Letting Competition Get The Best of Us

Chloe Momphard

Chloe Momphard – VP

With Career Development Events and Leadership Development events well under way, it is easy to focus on what went well or what we could have done better this season. While self-reflection is a good technique for improving and working to better ourselves, we should also take a step back to understand that the goal of contests is growth.

Don’t get me wrong. I like winning, but it’s not always in moments of success that we develop or grow. During my sophomore year of high school, I was competing on the agricultural issues team. Our team placed first at area and then as alternate at districts. Needless to say, I was heartbroken because our goal of competing at state had come to an abrupt end. I quickly began exploring other options and landed on submitting a research project (in partnership with one of my Ag Issues teammates) within Agriscience Research – Animal Systems examining different types of filler feeds.  With our agri-science project, we placed first at state, applied to go to nationals and placed second overall!

It would have been very easy to take the loss and end my contest season.  Instead, I used it as a chance to learn, and then move forward to seek additional opportunities. During this project, I learned that I enjoyed and respected research so much that I am looking to pursue it in college. Sometimes, it is the less-than-stellar moments that help us most in the long run!

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Commit To The Pour

Hattie Grisham – VP

Filling a petri dish wouldn’t seem to be the hardest task. However, with no prior information on how to properly fill them, you are more than likely to make a mess. This is a lesson I learned the hard way.

One afternoon while filling practice petri dishes for an end-of-the-year chemistry project, I created a giant mess. The substance you pour in, agar mixture, has a very runny substance but also sets up very quickly, requiring speedy pouring. I had prepped my mixture, petri dishes and was ready to go! I began the process.

Plate one — a little full, but okay.

Plate two — not enough mixture, but these were just practice plates.

Plate three — only the slightest bit of mixture made it in, and the rest went all over the table.

I quickly scrambled to move the empty dishes and begin cleaning up the mess. After helping me, Mrs. O’Donnell, my chemistry teacher, told me, “You have to commit to the pour!” As a result of being hesitant to mess up the pouring, scared to commit and be confident in my abilities, I created the mess I hoped to avoid.

As my friends and I continued throughout the rest of senior year, we often joked about “committing to the pour” in various situations. However, I believe this simple science lesson can apply to us all. As we enter the grind of contest season, it is easy to not want to step outside of our comfort zone, doubt our abilities, or not give our all due to other involvements. In these instances though, our true character is revealed. In all you do, commit to the pour.

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Celebrate the Failures

McKenzie Loftis

McKenzie Loftis – VP

“Every failurebrings with it the seedof an equivalent success.”
– Napolean Hill

During my time in the blue jacket, I have had the pleasure of competing in many Career Development  and Leadership Development Events. Every year I learned a new key component of agriculture, traveled to some really awesome places, and learned some very intense lessons about myself. It’s interesting in that looking back, I remember the wins, the insane celebrations and joy they brought. In reflection, the losses seem more vivid than the wins, though. I can still tell you the primary reason for not winning state my freshman year in poultry; it was because of a missing breast meat in a carcass class that I didn’t see. Although that failure hurt, it wasn’t final. I had many more opportunities to succeed and used it as a seed. As you enter the spring season of competing, I hope that you learn as much as possible about the area you choose to pursue. Still, do not forget along the way that this is teaching you more than just knowledge and skill. This season of your life is showing you how much dedication, heart and drive you possess. Enjoy the early mornings and the relationships you build with your teammates. Take chances, learn from failures and mistakes, and celebrate the joys of successes. Best of luck this spring!

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Missouri and Kansas FFA Students Collect 3,100 Items in 2019 Western Farm Show Food Drive

Kansas City, Mo. (March 5, 2019) – FFA students from Missouri and Kansas collected and delivered  3,111 non-perishable food items for the annual “Border War Food Drive” at the 2019 Western Farm Show at the American Royal in Kansas City.


More than 3,500 students from the two states attended the show on FFA Day, Friday, Feb. 22, where they also had the opportunity to participate in educational seminars and learn about career opportunities in the ag industry.


About 70 chapters from Missouri participated, collecting 2,143 food items. The top chapters were Lone Jack (504), St. Joseph (233) and Gilman City (217).  Lone Jack once again had the highest total of all chapters from both states, a feat they have accomplished in seven of the last eight annual Western Farm Show food drives. The chapter will receive a $500 prize for their accomplishment.

Nearly 20 participating Kansas chapters brought 968 items to the show, with the highest totals from Louisburg (304) and Tonganoxie (280).  That ranked them second and third overall from both states, just behind Lone Jack.


The food was donated to the Harvesters – The Community Food Network, a Kansas City-based regional food bank that serves a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas. In the eight years the Western Farm Show food drive has been conducted, more than nearly 34,000 pounds of food have been delivered to Harvester’s which provided more than 28,000 meals for those facing food insecurity.


“We’re so grateful to these FFA students and the Western Farm Show, and appreciative of their continuing commitment,” said Gene Hallinan, communications manager for Harvesters.


“FFA Day is always one of the highlights of the Western Farm Show,” said show manager Ken Dean. “All the participating students are to be commended for the great leadership and commitment they demonstrated to help in the fight against hunger.”


Produced by the Western Equipment Dealers Association, the annual Western Farm Show features over 500 exhibitors and more than 400,000 square feet of floor space showcasing one of the largest indoor displays of farm equipment and other agricultural products in the Midwest. Other attractions include the Low-Stress Livestock Handling Demonstration, the Health & Safety Roundup and Family Living Center.

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Priming Pigs for Productivity

Imagine it. Improved conception rates and litter sizes for your hog operation. Through their animal systems agriscience experiment, Troy FFA members Dylan Sparks and Izabella Hutton Kidwell, aimed to provide commercial, show pig and seedstock farms valuable information to improve productivity.

Their experiment earned Dylan and Izabella first place honors in the animal systems, division 4 category, of the National Agriscience Fair.

The duo analyzed the type of artificial insemination (AI) rod used and how it affected conception rates and litter sizes. Their interest spawned from pork being the most widely consumed meat in the world, emphasizing the importance of increasing conception rates and litter sizes on hog operations.

Dylan and Izabella found that intrauterine or transcervical rods provide the best conception rates and litter sizes in the swine breed using artificial insemination. In fact, their data found almost twice the litter sizes and conception rates in the swine breed with the intrauterine rod.

Plans are already underway for this year’s Missouri Agriscience Fair. Registration and papers are due May 7, with the event set for May 14 at Memorial Union on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. Get additional details online through this link: Missouri Agriscience Fair.

—from our staff.

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More Than Mowing Grass

Students in the agriculture program at State Technical College of Missouri are landing internships and full-time jobs at many high-profile companies in the turf and landscape fields. Just this year, State Tech had students on the athletic fields during the U.S. Open, World Series, Super Bowl and 100th PGA Championship. Their students are developing practical skills through multiple hands-on opportunities to prepare them for their careers.


Ryan Klatt, agriculture department chair and instructor, and Nick Rackers, instructor, make up the two-man teaching staff within agriculture at State Tech. Students pursing the commercial turf and grounds management degree take courses for two years with a required six-month internship between the first and second year.


“They stay on internship the whole time from the first week in March until August of the next [school] year when school starts back up,” Klatt said. “The reason we do that is because that’s when most landscape companies, golf courses, ball fields–they’re all looking for help. The students get out there, and they are able to see an extra season.”


The opportunity to work an extra season, as opposed to just the summer, provides students an opportunity to get more out of their internship experience by seeing how companies operate in two peak seasons of the year, spring and summer.



While the students are in classes, they are maintaining the landscape of the State Tech campus. Students are responsible for mowing, designing the landscaping, growing and planting flowers and even pruning trees and shrubs. Rackers has focused on creating a diverse, botanical garden feel over the campus by labeling each plant with its scientific name.


“I can’t teach tree and shrub identification in the middle of Osage County if I don’t have a concentration of trees and shrubs to go look at,” Rackers said. “I’m trying to create diversity on campus.”


One of the first courses students will take in the agriculture program is equipment operations, where they learn how to run a variety of mowers, mini excavators, skid loaders and multiple other pieces of equipment.


“We would rather them learn to do it here, so they know how to run that piece of equipment when they get on their internship–before we send them out in the field,” Klatt said. “The employers or the people who hire them really like that because when they are out [on internship], they are ready to hit the ground running when they get there.”



Students are receiving internships with landscape companies, golf courses and on athletic fields. Klatt and Rackers are able to direct students toward a company, which fits their interests. They use industry connections to guide students in the right direction, but they also encourage students to become student members of certain associations, that often provide job boards where applications for some of the high-profile internships can be found.


“Out in our shop, we have what’s called our Wall of Fame,” Klatt said. “Any student who has worked for a professional team or at a high-profile golf course gets a flag on the wall. So that’s kind of our professional claim to fame.”


Over the past several years, students have worked for a variety of teams, including the Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox among others. Additionally, students have worked at the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open. In 2018 alone, State Tech had students representing the program during the U.S. Open, World Series and Super Bowl.



In addition to the hands-on experience during internships and through coursework, State Tech students in agriculture can be members of and participate in PAS (Professional Agricultural Student Organization).


“It [PAS] is kind of like FFA, but for college students,” Rackers said. “They have professional development type contests called CPAs. There’s floriculture, landscape, turf grass, dairy and equine, just like FFA has their CDEs. But there’s also a professional career building component.”


The professional career-building component of PAS provides students with the opportunity to expand their professional development skills through a practical application. This past year, State Tech brought home multiple awards from the state conference.


Additionally, students who are landscape-focused can attend the trade show at the Western Nursery and Landscape Association (WNLA). Currently, two State Tech students have been nominated to sit on the WNLA advisory board for the next two years.



Klatt and Rackers are helping students develop the skills and resume necessary to be successful in the turf and landscape fields. However, both said it is a lot more than just learning how to mow grass.


“A lot of people come in and see all of our equipment sitting in our shop and they think, ‘I can go to school to learn how to mow grass’,” Klatt said. “It’s a lot more than just mowing grass by the time you get the fertility and the pest problems and how to manage all those things. There’s a lot more to it than just mowing.”


For more information about the State Tech Commercial Turf and Grounds Management program, please visit www.statetechmo.edu or follow them on Facebook @statetechctg.

—by Julie Choate

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New Kids on the Block

In just its first year, Oak Ridge FFA is already making huge strides by having 50 percent of high school students enrolled in the chapter.


Oak Ridge began building the framework for its agricultural education program a few years ago. With the passage of a bond issue in spring 2018, funds were available to construct a shop, employ an agricultural education teacher and begin the first FFA chapter in school history.


Oak Ridge FFA Advisor Nick Thiele said community support has been overwhelming and student interest has been high. Due to the hard work of a number of people, Oak Ridge has enjoyed a rich tradition of academic excellence and successful student activity programs.


“Our high school has been in existence since 1874, and we have always been a diversified agricultural area,” Thiele explained.


Oak Ridge FFA has already elected officers, established a Facebook page and held its first fundraiser, bringing in $1,100. Chapter members have attended local fairs and FFA Field Day at Barton Research Farm. Oak Ridge has also held a Greenhand initiation event, and the chapter is working to help build members’ SAEs.


A chapter chartering ceremony is also being planned, and members expect to participate in area, district and state contests this spring. Crop research plots on the school farm are in the works for Oak Ridge. And, the chapter hopes to complete both the interior and exterior of its new shop. Plus, the chapter has plans to work with area 4-H leaders, establish a farmers market and volunteer at a therapeutic horsemanship ranch.


Thiele explained that Oak Ridge also hopes to be actively involved in its community and school. The chapter’s goals include using a greenhouse to provide hydroponic vegetables to the school and collaborate with other student organizations to disperse and market their produce. Next year, members plan to volunteer at community clean up events.


The chapter hopes to recruit even more members through an Ag Exploration class offered to junior high students, teaching them about agriculture and FFA. Thiele said FFA members are keenly aware of their role on the school’s campus and in the community to make FFA visible.


“(Members) know their actions and enthusiasm will create some of the best recruiting opportunities,” he explained.


Students said offering FFA at the school is an honor. Chapter President Hayden Seyer and Vice President Dylan Muench are thankful FFA is now offered at their school.


“I think it will be a great benefit for the school because students will be involved in more outdoor activities and will understand the concept of FFA,” Muench said. “It will benefit the school because more students will be involved in many activities in the community.”


Muench wants to help educate others about how food is produced and the purpose of agriculture. He also hopes to focus on his SAE, which includes working on his family’s other local dairy farms, as well as showing dairy heifers.


Seyer said FFA is a great addition for their school and relevant to career goals. He also is proud to serve as the chapter’s first president, being an integral part in developing new chapter traditions.


“I want to ensure our FFA builds a solid foundation during our first year,” Seyer said.


In addition, Seyer knows that FFA opens opportunities for students to become involved. FFA has allowed him to build on skills he learned in 4-H. He also is able to showcase his role on his family’s row crop and beef cattle operation through his SAE.


“I’d like to thank my parents, and the parents of my fellow members, as well as our school administration and board of education for making our FFA chapter a priority, he said. “We are lucky to grow up in such a great community.”

—by Alison Bos Lovins



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Create Your Legacy

Madelyn Derks

Madelyn Derks – VP

Thomas Jefferson doubled the size of the United States with the purchase of Louisiana.


Abraham Lincoln freed slaves.


Dwight D. Eisenhower ended segregation in schools and the military.


All presidents of the United State of America, these American icons created a legacy for themselves and changed our nation in a way that is remembered and evident to this day.


In school I always dragged my feet on the way to history class. It was always my least favorite class due to all the dates, names and events that I had to memorize and pronounce. My history teacher, Mr. Jenkins, would always yell at me, “Smile a little more, Derks!” I would respond with a sassy half smile and an eye roll as I took my seat. But, what I quickly learned is that history doesn’t go away as we graduate high school or finish a class; in fact, it followed me all the way to my agricultural education class.


In 1928, the Future Farmers of America (FFA) was organized in Kansas City, Missouri.


In 1933, the blue corduroy jacket was adopted as the official dress for the FFA.


In 1969, women were allowed to be members of FFA.


History is a valuable part of who we are and where we come from. Whether in the form of a president’s legacy or the roots of the National FFA Organization, history is remembered for years to come.


So I want to ask you, what will your legacy be? How will you be remembered?


Do you want to be remembered as someone who sat on the sidelines, afraid to try something new?  Or, do you want to be remembered as the person who reached his or her goals? Opportunities abound for us in the next few months. From participating in a career development event or a leadership development event to applying for awards and academies and attending State FFA Convention, we have so many activities and opportunities to take part in through FFA. We have the ability to build our legacy into anything we want. Our legacies don’t have to be as grand as the forefathers of our country, but they can be just as powerful with simple acts like talking to the new kid at school, running for an officer position, or volunteering to stay after and help clean up the classroom. The decisions and choices that we make every single day affect our legacy. It affects how we are remembered.


So right now, let’s take out a piece a paper and write down three goals or things we want to accomplish. How can those words be turned into actions that will positively define our legacy?


FFA members, you are destined for greatness. Each one of us has a unique and powerful legacy that is just waiting for us to initiate. It is our jobs to shine a light on who we are and what we stand for. Don’t be afraid of yours, because even the smallest of actions turns into the greatest of impacts.


Missouri FFA members, you don’t have to wait to cultivate tomorrow. Make it happen today. Do it now, and grow your legacy!

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Enjoy the Blue Corduroy

Allie Lock – VP

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. As I sat in the middle of my geometry class my sophomore year of high school, the day seemed to be dragging on and on. That day in particular was smack dab in the middle of National FFA Week, and at my school we had themes for each day. It was Official Dress Day, so that morning after ripping two pairs of pantyhose, I finally got suited up in my full official dress. As my teacher stood in front of the class saying something about triangles, all I could think about was how I could not wait until I got out of my blue corduroy jacket.


Now, three years later, I would give almost anything to go back to my sophomore year and relive all of my blue corduroy jacket memories. We are at the point in the year where school starts seeming hectic. Between snow days and school days, you might feel the pressure to get things done as quickly as possible. With tests, career development events, trips and homework, I’m sure you can’t wait for time to fly by. I know I used to wish the exact same thing. But as you participate in this year’s National FFA Week, take a moment to let time stand still. Enjoy FFA week and everything it has to offer. Soak it in. Because one day, you’ll be taking off your blue corduroy jacket for the final time.

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Winter Becomes Spring

Shelby Davies

Shelby Davies – VP

I can still remember the excitement and anticipation that followed a significant snowfall during my years growing up in rural Missouri. As a child, my siblings and I would spend our snow days playing outside having snowball fights, building a family of snowmen, making forts and sledding. We stayed outside until our fingers were numb. Back then, the snow was an opportunity. As I grew up, snow became less of an opportunity and more of a nuisance. The cold and ice meant that chores were harder, I couldn’t see any of my friends as driving could be dangerous, plans that you had been making for months could be cancelled and going outside meant bundling up only to be cold after a few minutes in the elements.


Recently, my dislike of winter reached a new level. This winter has been the worst one I can remember.  I can’t count the number of plans that I’ve had to cancel this winter, the times I’ve slipped due to ice and I’ve been cold walking between destinations. The other day while complaining about how terrible winter is and how I was beginning to feel like winter would never end, I saw a quote that said, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” This struck me because it doesn’t apply only to weather.


In FFA there are things that we don’t always enjoy doing but can take us to bigger and better places. Filling out record books, proficiencies, or applications, or studying for Career Development or Leadership Development Events can be tedious and exhausting. However, they are important. Those record books can lead to recognition on all of the hard work that you have put into your SAE and allow you to get different degrees in FFA. Studying for your CDE can bring you new friends and the chance to exercise your competitive spirit. LDEs teach you to lead from where you are and give you experience that will prove invaluable throughout your life. Proficiencies allow you to share the hard work you have put into your SAE with others. Applications allow you the chance to travel with other budding agriculturalists to new and exciting places, where you will make memories and friends to last you a lifetime. If we only focus on the annoying things about winter, we will miss spring and its opportunities. Instead, let’s spend the rest of this winter working hard to prepare for spring and its bounty.


Join me in being adaptive to new ideas and projects, from a new career development event or even a little line dancing. When something enjoyable comes your way, why not try it? Anything is made possible with a little action and a positive attitude, even learning how to eat every meal with chopsticks. People are willing to help see you through, so take that journey.

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Andi Montgomery

Andi Montgomery – VP

Back in October, I embarked on a journey that will always have a place in my heart. I met the sweetest people, tried the most interesting food and gained some incredible experiences. This trip was an exchange program provided by Missouri State University to Taiwan’s NCHU. During my eight-day journey I hiked mountains, made my own tea, met local farmers and explored many of the vast agricultural industries on the small island. On the last day, we went to a world flower exposition. As we were looking around, I stumbled across a tent where the sign read, DIY Grass Animals. Instantly, we were sucked in by smiling faces and warm gestures, greeting us in a language we did not understand. Our task looked simple; all we had to do was weave this dried grass into a deer (which stands for good luck). Right? What happenned was a table of laughter as we watched our group leader show us the next step, and as we repeated what we thoughthe did (not always what he had done). The laughter showed the connection we had with simple actions, not words. Together we were happy because we were learning and trying.


Join me in being adaptive to new ideas and projects, from a new career development event or even a little line dancing. When something enjoyable comes your way, why not try it? Anything is made possible with a little action and a positive attitude, even learning how to eat every meal with chopsticks. People are willing to help see you through, so take that journey.

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5 Reasons to Get Involved with Missouri FFA Alumni

1 – Discover New Opportunities

For alumni members, opportunities span from helping charter new chapters to selecting scholarship recipients. The more you get involved, the more you figure out what you want to be involved in, and what you can take back to your local chapter.


2 – Join a Network

We all have the same common goal and a lot of value is behind that. The more we grow, the more we can do for you and your local FFA chapter.


3 – Lead Outside the Office

You can run for national council offices from the state to the national level, so it’s a leadership component as well. Why not take a stand to represent your portion of the state?


4 – Make a Real Difference

It’s the feeling that you’re helping the FFA and being a difference in someone’s life. Whether it’s time or money you contribute, every minute or dollar is going toward preparing youth with leadership and career skills.


5 – Return the Favor

As you get older, you realize people helped you along the way and you learned from what they taught you. If you grew up in FFA, you know that to be even more true. Do the same for the next generation.


—by Alexa Nordwald.

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Listen Up, And Learn

Missouri FFA has had a rich history with the American Star Awards program, with winners in the Star Farmer category dating all the way back to 1932. FFA members with exceptional supervised agricultural experiences (SAE) are eligible to receive the Star Farmer, Star in Agribusiness, Star in Placement or Star in Agriscience awards during the National FFA Convention and Expo each year. Winners from the state competition advance to compete nationally among other elite FFA members from across the nation.


Missouri FFA Todayrecently caught up Scott Hill and Derek Lowrey, both past recipients of American FFA Star awards, recognizing the success of their supervised agricultural experiences (SAE). For Hill and Lowrey, much of that success during their FFA careers can be attributed to perseverance, hard work and dedication. Read on to learn more about their award-winning projects.



A former member of the Miller FFA Chapter, Scott Hill received the American Star Farmer award in 2005. Hill originally began his SAE project with just a couple steers, which he soon sold and took up riding and breaking colts. Over his high school career, he expanded his diversified project to include nearly 40 horses, more than 100 head of cow-calf pairs and 200 head of roping steers.

Hill developed the project mostly on his own. Growing up, Hill’s family didn’t have a big farm, but he had other plans. He set a goal to have a large farming operation, however he didn’t have the means of beginning without financial assistance from the bank.

“From that point on, I figured I was young and if I was going to go broke, I would be better off going broke as a young kid,” Hill said. “I wanted to take the risk while I was still young enough to put in the long hours, work hard and try to make it work.”

Hill’s project became successful, bound by daily hard work and determination. The uniqueness of such a diversified SAE is what made Hill stand out in the national competition.

Hill remembers being told to never be afraid to take risk, and he advises FFA members to do the same.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it,” he says. “Just because somebody doesn’t think it’s going to work, don’t let that dictate whether you try it or not. I strongly believe anybody can make something successful if you are willing to put in the time and effort.”

Today, Hill runs 700 momma cows, backgrounds calves and recently opened a feed store in Mount Vernon. He credits a lot of his success today to the lessons he learned during FFA.

“Growing up, I took some risks, lost some money, made some money and won several awards, but that risk and the goals I had trying to win those awards has helped me to keep setting goals and taking risks throughout life,” Hill said. “That’s helped me get to where I am at today.”



Derek Lowrey had a completely different kind of SAE project, which led him to receive the 2008 American Star in Placement award. Lowrey, a former member of the Trenton FFA Chapter, worked on a neighbor’s dairy farm, just five miles from where he grew up. He began working on the dairy his freshman year, doing odds and ends. Lowrey eventually started working full-time on the farm as he became more familiar with the operation.

“I was there a long time and treated it like it was my own operation,” Lowrey said. “I took a lot of pride in what I did.”

Aside from working on the dairy, Lowrey farmed with his dad in high school. He started renting a few acres his junior year to expand his own row crop operation, along with backgrounding beef cattle, which is what he continues to do today.

“Today, I’m pretty blessed,” Lowrey said. “I farm with my dad and my younger brother. [After college] everything just clicked. We were able to rent enough farm ground that I was able to basically farm full time.”

Lowrey’s success with a placement SAE project is due to his willingness to learn and a patient attitude. He advises FFA students to be open minded and focus on what is best for their particular project.

“You’ve got to worry about what works for you and your operation,” Lowrey said. “You’ve always got to be listening. You’ve always got to be learning.”


adapted from an article written by Alexa Nordwald for Missouri FFA Today.

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What’s Your Plan of Action?

Paxton Dahmer

Paxton Dahmer – President

We see it every year. As a new year begins — the gyms are full, people begin eating healthier and we all set goals for ourselves to live a healthier lifestyle. While we all have differing methods of self-improvement, one commonality exists among us: we are setting goals.


As FFA members, we have the opportunity to do the same thing. We are presented with countless opportunities to develop skills that push us to be successful not only in FFA, but also in the workforce. When we take advantage of these opportunities, we build a skillset that sets us apart from others.


As we pursue these opportunities, we are faced with challenges. Our applications won’t always get accepted, we might not win with our career development and leadership development events, and we might not feel fit for the challenge. However, if we set goals, we can overcome these obstacles and rise to the top.


Our goals should outline what we want to accomplish so that we can establish a plan of action. You see, our goals are only useful if we actually put them into action. Throughout my own FFA career, I had the chance to set a few goals that pushed me to be a better version of myself. For example, I set a goal with my livestock judging team to win the livestock evaluation career development event at state convention. It was because of that goal that I learned the value of hard work and had the chance to experience what teamwork is about.


If you take the time to set goals and strive for greatness, you can and will be the best version of yourself. It won’t be easy. You will have times when you feel like quitting, but by pushing yourself to keep working, you can accomplish your goals and reach your full potential.

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Create Our Own Happiness

Paxton Dahmer

Paxton Dahmer – President

“It is important to find the little things in everyday life that make you happy” -Paula Cole


Go to class, take notes, do your homework and repeat. As the spring semester begins, it can be easy to find ourselves in this cycle. Although academic success is a rigorous process, we tend to forget to find the glory in each day leading us to lack satisfaction. Think about it. When was the last time you paused, took a breath, and simply enjoyed the moment in which you were living?


As 2019 started, I made the resolution to begin searching for the moments that make me happy each day and to embrace these moments. Luckily for me, the new year also brought Greenhand Motivational Conferences. There is something truly remarkable about first-year students forming relationships with other students from their respective areas. As we learned about opportunities within FFA, these members were laughing, dancing and having a blast! These members could have just spent the day keeping to themselves and not stepping outside of the box, but instead they were focusing on the details and creating a positive environment for themselves. They were embracing the moment and crafting their own happiness.


These Greenhand members taught me an important lesson. They showed me that in order to make the most out of each day, I need to be able to live in the moment and appreciate what each moment has to offer.


FFA members, throughout our FFA careers we have the chance to participate in activities that will mold us into successful adults. These events are wonderful, but sometimes we fail to embrace the moment and make the most of it. As we start the next semester, join me in embracing the beauty in everyday life and creating our own happiness.

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