she had in other species, especially given the success they had received in the cattle industry.

However, with a little help from her grandpa, Liebhart was able to persuade her parents into the expansion. The decision was one that helped the FFA member become a national winner in the diversified livestock proficiency award area last month at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“Experiencing the success and satisfaction of my own SAE in diversified livestock production made me realize the value of the entire SAE process to the agricultural education program and the value of the experience to agriculture students,” Liebhart says.

Liebhart’s SAE includes raising registered Salers beef cattle, crossbred swine, Boer goats and working on her family’s farm. Income she earns on the farm is used to purchase needed hay, feed, veterinary care, pasture and bull rent. She also invested in the production of seven acres of corn to help provide feed for her livestock project.

“Raising livestock and growing up in a farm environment has shaped me as an individual and exemplifies the FFA motto through my experiences,” Liebhart says. “Learning the value of hard work, dedication, money management, goal-setting, planning, decision-making and even dealing with failure and loss (have been critical to my success). Through practical experience, I have built up a lifelong enterprise while learning life skills.”

In the future, Liebhart hopes to become an agricultural education instructor and share her own experiences with her students, helping them learn essential skills and gain opportunities for success through their own SAE programs. She says her first-hand experiences will undoubtedly assist her in teaching future students while allowing her to continue serving others.

“Everything of value requires hard work and dedication, and this can come with some difficult decisions and lessons,” she says. “Overall, my involvement in raising livestock has been positive and rewarding, and I plan to continue it throughout my life and with my own family.”

—By Joann Pipkin

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Passing on the Passion

With more than 200,000 students and their families in Missouri, Agriculture Education on the Move (AEOTM) continues to grow, helping bridge the gap between farming and the non-farming public. The program aims to increase an understanding of agriculture in third-grade classrooms across the state.

 

“AEOTM is a 10-week, interactive ag education program that focuses on bringing passionate educators into the classroom to share that important story of modern agriculture,” said Luella Gregory, AEOTM program director.

 

The interactive program is backed by Missouri Farmers Care (MFC), a joint effort by Missouri’s agricultural community to support Missouri agriculture. AEOTM teaches students about agricultural topics, such as crops, livestock, soil and water conservation, nutrition and agricultural careers throughout its lessons. It has grown to reach more than 100 schools in the state.

 

And one of the key components behind its growth is a partnership with Missouri FFA members.

 

“FFA is a very important component of the program, and we are proud to partner with Missouri FFA students across the state to bring programs into their local classrooms,” Gregory said. “We have regional field educators who serve our urban areas, but it is absolutely crucial in our rural communities to have our FFA chapters to help support and bring that message.”

 

The partnership requires a level of responsibility on the members’ part, she added.

 

“FFA members take on the role a regional educator would and learn the material and bring those lessons to their own peers.”

 

Sending FFA members into their local classrooms has benefited both the program and the students it serves.

 

“The benefit of having local FFA students pouring back into elementary classrooms in their area is a network that those students themselves are building,” said Ashley McCarty, MFC executive director. “Elementary students get to hear about beef production, for instance. But they also get to hear about that from someone who is producing beef in their county. It’s not an abstract idea anymore; it’s very much in context.”

 

FFA members are also benefitting from this partnership.

 

“Getting to serve as an educator with AEOTM really allows an FFA student to put into practice all of the leadership skills they learn through FFA and is an opportunity for practical application of agricultural literacy that students have learned throughout their agricultural education programs,” McCarty said.

 

In addition to personal growth benefits, acting as an AEOTM educator allows members the chance to give back to others in their community.

 

“In our eyes, it gives an FFA student the opportunity to serve but also the opportunity to pass on their passion for agriculture that has drawn them to be an FFA member in the first place,” McCarty said. “Probably the aspect of AEOTM that I love the most is that it puts our FFA leaders in a position of being mentors for elementary students.”

 

Connecting with older students is a valuable aspect that can brighten a third- grader’s day and makes their experience with AEOTM even more memorable, McCarty explained.

 

While classroom time is the largest portion of AEOTM, other ways to participate are also available.

 

“Outside of the classroom setting, we do a lot of professional events,” Gregory said. “If there’s ever an activity or event that an FFA chapter is doing or a student is really passionate about, we love to try to help make that happen.”

 

“MFC and the agricultural groups that make up MFC are exceptionally appreciative of all the partnerships we have with Missouri FFA,” McCarty added. “Getting to tap into the passion, power and energy of FFA students in AEOTM and in all the other ways we work together is such a beneficial partnership throughout all of our industry that I think only makes each segment stronger.”

 

Missouri FFA members can get involved with AEOTM by visiting its website, agmoves.com, or MFC’s website, mofarmerscare.com.

—By Brandelyn Martin

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Nov 11 2019

Missouri Team Takes Top Honors in 2019 Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems Competition

Courtesy of the National FFA Organization

Winners of the National FFA Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems Career Development Event (CDE) were announced Friday at the annual awards banquet. The event was held in conjunction with the 92nd National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis. Dr. Mark Zidon from the University of Wisconsin -Platteville served as superintendent of the event.

 

The top ten individuals and the national winning team members received cash awards to recognize their success in the event. This CDE, and all the cash awards, are sponsored by Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Caterpillar Inc., Darling Ingredients and Firestone Agricultural Solutions.

 

The National FFA Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems CDE is a competitive event that allows students to apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations. Activities included in the event are a written exam, a team event, demonstration of problem-solving skills, and hands-on performance activities. Areas of emphasis include environmental and natural resource systems, machinery and equipment systems, structural systems, energy systems and electrical systems. Each team in the event has competed with other chapters in their state for the privilege of participating in the national event.

 

The event, held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, is one of many educational activities at the National FFA Convention & Expo in which FFA members practice the lessons taught in agricultural education classes.

Top Placing Teams

1st Place– Missouri  Grant Coe, Youssef Fransis, Kirby Latimer, and Mason Uhlmeyer, all of North Shelby FFA

2nd Place– Illinois  Austin Friedman, Ty Zimmerman, Chase Leman, and Evan Young, all of Prairie

Central FFA

3rd Place– California  Devan Gomes, Landon Rocha, Trenton Soares, and Tyler Pimentel, all of Hilmar FFA

4th Place– Texas Trey Ivey, Wyatt Lykins, Samuel Packer, and Rylan Cates, all of Bangs FFA

5th Place– North Carolina  Kevin Melton, Alton Warren, Lane Warren, and Parker Edwards, all of Enka FFA

6th Place– North Dakota  Levi Schwab, Jacob Bear, Brady Carlson, and Gavin Reinke, all of Lisbon FFA

7th Place– Iowa  Gabe Knobloch, Blake Meyer, Lucas Moser, and Tyren Ulmer, all of West Lyon FFA

8th Place– Washington  Chad Nunamaker, Gus Roelof, Jose Malave, and Hailey Gallatin, all of Meridian FFA

9th Place– Ohio  JUSTIN PUTHOFF, Blake Holthaus, James Keller, and Austin Bollheimer, all of Fort Loramie- UVCC FFA

10th Place– Nevada  John Cashell, Cody M Fowers, Evan D Carlon, and Kaden T Syme, all of Silver Sage FFA

Top Placing Individuals

 1st Place– Youssef Fransis of North Shelby FFA , MO

2nd Place– Kirby Latimer of North Shelby FFA , MO

3rd Place– Mason Uhlmeyer of North Shelby FFA , MO

4th Place– Grant Coe of North Shelby FFA , MO

5th Place– Levi Schwab of Lisbon FFA , ND

6th Place– Tyler Pimentel of Hilmar FFA , CA

7th Place– Sam Droesch of Crater FFA , OR

8th Place– Ty Zimmerman of Prairie Central FFA , IL

9th Place– Garrett Morgan of White County FFA , GA

10th Place– Evan Young of Prairie Central FFA , IL

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Nov 11 2019

Troy FFA Named 2019 National Premier Chapter – Building Communities Winner

Courtesy of the National FFA Organization

 INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019/National FFA Organization) — Troy FFA of Missouri has been named the 2019 National Premier Chapter: Building Communities winner at the 92nd National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis. 

 

The National Chapter Award program recognizes outstanding FFA chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization. These chapters improve chapter operations using the National Quality FFA Chapter Standards and a Program of Activities that emphasizes growing leaders, building communities, and strengthening agriculture. Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership. 

 

Troy FFA chose the #SIGNONESAVEMANY campaign to promote organ donor registration to its members and supporters, ultimately improving the welfare and physical well-being of the town’s citizens and beyond. Members used social media, videos and presentations to encourage enrollment in the program while educating on the importance of organ donations. The chapter signed up more than 1,000 people to the registry, potentially benefiting more than 100,000 people in the long term. 

 

Chapters eligible to compete for the National Premier Chapter: Building Communities award demonstrate competency in doing innovative things or taking traditional concepts and applying a creative twist in the building communities division of the chapter’s Program of Activities. Ten three-star chapters competed in a presentation and interview process for the top honor during this year’s national convention. Troy FFA received a plaque in an onstage ceremony during the convention’s second general session on Thursday, Oct. 31. 

 

John Deere sponsors the National Chapter Award program. 

 

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to more than 700,000 student members who belong to one of the more than 8,600 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by more than 8 million alumni and supporters throughout the U.S. 

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Keep Your End Goal In Sight

Jacob Knaebel - VP

Jacob Knaebel – VP

My feet are freezing. I can’t feel my hands. I am starving, tired, and all I want to do is go back to the cabin and sleep this opening morning of deer season. I know if I give up now my chances of getting a deer are slim, yet the complaints in my mind slowly win me over, and I decide to climb out of my deer stand. As I reach the bottom of the ladder, I turn around in time to see a buck lurking just in the edge of the woods dart across the field and out of sight. Now I’m cold, hungry, tired and mad I didn’t wait five more minutes.

 

Much like hunting, during our time in FFA we are going to set many goals for ourselves such as winning a CDE or getting a chapter office. However, sometimes we don’t realize the amount of work and endurance that will be required of us to achieve our goals, and we give up because it is the easier option. But if we don’t see the task of achieving our goals through to completion, then we will never be able to reap the benefits.

 

That day in the woods, I lost sight of what my goal was and only focused on the reasons why I should give up, and because of that I didn’t achieve my goal. This year we all need to remember to keep our end goal in sight and build up our mental endurance to overcome all obstacles that might hold us back.

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Our Future Outlook

Kaylee Lewis - VP

Kaylee Lewis – VP

FFA members, our future is before us. But what does that future hold? In the future, we could be wearing scrubs, a business suit, chaps or a number of other outfits. However, one outfit in particular that rests in my mind as important is overalls. You might be wondering why that is. I see overalls as hard work.

 

Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Through this statement, Thomas Edison is suggesting that we are all given the same opportunities and each of us have what we feel is a support system, which has laid the groundwork for our foundation, in turn making us strong and resilient; stitching us into the overall individuals we are today. With that, we have a choice—work hard or get passed by.

 

In a world of deep divide, whether you are talking politics, race, religion, culture or movements – I believe we are all missing a great point. We are all human beings that put our overalls on one leg at a time. No one story is better or more important than another. What separates us is the slight edge and the small steps we take each day to move forward. You see, any one of us has the opportunity to start a movement, but not everyone is willing to put in the work. We can talk about things, ideas and differences, but the question still remains: what are we going to do? We can continue to rant and rage, or we can become educated, agree to disagree, find common ground with others, and ultimately, put the work in to make opportunities turn into success stories. So, let’s not rest on our laurels. Let’s hike up our overalls and get to work.

 

In the end, we need to remember that the only place where results come before work is in the dictionary. Today’s world is competitive. Everyone here wants to be successful in life. The way to make it happen is to put in the work just like Thomas Edison suggests. It is a funny thing, the harder I work, the luckier I get. We can apply this concept to any FFA CDE, LDE, classroom activity, or just plain old life in general. Overalls may or may not be our current fashion choice, but none of us will ever outgrow their meaning!

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2019 National FFA Convention – Missouri Highlights

National FFA Convention Attendance over 68,000

Record National Membership Announced – 700,170

 

Missouri specific highlights below:

Highest number of American FFA Degrees by a state – 520 recipients

The American Degree is the Highest Degree that can bestowed on a FFA member – Less than one half of 1% receive the degree.  As the highest degree achievable in the National FFA Organization, the American FFA Degree shows an FFA member’s dedication to his or her chapter and state FFA association. It demonstrates the effort FFA members apply toward their supervised agricultural experience and the outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement they exhibited through their FFA career.  American FFA Degree recipients show promise for the future and have gone above and beyond to achieve excellence.

 

Honorary American FFA Degree – 7 MO recipients

Individuals who have provided exceptional service on a national level to agriculture, agricultural education, or FFA are eligible for the Honorary American FFA Degree. Additionally, teachers who have created high-quality agricultural education programs which inspire and motivate their students to strive for success are eligible.

 

Jackie Carlson, Conception Junction; Scott Gardner (FCS), Chillicothe; David Higgins (DESE), Mountain Grove; Jill Nagel, (EAG Labs), Columbia; Diane Olsen (MFB), Jefferson City; Dr. Alan Wessler (MFA), Columbia; Jon Wilson, Gainesville.

 

The National Chapter Award Program is designed to recognize FFA chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization. These chapters improve chapter operations using the National Quality Chapter Standards (NQCS) and a Program of Activities (POA) that emphasize growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership.

 

TROY FFA  was also recognized as the National Winner in the Premier Chapter – Building Communities Division within the National Chapter Award Program. This includes the body of work in the Building Communities Division of the Program of Work.

 

SWEET SPRINGS FFA was also recognized as a TOP TEN CHAPTER in the Nation in the Premier Chapter – Strengthening Agriculture Division within the National Chapter Award Program. This includes the body of work in the Growing Leaders Division of the Program of Work.

 

30 Chapters received the highest chapter rating awarded – 3 Star – (Ashland, Audrian Co. R-VI, Aurora, Boonville, Braymer, Bucklin, Carrollton, Centralia, Clark County, El Dorado Springs, Eldon, Elsberry, Exeter, Higbee, Marshall, Mexico, Monroe City, Montgomery Co R-II, Mount Vernon, New Franklin, Russellville, Sarcoxie, Seneca, Seymour, Sweet Springs, Tipton, Trenton, Troy, Union and West Plains)

Career and Leadership Development Events Summary

 

FFA members focus on skill development and career preparation through participation in Career Development Events and Leadership Development Events. These competitive events develop individual responsibility, foster teamwork and promote communication while recognizing the value of ethical competition and individual achievement. Successful members expand their knowledge base by interacting with peers, teachers, as well as business and community leaders to gain a complete and comprehensive knowledge about specific career and leadership areas.

 

  • 13 of 25 teams/individuals received Gold rating

 

  • 15 members placed in the Top 10 Individuals in their respective CDE
    • Agricultural Communications – Columbia FFA-5thPlace-Gold rated team
      • Kate Thompson, 5thhigh individual
    • Agriculture Mechanics – North Shelby FFA – 1stPlace – Gold rated team
      • Youssef Fransis – 1sthigh, Kirby Latimer – 2ndhigh, Mason Uhimeyer – 3rdhigh, and Grant Coe – 4thhigh individuals
    • Agricultural Sales – Columbia FFA-10thplace – Gold rated team
      • Madison Holmes – 8thhigh individual
    • Agricultural Issues Forum – Centralia FFA – Bronze rated team
    • Agronomy – Skyline FFA — Gold rated team
    • Conduct of Chapter Meetings – Eldon – 2ndplace – Gold rated team
    • Creed Speaking – John Miles – Marshall FFA – Silver individual
    • Dairy Cattle Evaluation – Billings FFA – Gold rated team
    • Dairy Cattle Handlers – Lila Wantland – Niangua FFA – Bronze individual
    • Employment Skills – Olivia Brune – Clopton FFA – Silver individual
    • Environmental Natural Resources –Pleasant Hope FFA – Silver rated team
    • Extemporaneous Public Speaking–Brenden Kleiboeker, Pierce City FFA – Silver individual
    • Farm Management – Hermann FFA – 7th place – Gold rated team
      • Lucas Bader – 8thhigh individual
    • Floriculture – Palmyra FFA – 7thplace – Gold rated team
      • Zachary Rosenkrans – 9thhigh individual
    • Food Science – Cassville FFA – Silver rated team
    • Forestry – Forsyth FFA – 2ndplace Gold rated team
      • Nathan Gray-2ndhigh, Ashley Matthews-5thhigh, and Bryce Collins-8thhigh individuals
    • Horse Evaluation – Ozark FFA – Silver rated team
    • Livestock Evaluation – Pleasant Hope FFA — Silver rated team
    • Meat Evaluation – Cassville FFA – Silver rated team
    • Milk Quality and Products – Miller FFA – 7thplace Gold rated team
      • Alexia Smith – 7thhigh and Tori Parnell 9thhigh individuals
    • Nursery/Landscape – Aurora – 9thplace Gold rated team
    • Parliamentary Procedure – Troy FFA – Silver rated team
    • Poultry – Paris FFA – 6thplace Gold rated team
      • Marlena Long – 9thhigh individual
    • Public Speaking – Dakota Pemberton, Richland FFA – Bronze individual
    • Veterinary Science – Columbia FFA – 5thplace Gold rated Team
      • Heather Snow – 8thhigh individual

 

  • 49 of 93(52%) individuals received Gold rankings (approx.. top 10 percent of the CDE)

 

Agriscience Fair

  • The National FFA Agriscience Fair recognizes student researchers studying the application of agricultural scientific principles and emerging technologies in agricultural enterprises. The agriscience fair is for middle and high school students. Participation begins at the local level and progresses to state and national levels.
  • 10 out of 21 agriscience fair projects placed in the top twelve in the nation
  • 5 of 10 received a gold rating in the nation
    • Ashley Freiburger & Courtney Freiburger – Verona FFA – 5thin Food Products Division 6
    • Alexis Wilkinson – Sikeston FFA – 3rdin Plant Systems Division 5
    • Jay Hagemeier & Dane Culbertson – Troy FFA – 9thin Power, Structural Tech Division 4
    • Allison Harris – Tuscumbia FFA – 3rdin Power, Structural Technical Division 5
    • Gabe Simmons – Tuscumbia FFA – 3rdin Social Systems Division 3

 

Proficiency Awards

  • Agricultural Proficiency Awards honor FFA members who, through supervised agricultural experiences, have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers.Nationally, students can compete for awards in nearly 50 areas ranging from agricultural communications to wildlife management (see areas below). Proficiency awards are also recognized at local and state levels and provide recognition to members that are exploring and becoming established in agricultural career pathways.
  • 10 National Finalist – top four in the nation based on their work based program
  • 2 National Winners
    • Agricultural Education – Elizabeth Brooks – Ashland FFA
    • Agricultural Processing – Teresa Yoder – Trenton FFA
    • Agriscience Research – Animal Systems – Jacob Toombs – Bolivar FFA
    • Agriscience Research – Integrated Systems – Addison Burns – Gallatin FFA
    • Dairy Production Entrepreneurship – Jared Parrigon – Sarcoxie FFA
    • Diversified Livestock Production – Amelia Liebhart – Bucklin FFA – NATIONAL WINNER
    • Equine Science Entrepreneurship – Griffin Holliday – Centralia FFA
    • Grain Production Placement – Brock Aylward – Memphis FFA
    • Nursery Operations – Kylynn Mallen – Cameron FFA – NATIONAL WINNER
    • Vegetable Production – Ethan Hilgedick – Ashland FFA

 

National FFA Band– 16 of approximately 100 members selected nationally:

Jena Schwartze, Vienna; Yanci Aschwege, Galena; Gavin King, Pierce City; Olivai Sloan, Salisbury; Tara Schnelting, Owensville; Chloe Moss, Crocker; Christine Kussmann, Burnswick; Samantha McNealy, Warrenton; Cory Word, Saxony Lutheran; Kimberly Niemeyer, Bowling Green; David Welter, Stewartsville; Aubrey Bunge, Van-Far; Annabell Morris, Bronaugh; Christopher Ochoa, North Platte; Hayden Schapeler, Rich Hill; Layla Beyer, Slater

 

National FFA Chorus– 7 of approximately 75 members selected nationally:

Connor Pfaff, Monroe City; Logan Lucas, Monroe City; Ryan Altman, Winfield; Grace Williams, Winfield; Colin Wilburn, Van-Var; Macie McNeely, Gallatin; Sydney Stundebeck, Salisbury.

 

 

National FFA Talent Performers – 4 selected from Missouri

Kaitlin Caldwell, South Shelby; Owen Kloeppel, Vienna; Zach Evans, Richland; Ashlee Martin, Green Ridge

 

Hall of States — Represents agriculture in our state in the Expo Show – Centralia FFA

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Rooted in Agriculture

From his fourth-generation Southeastern Missouri farm to directing executive policy from our nation’s capital, U.S. Congressman Jason Smith keeps his corduroy jacket close at hand.

 

“If you come into my office, the first thing you’ll see is my FFA jacket framed on the wall,” Smith said. “It was given to me the night I was elected into office. My friend who served on my chapter officer team helped do that.”

 

Smith is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s 8th congressional district. His district comprises 30 counties, including around 20,000 square miles of southern and southeastern Missouri.

 

He also was president of the Salem FFA chapter and served as Area XIII first vice president.

 

According to Smith, when he got involved in FFA, it altered the course of his life in a multitude of ways.

 

“When I started FFA as a freshman, I was shy and quiet and couldn’t even do all five paragraphs of the creed,” Smith said.

 

That might not be what you’d expect to hear from a politician, but Smith said his determination to stay involved in speaking competitions, contest teams and leadership events is what helped him continue to push himself out of his comfort zone.

 

“The key to success is not to give up,” Smith said. “You’re not always going to accomplish everything you set out to do the first time. Try to learn through that and work hard to change the outcome the next time.”

 

Smith said above all, FFA members should remember the three Ds: direction, determination and dedication.

 

Those three Ds have carried him through many opportunities, including the very experience that inspired him to become involved in politics. For his Supervised Agricultural Experience, Smith began a canine breeding program with four dogs his first year of high school.

 

“When I was a freshman, the city council summoned me to go before them because of my FFA project,” Smith said. “They said I was running a commercial business in a residential area. I had to go before the council a couple of times, and they ultimately said I couldn’t have it. We had to move out of town. After that, I paid attention to politics, because I felt like what happened to me was ridiculous and I didn’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

 

After moving to a more rural location, he eventually grew his business so much that it helped pay his way through college and gained him the title of the state winner in specialty animal production in Missouri.

 

Smith attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where he earned degrees in agricultural economics and business administration. After attending law school at Oklahoma City University, Smith returned home to purchase his grandfather’s farm.

 

Today, he fills his weekends doing what he says is the most relaxing thing in the world: farming.

 

This farm now includes registered Angus and Red Angus cattle, sheep, bison, ducks and a donkey named Hillary.

 

According to Smith, growing up in agriculture taught him a lot, which is why he found it important to keep the farm in the family.

 

“You’re taught so much through the risks you take as a farmer,” Smith said. “You invest in animals, and they may not produce. You learn to juggle markets when prices plummet or when there’s a drought or floods.”

 

During the week, Smith spends his days either in Washington, D.C., or traveling to one of the 30 counties he represents. He says every day is different, whether that includes committee hearings, discussion and debate or even meeting with the president of the United States.

 

However, he says one of the most important things he does is advocate for the agricultural industry and those who are involved in it.

 

“The numbers are against us in D.C.,” Smith said. “There are fewer than 75 rural congressional districts, and you need 218 votes to pass anything. I must constantly talk about the importance of our way of life. Four out of four people eat. Our farmers feed and clothe the world. You can’t miss an opportunity to tell about our industry. Agriculture has changed my life and is the way of life for so many of the people I represent.”

 

No matter where he is this week, one thing is for sure—he believes in FFA and what it does for young people.

 

“I think one thing many people don’t understand is that FFA is not just about farming,” Smith said. “It’s about leadership. The skills you can develop in FFA will change your life and alter the course and direction of your life forever whether you live in a big city or on a family farm.”

—By Alexa Hunziker

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Hands-On Learning

For a 17- or 18-year-old, procrastination often comes easy. Yet digging in and getting the work done is what helped Trenton FFA member Teresa Yoder become a national finalist in the agricultural processing proficiency award area.

 

T.K.’s Processing is a 50/50 joint venture Yoder owns with her mom. The supervised agricultural experience project came about through Yoder’s on-going desire to own a butcher shop. Her mom had experience with that type of a business and agreed to be her partner. Once Yoder turns 18, she will become the sole proprietor.

 

As a processing facility for deer and chickens, Yoder serves customers in her community. She spends time after school and on weekends processing deer from the carcass down to burger, steaks, roasts and jerky. Snack sticks, summer sausage and trail bologna are also fabricated.

 

While the business initially only processed deer, this past summer chickens were added to the mix. In addition to handling the processing duties — including trimming, cleaning and packaging — Yoder also tackles pricing products, ordering supplies and calling customers once orders are ready for pick up.

 

“It really is a lot of work, but it is something I enjoy being a part of,” Yoder says.

 

Having enough capital to pay for supplies, equipment and the building set up was Yoder’s biggest challenge when she began the business.

 

Because her parents once owned a processing facility, Yoder was able to purchase some of that equipment.

 

“In 2017, I spent a lot of time and money working on the shop to get it ready to use,” Yoder explains. “The facility hadn’t been in operation for several years and needed a number of repairs and modifications.”

 

The experience her parents brought to the table was invaluable, Yoder says. “During the first year of operation, (my mom) was often looking over my shoulder, guiding me in what was right and wrong,” Yoder says. “In the fall of 2018, she began trusting me with more responsibilities and even had me handle a few days running the cleaning of the shop and managing the business on my own. This confirmed that I had gained enough experience to manage my own agribusiness.”

 

Gaining the trust of her customers has been the most important accomplishment for Yoder. “During my first year, I had a customer that arrived early and watched me package all of his order,” she explains. “He didn’t say much to me, but watched everything I did and went through his box to count how many rolls of summer sausage he had, bags of jerky, etc. This past year, that same customer came back and the first thing he did was compliment me on the quality of the summer sausage and jerky. It made me feel good to know I had done quality work and earned his trust and respect.”

—By Joann Pipkin

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Bridging The Gap

It’s all about engaging young people in agriculture. National FFA proficiency award finalist Elizabeth Brooks says that alone was the most challenging aspect of her agricultural education supervised agriculture experience project.

 

The Ashland FFA member says her ag education SAE focuses on educating people about the various sectors of the industry. For the past two years, she’s been an educator for the Agriculture Education on the Moveprogram through Missouri Farmers Care.

 

“I used this curriculum, in combination with my own lessons, to teach agriculture to 50 third grade students during a 10-week program,” Brooks explains. “I also organized an agriculture literacy program for first grade students for which I developed a four-week curriculum based on four different agriculture story books to education 25 students about agriculture commodities.”

 

In addition to teaching in the classroom, Brooks worked with the Ashland Learning Garden to educate students about vegetable production by helping develop lessons and activities. Brooks organized a middle school agriculture club for the Ashland FFA chapter and also led her local 4-H Clover Kids program. She also led a summer camp called Farmhouse for Fun for local day care children to learn about livestock and tour different farms in the area.

 

“My experience with Ag Education on the Moveinspired me to develop my own ag ed program,” Brooks says. “As the coordinator for the agriculture literacy program, I selected four ag-related story books and created lessons and activities for each one. By the third year of my SAE program, my experiences had made me a confident, passionate teacher and inspired me to take charge of several other ag ed programs in my chapter.”

 

Taking time to get to know her students is vital in ag education, Brooks says. She makes a point to learn about her students’ abilities, interests and behaviors. “This helps me develop techniques for keeping my students engaged and overcoming that challenge,” she says.

 

By working in her SAE, Brooks says she’s recognized that agricultural education must start at an earlier age. Although she hasn’t identified a specific age, she says teaching agriculture before high school will greatly improve agricultural involvement and success in the future.

 

“During my time as an educator, I have seen the desire that students of all ages have for learning, and that has inspired me to connect with them and create learning opportunities that will spark enthusiasm in the next generation,” she says. “Teaching about agriculture and inspiring youth to stay interested in it has been my biggest accomplishment through my SAE program because I have done my part in preparing the next generation of agriculturalists.”

—By Joann Pipkin

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