Missouri FFA and Agriculture Education | Blog
Latest news and reflections by Missouri FFA officers.
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Right Time, Right Place

“Being in the right place at the right time produces the right outcome,” is a saying that I heard way more than I wanted to as a kid. While I shrugged off these comments my father made when I was younger, I have realized that this statement holds weight when it comes to FFA. As FFA members we can make lasting memories, impact lives and make connections that could lead to future employment opportunities.

 

It is important to remember as we navigate our FFA journey that we must always be present. Not only must we be present physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Being present doesn’t mean just taking in what you need yourself, but being present for others.

 

FFA members can always be present for others whether it is at camp, at a local business or even sitting in an agriculture class. It is hard to control the outcome of a situation, but it is easy to devote time and energy to being in the right place mentally for every situation.

 

Life can give us lemons, and the outcome depends on our reactions. Being mentally present and ready for anything that is thrown at you will inevitably produce a more desirable outcome. Always remember that as a FFA member, you must be present in order to produce the outcome you want. I challenge you to be in the right place to change lives and impact community members as much as possible.

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Moving Out of the Clouds into the Sunshine

As many of you have probably noticed, it has been raining quite a bit this spring, especially in my hometown of Silex. With that being said, several Missouri farmers have not had many opportunities to get into the fields. As of May 8, I had not spent a single hour in the tractor seat yet this spring, instead of the dozens of hours and hundreds of acres that would have normally been covered by that time.  However, as summer comes into full swing and the weather begins to clear, the opportunity to plant looks much brighter and brings hope for an immensely successful summer for agriculture in Missouri.

 

Many Missouri FFA members may have also had a nasty, unproductive spring. It might have been that your career development event or leadership development event did not go as well as planned, or you didn’t get that proficiency award or officer position. These unfortunate events serve as the rain on the parade of FFA members. They are all hard as they’re happening, but they provide positive learning experiences for the future, just like the rain provides the nourishment for plants throughout the summer.

 

As farmers across the state are looking to the summer sun to grow their corn to the next level, FFA members should also look into the sun to create a brighter future by learning from the unfortunate storms of our pasts. Some of these sunny days include the great opportunities that can be had at events like FFA Camp, Helping Youth Maximize their Agricultural eXperience (HYMAX), Public Speaking Academy (PSA) and Helping Youth Prepare for Excellence (HYPE).

 

Just like the corn all across Missouri will soak up the rays of sun this summer, I encourage all of you to soak up the new skills that can be learned and use them to build a successful year.

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Humble and Kind

Missouri State FFA Convention is complete, chapter banquets are in full swing, and the school year is coming to a close. Across the state, FFA members are being recognized for their hard work and dedication. Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in the heat of it all, but let’s not forget what got us to this moment.

 

One of my all time favorite songs is “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw. This song is full of advice to keep in mind during our FFA careers. One line that rings true during this spring season is, “When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you, when the work you put in is realized, let yourself feel the pride but always stay humble and kind.”

 

Many of our dreams come true at state convention and chapter banquets as a result of our hard work. We all learn valuable life lessons putting us one step closer to our goals. However, every dream reached is the culmination of the hard work of multiple people: ourselves, advisors, parents, community members and many others. It is definitely our right to feel proud, but let’s not forget these other supporters. Dropping them a card of thanks or giving them a phone call is a simple gesture to show our gratitude and humbleness toward them.

 

Near the end of the song, McGraw sings this line, “When you get where you’re goin’, don’t forget to turn back around, help the next one in line, always stay humble and kind.” To me, this line is what FFA is all about. FFA is about having experiences of our own and using them to enrich the lives of others. While FFA gives us many life experiences and skills, they are useless unless we use them to help others. Past FFA members have given much to us. Let us continue to give to the next generation.

 

FFA members, we are part of an amazing organization. We have many outstanding supporters and influencers. As we go about life this year, let’s not forget our supporters or the FFA members coming behind us. Let us be thankful, humble and kind in all that we do!

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Get Your Gobbler

My absolute favorite outdoor pastime is turkey hunting. In fact, I am obsessed with it! From practicing my turkey calling ability, to buying new decoys, to sighting in my shotgun, I did everything imaginable to get prepared for this year’s turkey season.

 

Season rolled around and I was absolutely pumped to get to the woods and watch the morning come alive! Unfortunately, my first day of hunting was plagued with high wind gusts and cold temperatures. I did not see or hear a single turkey! Then, I was out of town for more than five days of Missouri’s season, and it seemed like the weather just kept getting worse, which created bad hunting conditions.

 

Finally, it was down to the last day of season, and I was beyond worried that I would not get to fill my tag. That final morning came, and the turkeys were gobbling everywhere! I was blessed to be able to harvest a big gobbler at 7 o’clock on the last day of season.

 

FFA members, I was discouraged many times this season. It would have been easy for me to throw in the towel and give up on something that I loved and cared about, but I stayed to the very last day. Sometimes, not giving up, and sticking to the bitter end will help you find success. Don’t give up, and happy hunting, FFA members!

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This is a No-‘Comfort-Zone’ Zone

Ocean air, salty hair? More like no air, sweaty hair. Ah, FFA Camp. The most wonderful event of the summer. A time of growing, leadership and meeting new people.

 

This summer, many FFA members will have the opportunity of attending Camp Rising Sun, where they will learn how to be Linked to Lead. It can be easy to regret coming to camp. You’re forced to stay in a wooden cabin with strangers and no air conditioning for nearly a week. You step off of a bus into what seems like the middle of nowhere, surrounded by strangers, and that doesn’t seem like a great time to most. Yet, this is where growth happens – out of your comfort zone.

 

Although I never had the opportunity of going to FFA Camp, I spent a weekend of my summer before senior year at Area Officer Institute (AOI) at Camp Rising Sun, where we attended workshops and presentations to learn how to be the best leaders we could be. I imagine my experience to be similar to those attending their first time at camp.

 

I was scared. It was miserably hot and I looked an absolute mess in front of all these people I had never met. By the end of the first day, I was ready to go home. It was too hot, and I didn’t want to play in the ag Olympics anymore. I thought to myself, “What if these people are judging me?”I was leaving butt prints of sweat everywhere I went, and I couldn’t kick a ball to save my life. I was over it.

 

Looking back on AOI, I don’t remember much besides these few details, but that’s because I let them take over. I was so wrapped up in my own misery that I didn’t allow myself to have as great of a time as I could have. I now wish I had valued my time at AOI and focused more on the talented speakers and presenters that stood before me. You can learn so much in FFA, but you have to be willing.

 

This summer, whether you are attending FFA camp or not, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Take a risk. Learn something new.

 

So many opportunities in FFA will lead you to great things. Don’t let your fears or doubts get the best of you. It is easy to pass up an opportunity because you are scared of what might happen. Instead of thinking of all the things that could go wrong, think of what could go right. The only hindrance to success is your own comfort zone.

 

In FFA, you can learn great things, meet wonderful people, and have loads of fun. So step out of your comfort zone, have a great summer, and make the most of your time as an FFA member!

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5 Tips to Prepare for a Career in Ag Journalism

1. Be open.
Be open to the opportunities you’ll have, as well as to failure and advice. Deciding that you’ll only be happy in one specific job will set you up to be unhappy. Every opportunity will help you grow and make you better for wherever you end up.

 

2. Research constantly.
For anyone interested in an ag-related career, you can never know too much. Whatever publication you read or podcast you listen to, keep reading, listening, and watching ag news every day. Know what the issues are. That will be more impressive to your future employer than nearly anything else.

 

3. Write often.
Learn how to be a good writer. Every job requires writing. It’s a skill that takes time, but being a better writer will benefit you in multiple ways throughout your career. Practice, and maybe even do some freelance work with the local paper.

4. Question strategically.
Learn how to ask good questions. Journalism will continue to evolve, and a lot of the technical skills you learn in school, you might not use. At the heart of it all is the information you’re sharing and how to ask good questions that point to actionable solutions.

 

5. Work harder.
Be 100 percent in whatever you do, even if the first job you land isn’t what you want. Be the best salesperson, proofreader, or whatever it might be. People will take note of that, and it’ll help you in the future.

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New Custom Applicator Program Offered at State Tech

MFA Incorporated has partnered with State Technical College of Missouri in Linn, to offer a new Custom Applicator Program. The program is designed to attract mechanically inclined guys and gals from our farming communities who want to pursue careers within the agriculture industry. During the program students will participate in two summer internships, four collegiate semesters and a variety of MFA hosted agronomy and applicator training events. MFA is also offering this year’s selected students $15,000 to use toward their education as they pursue an Associate’s Degree in General Technology. This year’s program is open to five graduating high school seniors. The enrollment period is very short, so don’t delay in visiting https://www.statetechmo.edu/apply/ to submit your application.

 

*Program participants will be selected very soon and will start their first internship with MFA this summer. Classroom enrollment will begin in August.

 

For questions or more information please contact:

Jessica Kueffer,
Recruitment & Employee Development Manager at MFA Incorporated
Phone: 573-876-5212
Email:
jkueffer@mfa-inc.com

Download Informational Packet
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Greenville FFA Lends a Hand

The past 18 months, members of the newly chartered Greenville FFA Chapter have built not only one, but two small homes to be placed in homeless communities in the St. Louis area. Greenville FFA Advisor Scott Payne got the idea to build these homes from a fellow Army Reserve Chaplain who has a servant heart for homeless individuals, specifically homeless veterans.

“When I told my FFA kids about [the homeless communities], they immediately wanted to do something about it,” Payne said. “So, we drew up some plans and decided we would build a small house.”

 

The 6-by-12-foot houses are only large enough to hold a set of bunk beds. Even though the houses don’t have plumbing or electricity, the facilities help make living much more bearable for homeless individuals.

 

“They [homeless individuals] were living under tarps and thrown over branches,” Payne explained.

 

Payne, who has a background in industrial education, encouraged his students to begin soliciting community businesses for material donations such as lumber, metal, and linoleum. With the support of local businesses, both homes were fully funded. The first home the chapter built was delivered to a man and his wife living in the homeless community in February 2018. The second was delivered in April of this year.

 

“The students bought into the project immediately, and they would all work hard during the assigned class periods,” Payne said. “They would show up after school. They would show up during free time. They just wanted to work on it and see it come to pass.”

 

Building the houses was used as a teaching tool in a building construction course. While building, the students had the opportunity to learn about planning, designing, estimating materials and the tenants of construction for the small houses.

 

Aesthetically, the homes are very pretty inside even though they are only made to house only two people. The walls and ceilings are made from tongue-and-groove pine lumber and have two windows for ventilation. To put a personal touch on the houses, Payne left a spot on the wall for each student to sign his or her first name around the words “From Your Friends at Greenville FFA.” The students in art courses also used their artistic ability to paint patriotic paintings to decorate the interior walls of the home.

 

The homes were delivered to a homeless community in the St. Louis area inhabited mostly by veterans. While Payne is not certain the recipients of the first small home were veterans, he is certain the person who received the home this year is a veteran.

 

Payne is encouraged by the commitment the Greenville FFA members have made to building the homes. While they are learning crucial building skills, they are also helping someone stay warm at night.

 

“On a personal note, it was great to watch the kids get excited about it,” Payne said. “Not just because they were building this, but because they knew they were helping somebody. When that lightbulb came on, I could just see it in my students’ faces. That’s what I appreciated the most out of the build itself.”

 

After being chartered in 2014, the Greenville FFA Chapter has become home to nearly 50 students and just graduated its first set of four-year members in 2018. The number of active freshmen joining each year encouraged Payne. With a little help from their supportive community, the fast-growing chapter is living to serve, one tiny home at a time.

—by Julie Choate

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Missouri Agriscience Fair

The Missouri Agriscience Fair was held May 14 at Memorial Union on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. This year’s event brought in 70 research projects from 101 FFA members across the state. Thanks to this year’s sponsors, MU College of Agriculture Food and Natural Resources and Erofins U.S. BioPharma Product Testing for making the event possible. Congratulations to all who participated. Here’s a look scenes from the event.
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Find Your Best

Jessica Janorschke

Jessica Janorschke – VP

Tired, alone, and scared. You can bet that’s how I felt at five in the morning at the top of a mountain. I was in the middle of nowhere, Arizona, and I, along with 400 others, was about to run 26.2 miles. With clammy hands and a pounding heartbeat, I questioned my decision to run a marathon. When the race finally began and I started putting one foot in front of the other, my fears dissolved. Moving silently through the morning, each runners’ feet pounded to the beat of their own drum.

 

As another school year closes and summer begins, we are faced with the decision of simply coasting or finding opportunities to discover our beat. Whether you are preparing a speech at Public Speaking Academy, are forging new connections with members from across Missouri at FFA Camp, or are preparing for the state fair with your supervised agricultural experience, this summer provides the opportunity to better yourself. Our journey in the blue jacket is a marathon and each summer a new leg of the race begins.

 

Missouri FFA members, it’s natural to be nervous at the beginning of a new adventure, believe me, I’ve been there. It’s in those moments outside of our comfort zones that we grow the most. When planting a seed, we don’t look at the seed for what it is, we look at it for what it can be. I challenge you to immerse yourself in new opportunities this season and work to be the best you that ever has been.

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Missouri Agriculture Pulls Together to Impact Childhood Hunger

JEFFERSON CITY, MO — Kids feeding kids is the focus of the 2019 Drive to Feed Kids; which kicks off today. Missouri agriculture is banding together once again to address the alarming reality that one in five Missouri children regularly face hunger. The goal of this collaboration is to raise funds to provide food for hungry Missouri children and stand in the gap for those children who face food insecurity.

According to recent data from Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap,” more than 240,000 children in Missouri do not know where their next meal will come from. Missouri counties with the highest rates of food insecurity are disproportionately rural, where one out of every three children face food insecurity.

 

“We continue to see food insecurity grow in rural areas,” said Gary Marshall, Missouri Farmers Care chairman. “Through Drive to Feed Kids, we have the opportunity to raise awareness, while showcasing the tremendous work of farmers and ranchers who leverage science, technology, their expertise and natural resources to provide food for the world.”

 

In 2018, farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, FFA members and legislators supplied more than 100,000 meals, donated 18,932 pounds of canned food and packed 2,000 backpack meals for Missouri children facing hunger. In addition, the Drive raised more than $160,000 for Missouri’s six regional food banks to purchase child-friendly meals.

 

The Drive’s impact has reached each Missouri county. Last year’s partners, including Missouri Farmers Care, Brownfield Ag News, Bayer, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri State Fair and Missouri FFA Association, are building on these efforts to provide more meals, raise funds, and continue shining a light on modern agriculture. This year’s goals include packing 100,000 meals, in addition to raising funds to equip food banks to meet the needs of children in their communities. The 2019 Drive culminates at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia with the following events:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 13 — For Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive $2 Tuesday, fairgoers can
    enter the Missouri State Fair for $2 with a minimum donation of 2 canned food items.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 13 — Drive to Feed Kids packing event and Missouri FFA’s Food
    Insecurity Service Day when hundreds of FFA members from across Missouri will work
    side by side to package over 100,000 meals.
  • Saturday, Aug. 17 — Check presentation to Feeding Missouri during the Brothers
    Osborne/Ashley McBryde concert at the Fair.

 

Missouri Farmers Care encourages companies, farms, individuals and civic groups to participate in the Drive to Feed Kids by becoming a sponsor. If you would like to partner with MFC to benefit the Drive to Feed Kids, contact Ashley McCarty, MFC executive director, at ashley@mofarmerscare.com. Individual donations can be directed to http://mofarmerscare.com/drive or text Drive2 to 44321 to donate today. All donations will be dedicated to Feeding Missouri’s network food banks who work daily to alleviate childhood hunger.

 

To learn more about Drive to Feed Kids, visit www.mofarmerscare.com.

 

Missouri Farmers Care is a joint effort by Missouri’s farming and agriculture community to stand together for the men and women who provide the food and jobs on which our communities depend. The Drive to Feed Kids is managed by the Missouri Farmers Care Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt public charity.

 

The 2019 Drive to Feed Kids kicks off today. Missouri agriculture is banding together once again to address the alarming reality that one in five Missouri children face hunger. The goal of this collaboration is to raise funds to provide food for Missouri children who face food insecurity. Join the Drive, visit MoFarmersCare.com/drive to donate today. 

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Greenville FFA Lends a Hand

The past 18 months, members of the newly chartered Greenville FFA Chapter have built not only one, but two small homes to be placed in homeless communities in the St. Louis area. Greenville FFA Advisor, Scott Payne, got the idea to build these homes from a fellow Army Reserve Chaplain who has a servent heart for homeless individuals, specifically homeless veterans.

 

“When I told my FFA kids about (the homeless communities), they immediately wanted to do something about it,” Payne said. “So, we drew up some plans and decided we would build a small house.”

 

The small 6-by-12-foot houses are only large enough to hold a set of bunk beds. Even though the houses are not made with plumbing or electricity, the facilities help make living much more bearable for homeless individuals.

 

“They (homeless individuals) were living under tarps and thrown over branches,” Payne explained.

 

Payne, who has a background in industrial education, encouraged his students to begin soliciting community businesses for material donations such as lumber, metal and linoleum. With the support of local businesses, both homes were fully funded. The first home the chapter built was delivered to a man and his wife living in the homeless community in February 2018. The second will be delivered this month.

 

“The students bought into the project immediately, and they would all work hard during the assigned class periods,” Payne said. “They would show up after school. They would show up during free time in other hours. They just wanted to work on it and see it come to pass.”

 

Building the houses was used as a teaching tool in a building construction course. While building, the students had the opportunity to learn about planning, designing, estimating the required materials and different tenants of construction for the small houses.

 

Aesthetically, the homes are very pretty inside even though they are only made to house two people. The walls and ceilings are made from tongue-and-groove pine lumber with two windows for ventilation. To put a personal touch on the houses, Payne left a spot on the wall for each student to sign his or her first name around the words “From Your Friends at Greenville FFA.” The students also used their artistic ability in art courses to paint patriotic paintings to decorate the interior walls of the home.

 

The homes are delivered to a homeless community in the St. Louis area with mostly veteran inhabitants. While Payne is not certain the recipients of the first small home were veterans, he is certain the person who received the home this year is a veteran.

 

Payne is encouraged by the commitment the Greenville FFA members have made to building the homes. While they are learning crucial building skills, they are also helping someone stay warm at night.

 

“On a personal note, it was great to watch the kids get excited about it,” Payne said. “Not because they were just building this, but because they knew they were helping somebody. When that lightbulb came on, I could just see it in my student’s faces. That’s what I appreciated the most out of the build itself.”

 

After being chartered in 2014, the Greenville FFA Chapter has become home to nearly 50 students and just graduated its first set of four-year members in 2018. The number of active freshmen joining each year encouraged Payne. With a little help from their supportive community, the fast-growing chapter is living to serve, one tiny home at a time. —by Julie Choate

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Where Does Your Story Begin?

Paxton Dahmer

Paxton Dahmer – President

“Home is the place where your story begins.” Each time I enter my house, the sign in the foyer catches my eye. This simple quote serves as a constant reminder that we have the chance to write our own story, but first, we have to figure out where home is.

Fortunately for Missouri FFA members, our organization serves as our home. When we zip our jackets, we become part of a network of passionate, accepting and loving individuals that support each other through thick and thin. In my mind, and the minds of more than 25,000 other Missouri FFA members, our organization is our home. However, when we think about FFA being our home, what kind of story are we writing? Are we writing one where everyone can feel as if they are home.

 

This reminds me of our area barnwarming my senior year. One particular student appeared out of his comfort zone. He was watching the dance from the sidelines, avoiding interaction. At that point, my friends and I made the decision to pull him onto the dance floor. He immediately transformed from someone who hadn’t found his place to the star of the show! A seemingly simple act allowed him to not only find his home that night, but it also showed him that he had a home in our organization.

 

FFA members, this organization provides you with opportunity for exponential growth, However, you have to be willing to find your home and write your own story. Throughout the past year, it has been a true honor to watch you begin finding your home and writing your stories. I look forward to the opportunity to continue watching you blossom into passionate advocates for our organization and industry. Thank you for a great year!

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Leave Your Mark on Others

Regan Ragsdale

Regan Ragsdale – Secretary

“Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.” – Judy Blume

 

Hello, April! Spring has seemingly sprung so quickly, and I could not be happier. April means many things: blooming flowers, sandal weather, celebrating holidays like Easter, and most excitingly – the Missouri FFA State Convention!

 

In a fast two-day convention, Missouri FFA members travel from across the Show-Me state to reconnect with old friends, exemplify the work they’ve done all spring, and have one of the best weekends of their life.

 

The rumble and roar of convention can be exciting and intimidating. For many, it is easy to be caught up in the competition of Career Development and Leadership Development Events. Thinking about the culmination of all your hard work can sometimes be overwhelming. It is also easy to be worried about being the best you can possibly be – trust me, I’ve been there.

 

When going to convention, rather than worrying about the titles you could win or all the things you could see, think about the lives you could be touching. The Missouri FFA State Convention is the best place you could be to meet new and old friends in Missouri FFA. My all-time favorite FFA memories are in the Hearnes Center with the greatest friends I could ask for. The things in Hearnes that I remember are not standing on stage; it’s the times with my friends walking through the Career Show or when I was standing on the floor of Hearnes seeing friends I had met at HYPE.

 

The people at the Missouri FFA State Convention are the reason it is such a magical event. Take advantage of the opportunity to see an old friend from FFA Camp or meet a new friend in the Career Show. The people you see at Missouri FFA State Convention will leave a mark on your life – take a moment to leave a mark on theirs.

 

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91st Missouri FFA Convention to be held in Columbia April 25-26

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., April 10, 2019 – FFA members from across the state will meet in Columbia, April 25-26, at the 91stMissouri FFA Convention to honor fellow members for outstanding achievements, conduct association business, elect new officers and participate in leadership workshops. For the first time, convention sessions will be viewable at https://Livestream.com/MoDESE/MoFFA.

Cultivate Tomorrow, Today is the theme for this year’s annual convention, which is expected to attract more than 8,000 students and guests to Hearnes Center on the University of Missouri campus.

According to Missouri FFA Executive Secretary Keith Dietzschold, the state association will present State FFA Degrees to 760 members who, as a result of their agricultural and leadership achievements, have qualified for the state’s highest FFA degree. Dietzschold also said Missouri has the largest number of American FFA Degree recipients of any state – 518 Missouri FFA members received the American FFA Degree in 2018 during the national convention held in Indianapolis, Indiana, in October.

During the convention the State Star Farmer, the State Star in Agribusiness, the State Star in Placement and the State Star in Agriscience will be named. In addition, 576 FFA members will receive awards in 48 agricultural proficiency areas for development of their supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program. The proficiency areas are varied and include production, management, and communications disciplines. In Missouri, SAE programs during the 2017-18 school year generated more than $52 million in student income.

FFA members also will participate in a number of organization program areas including speaking competitions and career development events such as agricultural sales, floriculture, and livestock evaluation.

The Missouri FFA will present awards to several adults and groups for their support of agricultural education and FFA. This year 22 Honorary State FFA Degrees will be presented. An additional 16 honorary degrees will be presented to parents of the retiring state officers.

The Distinguished Service Citation will be presented to Don Fuhrmann, Hillsboro. Fuhrmann started working as a lifeguard in 1978 at Missouri FFA Camp Rising Sun. His position grew to include boat mechanic, ski instructor, lifeguard trainer, boating instructor and waterfront supervisor. Fuhrmann taught art at Hillsboro High School for 32 years. He also coached football, wrestling and track. After retiring in 2005, he continued to work with the wrestling program and was recently honored with the Hillsboro Wrestling Tournament being renamed the Don Fuhrmann Duals.FFA Convention results on the State FFA Med

During the convention Missouri FFA President Paxton Dahmer, Nevada FFA Chapter member, will lead 694 delegates in official business sessions. Each chapter is represented by two delegates.

Four FFA chapters will be chartered during the Thursday evening session. The new chapters are Oak Ridge, Valley Caledonia, Newburg and East Carter.

During the first general session Thursday afternoon, Christopher R. Daubert, vice chancellor and dean of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, Columbia, will welcome convention attendees. Prior to joining MU in August 2017, Daubert was at North Carolina State University where he served as a professor and head of the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Services; director of the Food Rheology Laboratory; and system co-chair of Food, Biochemical and Engineered Systems. Daubert has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Texture Studies, is on the editorial board of the Journal of Food Process Engineers and is a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists.  He has received distinguished alumnus awards from Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania and Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. He earned a doctorate in agricultural engineering and food science from Michigan State University.

National FFA Western Region Vice President Shea Booster, a member of the Bend FFA Chapter, Bend, Oregon, will speak during the first session. In high school, Booster’s SAE was focused on hog production. He was the 2016-17 Oregon State FFA president.  Booster is a sophomore at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, where he is studying agricultural business management. Booster’s goals include being in a leadership-development or communications position with an agricultural company, and eventually taking over his father’s leadership-consultation company.

Booster was elected as a national officer in October during national convention. The six-person national officer team collectively will log more than 100,000 miles representing FFA to top leaders in business, government and education. National officers also lead numerous personal growth and leadership training sessions, and promote agricultural literacy.

Also during first session, Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn will speak. Chinn, named to director January 2017, resides on her family farm in Shelby County with her husband and two children. The Chinns have a farrow-to-finish hog operation; a small cow-calf herd; raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa; and operate a family feed mill.

During the Thursday evening session, Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven will address the convention. Vandeven joined the department of elementary and secondary education in 2005 as a supervisor of the Missouri School Improvement Program before serving as a director of accountability data and school improvement, an assistant commissioner in the Office of Quality Schools and as deputy commissioner of the Division of Learning Services. She was appointed commissioner of elementary and secondary education by the Missouri State Board of Education in December 2014 and served in that capacity until December 2017. She was reappointed in January 2019.

Vandeven earned a bachelor’s from Missouri State University, Springfield, and a master’s degree from Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland. She earned a doctorate from Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri. Vandeven has been recognized by Missouri State University and St. Louis University as a distinguished alumna.

 

During the Friday evening final session, Vietnam Veteran and Purple Heart Recipient Dave Roever of Fort Worth, Texas, will share a story of survival and inspiration. At the height of the Vietnam War, he joined the U.S. Navy and served as a river boat gunner in the elite Brown Water Black Beret. Then tragedy occurred. Today Roever travels the globe, speaking at national conventions, public schools and to U.S. military audiences, including tours of war zones. Since 2007, at the two Eagles Summit Ranches near Westcliffe, Colorado, and Junction, Texas, Roever and his team run Operation Warrior RECONnect.

 

The Missouri FFA Association has 25,375 members, ranking sixth as a state in membership. FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

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