Jul 28 2021

Get Started

As I watched the Tokyo Olympics from the comfort of my couch, I saw a Toyota commercial play on the television. The commercial showcased several young athletes from different walks of life contemplating the decisions. While seeing their idols succeed in their ventures, they felt lost and unsure of their direction. The negative thoughts rolled through their minds . . .

“Am I good enough?”

“You’re not going to make it.”

“Just quit.”

Later in the commercial, the athletes find their motivation to push through their adversity and reach their goals. The commercial concludes with the phrase “You don’t have to be amazing to start, but you have to start to be amazing.” It begs the question: “If not now, when?”

During my junior year, I was determined to try something new. I reached out to my advisor about the possibility of competing in the Employment Skills contest. However, after watching COVID bring cancellations, the shutdown gave me negative thoughts making me wonder if what I was doing was worth the effort. Although I had to compete virtually, I was still able to learn how to present myself while gaining many skills that will be valuable whenever I apply for a job. 

Throughout the next year, there will be countless opportunities to take advantage of. Career Development Events will push us to learn more about an industry or challenge us to grow our leadership skills. Other events will allow us to network and grow friendships. Each of us has the choice to rise or sink through the actions we take each day, to move a step closer to our goals or to sit stagnant. 

Choosing to make a positive difference in our own lives allows us to take that next step to fulfilling our goals. All we have to do is get started.

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Jul 14 2021

Thermostat or Thermometer?

“Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?” This is a question I often asked myself throughout my time in the FFA as I worked to develop my leadership skills. A thermostat will set the climate by staying true to core values and making a positive impact on the environment. On the other hand, a thermometer only  reflects the environment they are surrounded by. A thermostat can see a problem and provide a fix while a thermometer might see a problem but will continue to live in it.  

As we navigate our way through school, FFA and life, it is important to reflect on how the choices we make might impact our families, our communities and our chapters. Use this mentality when engaging with an officer team in a chapter meeting. Whether you are an officer or not, bringing new ideas into the meeting room will allow each member to explore opportunities to advance the chapter. The thermostat will see a need within a community and initiate a community garden that supplies the local food pantry with fresh produce, one who pushes their chapter to attend National FFA Convention for the first time, one who encourages their fellow members to compete in Career Development Events. You see, leadership is not limited to those who hold an office or win a speech contest, leadership lies in the heart of those who make an impact on the environment around them, just like a thermostat.

I challenge each of you to look at your chapters and communities like a thermostat. What can you do to help? How can you make a positive difference? Leadership lies in each and every one of us; each of us are capable of making a difference. That difference can be something extraordinarily huge or it can change a small piece of your hometown. Regardless of size, your impact will change lives. So, will you be a thermometer or will you be a thermostat? The choice is yours.

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Jul 14 2021

Dare to be Different

“If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” This thought-provoking quote comes from the unmatchable, Maya Angelou. Maya was a fearless leader in our country, standing up for what she believed in, and teaching others to do the same through her famous poems, books, and other writings.

 

I attempted to be a fearless leader, much like Maya Angelou last week during the Audrain County Historical Society’s History Camp. Yes, you read that right, History Camp! I know, it sounds like the most utterly boring thing you have ever heard of, but I personally believe nothing can top it! I am by no means a history buff, but attending History Camp, as both a camper and counselor has taught me the importance of our past, as well as finding something odd and different to be a part of. 

 

When summer camp time rolls around, and the History Camp facilitator contacts me, I am ecstatic. All of my friends and family members know just how important camp is to me. However, each year they continue to give me a funny look and laugh at my obsession and excitement to attend camp. As a camper, I would take it offensively. Not only was this originally out of my comfort zone, but it was also something none of my friends would try. I realized I was being different, maybe a little odd, but I was adding another experience to my “give-it-a-try” list. 

 

Over the many years I have been involved in History Camp, I have made countless friends, met government officials and leaders, as well as learned about our country’s history, and my own county’s history, in a hands-on environment. I have tried new foods from a variety of eras, built boats and even created a mini rocket. 

 

FFA members, I’m not asking you to join me at History Camp, or become involved in an activity that makes you uncomfortable, but rather to try something completely different than your typical interest. Give it a chance; you never know what may happen until you try it. Just as Maya Angelou said, if you try to be normal and fit in with the social norm, you will never find your true passions or interests. Dare to be different and unleash your potential to find out how amazing you can be. 

 

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Jul 14 2021

A Frigid Realization

Freezing wind blew against my thick barricade of coats as I ventured out looking for a missing heifer. With snow up to the middle of my shins, it was hard to walk. Frustration stormed inside of me as I slowly moved through a thicket of cedar saplings. After a long week of frigid temperatures and losing calves, I was more than ready to quit. Finally, I laid eyes on my missing heifer. 

 

At her side, she has a determined newborn trying to stand and nurse for the first time. For a while I stood and watched the new calf fall down only to get back up and try it all again, reluctant to get the warm milk that was waiting for it. No matter how many times the calf fell, it continued trying to get up, until eventually it was successful. As I stood there, I realized I needed to be more like that resilient newborn. 

 

After a long, hard year filled with challenges and inconveniences, I was ready to call it quits and give up. However, I learned I just needed to continue my attempts at standing and reaching for achievements waiting for me. Instead of focusing on what was dragging me down, I needed to look for what was there when I stood. I decided I wasn’t going to let the negatives drag me down anymore, I was going to stand. 

 

When we are faced with challenges, it makes it easy to forget what we are working toward. As we embrace our future, it’s important we become like that newborn calf. No matter what obstacles are weighing you down, don’t forget to keep trying to stand and stay focused on what lies ahead and you are working toward. 

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Jun 30 2021

Missouri Corn and Missouri FFA Helping Build Future Leaders

Thirty incoming seniors from across the state participated in the Missouri FFA HYPE Academy, sponsored by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, June 22-24 in Jefferson City to sharpen their leadership and advocacy skills. Photo Credit: Missouri Corn Merchandising Council

Missouri’s top 30 FFA high school seniors completed the seventh annual Helping Youth Prepare for Excellence (HYPE) FFA Academy June 22-24, in Jefferson City, Mo. The three-day intensive program is designed to inform and empower students to effectively engage on pressing agriculture topics. Since 2015, the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council (MCMC) has sponsored and facilitated the academy in conjunction with Missouri FFA.

 

“Missouri Corn is proud to support the HYPE Academy and invest in the future of our industry,” said MCMC board member Jay Fischer of Jefferson City. “Having visited with the FFA students this week, I was impressed with their understanding of issues impacting agriculture and their passion for making a difference. It is clear the future is bright for these young adults, and we look forward to welcoming them to the agriculture industry after they complete their education.”

 

Over the three days, students participated in sessions promoting advocacy training, social media, communications, and stakeholder collaboration. In addition, discussions included overcoming adversity, developing a personal brand, and engaging those with opposing viewpoints. Students learned from farmers, industry representatives, social media experts, and others on effectively advocating on issues facing the industry. The group also explored the Missouri Soybean Center for Soy Innovation.

 

“HYPE is a great opportunity for students to engage in real-world agricultural issues and sharpen their leadership and advocacy skills,” noted Missouri FFA Advisor Leon Busdieker. “By sharing what they have learned when they return home, participants create a ripple effect within their chapter, strengthening the voice of members across the state.”

 

Capping off the three-day HYPE Academy, participants presented testimony to Missouri legislators during mock hearings on agricultural issues June 24 in the State Capitol. Photo Credit: Missouri Corn Merchandising Council

In culmination, participants testified on key issues during mock hearings with legislators at the Missouri State Capitol. This year’s topics included the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, estate taxes, waterway infrastructure, agriculture inspections, and eminent domain. Missouri Sens. Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City) and Barbara Washington (D-Kansas City), and State Reps. Rusty Black (R-Chillicothe), Kent Haden (R-Mexico), Greg Sharpe (R-Ewing), Sara Walsh (R-Ashland), Louis Riggs (R-Hannibal), and Tracy McCreery (D-St. Louis) interacted with and challenged the students. Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn concluded the academy by empowering participants to use their newfound skills as they continue to represent Missouri’s number one industry.

 

The Missouri Corn Merchandising Council is an organization of corn growers dedicated to developing and expanding corn markets, educating growers and customers, and exploring new research opportunities. The National FFA Organization makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Contact Missouri Corn Associate Director of Communications Hilary Black at (800) 827-4181 or hblack@mocorn.org for more information about HYPE Academy.

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Jun 30 2021

Dare To Be Different

“If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” This thought-provoking quote comes from the unmatchable, Maya Angelou. Maya was a fearless leader in our country, standing up for what she believed in, and teaching others to do the same through her famous poems, books, and other writings.

 

I attempted to be a fearless leader, much like Maya Angelou last week during the Audrain County Historical Society’s History Camp. Yes, you read that right, History Camp! I know, it sounds like the most utterly boring thing you have ever heard of, but I personally believe nothing can top it! I am by no means a history buff, but attending History Camp, as both a camper and counselor has taught me the importance of our past, as well as finding something odd and different to be a part of. 

 

When summer camp time rolls around, and the History Camp facilitator contacts me, I am ecstatic. All of my friends and family members know just how important camp is to me. However, each year they continue to give me a funny look and laugh at my obsession and excitement to attend camp. As a camper, I would take it offensively. Not only was this originally out of my comfort zone, but it was also something none of my friends would try. I realized I was being different, maybe a little odd, but I was adding another experience to my “give-it-a-try” list. 

 

Over the many years I have been involved in History Camp, I have made countless friends, met government officials and leaders, as well as learned about our country’s history, and my own county’s history, in a hands-on environment. I have tried new foods from a variety of eras, built boats and even created a mini rocket. 

 

FFA members, I’m not asking you to join me at History Camp, or become involved in an activity that makes you uncomfortable, but rather to try something completely different than your typical interest. Give it a chance; you never know what may happen until you try it. Just as Maya Angelou said, if you try to be normal and fit in with the social norm, you will never find your true passions or interests. Dare to be different and unleash your potential to find out how amazing you can be. 

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Jun 02 2021

Is Your Rubber Band Stretched to the Max?

How is FFA like a rubber band?

 

I was asked this question just four years ago when I was running as a junior officer during my freshman year of high school. This might feel like an easy and simple question to answer, but for me the question meant so much more than just the comparison of FFA and a rubber band. 

 

I gave two answers to the question. The first thing that came to mind for me was that FFA is resilient. No matter how far you stretch a rubber band it will return to its original shape. The Missouri FFA Association and its members overcame a global pandemic; we overcame some of the biggest adversity that many of us will face during our time in the Missouri FFA Association. 

 

The second answer I replied with is that you can pull and stretch a rubber band as much as you want or don’t want. This might seem like a simple answer, but another member in my chapter also explained it this way. To both of us, our answers were almost identical. “As an FFA member, we can stretch our rubber band out just a little by taking an agriculture class in high school, or we can stretch our rubber band out a lot by being active in FFA.” 

 

While I was in high school, I was active in FFA. Between public speaking, dairy foods, and meats evaluation competitions, FFA Camp, Public Speaking Academy and HYMAX (Helping Youth Maximize Agriculture eXperiences), I learned how I could stretch my rubber band. 

 

My challenge for you during your time in FFA is to stretch your rubber band as far as you want it. Are you going to leave your rubber band stretched only a little or are you going to stretch your rubber band to its max?

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Jun 02 2021

My Wish

“And if one door opens to another door closed…I hope you keep on walkin’ ’til you find the window.” Whether or not you are a county music buff like me, “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts is a song unlike any other. It talks about all the lessons we go through life hearing and gives wisdom about making the most of every situation and opportunity. What a world opportunity is! It offers so much promise.

 

When I began my FFA career almost six years ago, I knew that the only way I would make an impact was to be active in everything I wanted to experience. I wanted to accomplish, see and do so much, but the only way to do so was to take the opportunities I had been given. I believe that no matter what, if there is something you want to try, you should take a chance at it. I spent my FFA career continuously learning and experiencing. It led me to where I am today. When I was unsure if I wanted to give a speech, I decided I would not know if I liked it or not until I tried. I gave that first fall speech, and, no, it did not go according to plan. Still,  I knew I could improve. I kept trying, practicing and growing until I eventually got those first-place accolades for which I had been working. 

 

We only get one chance at life. If there is something you want to do, see, or achieve, do it and do not let anything hold you back. I promise you will not regret it! In the meantime, take a listen to “My Wish.” I have a feeling it can teach us all a few things.

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Jun 02 2021

Say Geronimo

One of my favorite songs growing up was “Geronimo,” by Sheppard. Not only do I love the beat, but I also love the message behind the lyrics. The song talks about taking the plunge to do something new. “Geronimo” and “Bombs Away” are both part of the chorus and are words that people say to remind themselves that they are fearless.

 

While I strive for fearlessness, it is not easy for me. I am a planner, and I have my “to do’s” set a particular way. It is hard for me to deviate from the plan and jump fearlessly into the unknown. It takes a lot in me to say “Geronimo” and make the leap. But, I have gotten over my apprehension a time or two and tried something new.

 

All of my life, I had been trained to judge livestock. My high school plan was to go in and start with horse evaluation, then meats, and then livestock judging my junior or senior year. A state office was not in that plan at all. I did do horses my freshman year, and enjoyed FFA knowledge much more. Sophomore year I did much better with ag issues than meats, and my junior year I fell in love with parliamentary procedure. Senior year, I did livestock, but it was kind of in the background as I competed for state office.

 

I would not change anything about what I ended up doing in high school, but it was only through the efforts of my advisors that I ripped my plan in half and “dove into the waterfall” as the song says. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You never know where it will take you. Make the leap and say “Geronimo.”

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Apr 26 2021

Find Your Best Self

Former FFA member Rhonda Ludwig blazes a trail for women in Missouri FFA.

In the early 1980s, Rhonda (Scheulen) Ludwig was just another Missouri farm kid. Growing up in what she calls “salt of the earth farming,” Ludwig worked in pig pens and hauled hay. The former Fatima FFA member embraced public speaking opportunities, showed hogs at county and state fairs and built her supervised agricultural experience project in swine production.

 

Little did she know, though, she would help pave the way for other Missouri farm girls as Missouri’s first female state FFA president.

 

“I credit FFA with everything, every bit of success I’ve had,” Ludwig explains.

 

An FFA member who could both walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk, Ludwig says at the time she was elected to lead Missouri’s largest youth organization she only felt blessed to serve the membership.

 

“At the time, I was very accepted and was just grateful to have the opportunity,” Ludwig says.

 

While women were first able to join the National FFA Organization in 1969, Ludwig became Missouri’s first female state president in 1981. She went on in 1983 to become the state’s first and only female national officer.

 

As men dominated the agricultural landscape in the 1980s, Ludwig says she might have received additional recognition as a female officer but never considered herself any different than her peers. She remembers as a Greenhand aspiring to become a state officer, but never the first female state president.

 

“I was a farm kid who had a great opportunity, who was blessed with skills primarily in public speaking,” she explains. “I tell kids all the time, whatever God gave you as a talent, use it. For me, that was public speaking.”

After graduating high school, Ludwig attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where she majored in agricultural journalism. She says the communications skills she honed through FFA helped her discover her niche in that career path.

 

“(Developing) those communications skills — the ability to write and speak — in FFA were the biggest things that led me to agricultural journalism,” Ludwig says.

 

There, Ludwig found her comfort zone, which led her to a more than 30-year-career in agricultural media sales.

 

“Had it not been for those communication and speaking opportunities through FFA, I’m not sure I would have found it,” she says.

 

Ludwig’s career path includes 12 years of agricultural radio advertising sales with the Brownfield Network in Jefferson City as well as 12-plus years with Farm Progress where she sold print advertising and another six years with RFD-TV as a Midwest account manager. Today, the former FFA member lives on a farm near Linn, Missouri, with husband, Dale. The couple has three children — Trent, Claire and Troy.

 

“FFA has been a huge part of my entire career,” Ludwig explains. “My first job out of college, I got because of the contacts I made through FFA. Then each one you make more contacts, and it eventually leads to another opportunity down the road.”

 

As a National FFA Officer, Ludwig says she was afforded many travel opportunities that helped her meet people all across the country.

 

“FFA gave me a leg up, a great start and a great opportunity,” she says.

 

Ludwig encourages FFA members to embrace moments when they can make a positive impression and put forth extra effort.

 

“Always take every opportunity to put forth your best self,” Ludwig says. “You can’t win a public speaking contest without doing what every great athlete has to do. You have to work at it. If you work at it and practice, you develop those skills. Then it pays off.”

 

Agriculture has changed much since Ludwig’s days in the blue corduroy. Industry pathways now include a vast array of opportunities from beyond traditional production agriculture, and Ludwig says that alone underscores the connections FFA brings to its members.

 

Quick to point out that her experiences in the organization were life changing, Ludwig says the work ethic she learned at home on the farm combined with her FFA involvement and learning to set goals helped her find success.

 

“There are no limits to what anybody can do, but it doesn’t just happen,” she advises. “You have to work hard; you have to earn it. “You have to put in the time, and you have to figure out what you want, what your goals are. Everyone’s goals are different.”

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2021 MO FFA Convention Theme
Apr 26 2021

Missouri FFA Convention Kicks Off This Week

93rd Annual event slated for April 30, May 1 in Sedalia

2021 MO FFA Convention Theme

Missouri FFA is gearing up for its 93rd Annual State FFA Convention to be held later this week in Sedalia, Missouri. In the effort to hold an in-person event celebrating accomplishments of FFA members across the state while being responsible with current Covid-19-related health concerns, the event is set for April 30 and May 1 at the Mathewson Exhibition Center on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. The recognition-only event will be limited to award winners and two advisor/chaperones per school. Guest speakers, including National FFA Central Region Vice President and Missouri native Paxton Dahmer, will highlight the sessions, which will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person.

 

Morning and afternoon convention sessions are scheduled for Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 with a goal of recognizing chapter activity awards, honorary state degree recipients, new FFA chapters, career development and leadership development event (CDE and LDE) winners, proficiency awards, star state degrees and state degree recipients. Other scholarship and essay winners will also be honored at the convention. CDEs and LDEs are currently planned during April at various times and locations in Columbia to accommodate social distancing protocols.

 

The sessions can be viewed via livestream at: https://livestream.com/modese/moffa

 

Student Workshops

Student workshops will be available the week of April 26 on missouriffa.org, highlighting 12 presentations from Dahmer, current state FFA officers, as well as Teach Ag Ambassadors and Post-Secondary Student organization officers, and can be viewed via a password-protected verification system for members.

 

Media Coverage

Missouri FFA will have a limited press room and have a new convention media website, which can be found at: www.convention.missouriffa.org. Four marked areas are available to media for interviews. These, along with our photographer and press room, will be in the Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall.  In the meantime, if we can help you find information you are used to having let us know.

 

Sponsors

As we work to recognize our sponsors, we have developed session sponsor videos.  We will play these at the beginning of each session and then share on social media.  Even though we are limiting attendance, we want to recognize our sponsors.  The success of Missouri FFA members is directly related to the support our sponsors provide.  We cannot thank you enough.

 

Covid Response

There is no higher priority of the Missouri FFA Association than the health, safety and well- being of our members, staff, volunteers and community partners. As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to make decisions with this in mind. As part of the Missouri FFA Association community, we all have a responsibility to help protect each other at all times. In compliance with current CDC recommendations, local mandates and/or statewide protocol, all attendees of the annual state FFA convention are asked to adhere to the following guidelines:

 

  • In an effort to provide our award winning FFA members an in-person experience, attendance will be limited to award winners, 2 advisor/chaperones per chapter and a few special guests.

 

  • Convention attendees are expected to wear face protection/face coverings in all indoor areas at all times.

 

  • Social distancing is expected at all times while attending convention.

 

  • Floor seating will be reserved for award winners only. Seating in the bowl area of Mathewson Exhibition Center will be limited to every other row. Some seating areas in the bowl area will be reserved.

 

  • Convention attendees are strongly encouraged to practice good hygiene, wash hands frequently, not touch their face, and cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of their elbow or upper arm. Please stay home if you have a fever, cough or other COVID symptoms.

 

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the convention meeting space.

 

  • COVID-19 protocol signage will be posted in highly visible locations that promote everyday protective measures.

 

  • Temperatures of convention staff will be taken daily. All individuals with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will be isolated and sent home immediately.

 

  • Daily temperature screenings are the responsibility of the Ag Instructor for their chapter attendees. Missouri FFA has implemented preventative measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, Missouri FFA cannot guarantee that members and attendees will not be exposed or infected.

For complete convention coverage follow @MissouriFFA on Facebook and visit missouriffa.org.

 

 

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Mar 25 2021

Driving Home FFA

Governor Parson proclaims National FFA Week in Missouri.

Governor Mike Parson proclaimed February 20-27, 2021, as National FFA Week in Missouri on behalf of nearly 26,000 members of Missouri FFA. Missouri FFA President Justin Eddy of Columbia received the proclamation on behalf of the 2020-2021 Missouri FFA State Officer team.

“Missouri agriculture has a bright future, and you can see that in action through our FFA members,” Governor Parson said. “Living and working on a farm is one of my greatest honors, and the First Lady and I continue to look to these young leaders to move the agriculture industry forward for generations to come.”

For the third year in a row, Governor Parson drove a John Deere tractor to the State Capitol in honor of the FFA tradition of students driving their tractors to school during National FFA Week. Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe also joined in on the tradition again this year with the Governor, demonstrating their ties to agriculture and commitment to FFA students.

Listen to Gov. Parson as he leads other state leaders in delivering the FFA Creed and a heartfelt tribute to Missouri FFA. 

by Joann Pipkin

 

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Mar 25 2021

Do You Walk With Confidence?

Learn the Ins and Outs of the Employment Skills LDE and how it can prepare you for your first job interview.

Should you shake hands when introducing yourself? Do you need to ask to be seated? How might you answer the prompt, “Tell me about yourself?” Many high schoolers, college students and even young adults ask these questions and more before nervously walking into their first job interview. In fact, most feel unprepared. The National FFA Organization created a Leadership Development Event (LDE) to combat this stress and give FFA members the tools needed to walk in with confidence.

 

“The Employment Skills contest is the perfect preparation for real world job interviews and placement,” says Jessica Connelly, superintendent for the state Employment Skills LDE the past several years. “It’s designed to walk students through an application, interview and selection process. It’s one of the most practical professional development experiences available to students.”

 

Brooke Kreatz, a Chillicothe agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor, agrees the LDE equips students for their first job interview experience.

 

“Employment Skills prepares students for the process of applying for a job,” she says. “They have to be able to fill out a job application, prepare a cover letter and resume, as well as request and get a letter of recommendation in a timely manner. The overall mission is to produce a capable, contributing future employee through practicing these employment skills.”

 

As a human resources professional, Connelly encourages FFA members to exercise these skills in preparation for the future.

 

“Students can never be too prepared for what awaits them after walking the halls of their high school,” she says. “Whether it’s college, junior college, tech school or the work force, this LDE helps every student practice for the future.”

 

This preparation starts in high school through extracurricular activities like FFA, something Kreatz knows the impact of firsthand.

 

“Students who are involved in extracurricular activities are more confident and feel more comfortable when in front of future employers,” Kreatz says. “Marketing yourself is an important skill to have. The process of applying for a job can be stressful. If you already have the skills needed to go through the process it can ease that stress. I know from my own experiences that competing in LDEs and CDEs gave me an upper hand when interviewing because I knew what to expect, and I was able to walk in my interview rooms with confidence.”

 

In addition to confidence gained in extracurricular activities, employment skills are something all students benefit from learning.

 

“As part of the Agricultural Business Curriculum sponsored by FCS Financial, we are able to teach all students these skills in the classroom,” Kreatz says. “I am a firm believer that all students need to learn employment skills and build confidence, and this curriculum does just that. Students can learn so much from each other and it is important that they get a chance to interview in front of their peers.”

 

Connelly adds practice in and out of the classroom are critical in preparing for a future career.

 

“At some point, every student will experience the job interview and selection process,” Connelly says. “I always find myself performing best in those environments if I practice before. This contest is the practice and feedback to help all students perform well themselves.”

by Brandelyn Twellman

 

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Mar 25 2021

Greenhand Conferences Come to a Close

New look for the annual first-year-member event receives thumbs up.

Greenhand Motivational Conferences took on a new look this year. The annual conferences for first-year FFA members were offered during December and February as an in-chapter visit or as a video conference depending on the school school district’s health restrictions and protocols. State officers recorded an opening skit to kick off each conference, which centered around the theme of the program derived from the television sitcom The Office. Through this process the state officer team was able to present the 2021 GMC program to 238 (68% of the 351) FFA chapters all across Missouri.

 

Here’s what FFA advisors had to say about this year’s conferences:

 

“I just wanted to let you know that officer did a GREAT job today! She was with 21 freshmen for an hour and a half and kept them engaged the entire time. I really liked the curriculum for this year, it was relevant to the kids, and they really seemed to get into it. Thanks for all of your hard work, and please thank the state officers.” — Brian Gillen, Lockwood FFA Advisor

 

“Thank you for offering this! My students really enjoyed it, and the state officer did a great job!”

—Casteel Edwards – Skyline FFA Advisor

“Ricci amazed me today working with our underclassmen.  Virtual teaching is hard, she did a great job keeping them on task and interacting with them.  Kudos to the state officer team. The GMC program was great.” — Kendra Allen, Mexico FFA Advisor

by Joann Pipkin

 

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2021 MO FFA Convention Theme
Mar 25 2021

New Date, Location for State FFA Convention

93rd Annual event slated for April 30, May 1 in Sedalia

In the effort to hold an in-person event celebrating accomplishments of FFA members across the state while being responsible with current Covid-19-related health concerns, Missouri FFA plans to hold its 93rd Annual State FFA Convention April 30 and May 1 at the Mathewson Exhibition Center on the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Missouri. The recognition-only event will be limited to award winners and two advisor/chaperones per school. Guest speakers, including National FFA Central Region Vice President and Missouri native Paxton Dahmer, will highlight the sessions, which will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person.

 

“Our desire to hold an in-person event for our award winners has been the overarching goal in our decision to modify our normal convention location and protocol,” said Leon Busdieker, Missouri FFA state advisor. “FFA is hands-on. It’s a four-year program, and we think this year’s plan is the best way to recognize our students for their accomplishments while still being mindful of health-related concerns.”

 

Morning and afternoon convention sessions are scheduled for Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 with a goal of recognizing chapter activity awards, honorary state degree recipients, new FFA chapters, career development and leadership development event (CDE and LDE) winners, proficiency awards, star state degrees and state degree recipients. Other scholarship and essay winners will also be honored at the convention. CDEs and LDEs are currently planned during April at various times and locations in Columbia to accommodate social distancing protocols.

 

Student workshops will be available the week of April 26 on missouriffa.org, highlighting 12 presentations from Dahmer, current state FFA officers, as well as Teach Ag Ambassadors and Post-Secondary Student organization officers, and can be viewed via a password-protected verification system for members.

 

Agricultural education joint staff committee, the 2020-21 Missouri State FFA Officers, Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teacher Executive Committee and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education state staff played a role in guiding the decision to move both the date and location for this year’s state convention.

 

“While we shifted last year’s convention to a virtual format, we believe we can host an in-person event that will recognize student accomplishments in a safe manner,” Busdieker said.

 

For updated convention information follow @MissouriFFA on Facebook and visit missouriffa.org.

 

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