Missouri FFA and Agriculture Education | Blog
Latest news and reflections by Missouri FFA officers.
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The Most Important Play, is the Next Play

Isaiah Massey - 1st VP

Isaiah Massey – 1st VP

It’s third and 14. We are down by 7 points.  The corners were playing deep, preparing for the pass.  As I survey the field, I call out my check downs. “45’s the Mike,” as I let my quarterback (QB) know the blitz was coming. I snap the ball, step back in pass protection ready for the linebacker to come through the whole.  I step back, and he breezes past me and tackles the QB in the backfield bringing up fourth down. He’s been beating me all game, and nothing has changed as he tackles my teammate in the backfield once again.  In these moments I could easily just admit that he’s a better player than me. I could easily just give up and accept defeat. Only three minutes remain in the game. But as my QB was sacked, my coach from the sidelines chanted our team motto. “What’s the most important play?” He would ask, and as one whole team we would shout in unison, “The next play.”

 

The opposing team takes the ball, and our defense sends them with a four and out giving us one last chance. One-minute left, with over 79 yards to go.  We break out of huddle. First play, 43 Dive. Our QB, Ryeil, hands the ball off to Collin, the running back, as he rushes for a gain of 15 yards. Still 64 to go. We set up, hurry up offense as Ryeil gives us the call, “Florida, Florida!” That means Wildcat Double reverse sweep on 2. Ryeil calls my teammate, Luke, in motion. As he hands Luke the ball, then the other receiver is handed the ball, who then secretly hands it to Ryeil.  I lead block for Ryeil, take down a defender as Ryeil rushes for 34 yards and steps out of bounds to stop the clock, 7 seconds left, with no timeouts.  We gather in the huddle and are signaled for our play-action pass. I grow tense because that means I have to block number 45 one more time. Every time I had to block him, he would escape and tackle Ryeil.  I think to myself: this is the next play. We line up at the ball, and I call my check downs once again. I snap the ball, and I watch the defender take his hesitation step to fake the pass coverage. He drills his left heel down and shoots out like a bottle rocket towards me.  I take a deep breath and use my leverage against his.  I lower my hips as I wait for the linebacker. As we initiate contact, I place my hands beneath his shoulder pads, and as my body is centered, I drive with all my force and lift the linebacker up in the air and slam him onto his back. His mouth piece flies into the air. Ryeil fakes the ball to Collin and passes it deep to Luke, and just like that we finish as victorious!

 

Through football I’ve learned the principal that the most important play is the next play, because life will always throw you hard times and obstacles that will bring you down and in times make you believe that some circumstances are impossible to defeat.  FFA members, it isn’t about how bad you miss the mark because failure is inevitable. It’s about how many times you get back up and rise to the occasion and overcome any challenge that you face because THAT is what will make you victorious.

 

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2018 Missouri Food Insecurity Day
Jul 26 2019

Missouri Corn and Missouri FFA Helping Build Future Leaders

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)–

Missouri’s top 30 FFA high school seniors completed the fifth annual Helping Youth Prepare for Excellence (HYPE) FFA Academy June 25-27, in Columbia, 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 has sponsored and facilitated the academy in conjunction with Missouri FFA. This year’s academy was hosted at the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

 

“It is very important we get out and tell our story,” noted Missouri Corn Merchandising Council Chairman Mike Moreland during a HYPE panel. “Whether it’s inviting folks to the farm, visiting legislators in the capitol or sharing online, it is more important than ever that farmers – and the next generation – have a place at the table. This program is very beneficial in preparing students to be that voice.”

 

Over the three-day conference, students participated in sessions promoting advocacy training, social media, communication, and stakeholder collaboration. In addition, topics 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 how to effectively advocate about issues facing the industry. The group explored the Missouri Soybean Bay Farm and its innovations in crop production, research, and soybean biotechnology.

 

In culmination, participants testified on key issues during mock hearings with legislators at the Missouri State Capitol. This year’s topics included tariffs and trade, eminent domain, lab-produced meat labeling, river management, and the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. Missouri Sen. Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City) and State Reps. Rusty Black (R-Chillicothe), Barbara Washington (D-Kansas City), Don Rone (R-Portageville), Jeff Porter (R-Montgomery City), Kent Haden (R-Mexico), Louis Riggs (R-Hannibal), and Tracy McCreery (D-St. Louis) interacted with and challenged the students. Missouri Corn CEO Gary Marshall provided the closing keynote, 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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2018 Missouri Food Insecurity Day
Jul 26 2019

MO FFA Needs You!

Our friends at Missouri Farmers Care have been diligent in their efforts to ensure the success of the 2019 Missouri FFA Food Insecurity Day and the Drive to Feed Kids at the Missouri State Fair.

 

Growing up in a rural community, I would have never imagined food insecurity would be a challenge faced by those around me. Yet, the numbers are staggering. One in five children in Missouri are food insecure and in rural areas that number rises to one in three. Mother Teresa once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” As Missouri FFA members we have the opportunity to help diminish an issue that is faced by many within our state.

On Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the Missouri State Fairgrounds over 750 Missouri FFA members will work to pack more than 100,000 meals to combat food insecurity across our state. We will work together to ensure that children across the state spend their time focusing on being a kid rather than worrying about when their next meal will be. From now until then, we are tasked with raising funds in support of Feeding Missouri, the coalition of six regional food banks in our state.

 

Now we need your help! As a leader in your community, you have the opportunity to help Missouri Farmers Care by magnifying awareness of childhood food insecurity in our state. If we all help feed just one, the possibilities of impact are endless. By working together, we can minimize the number of hungry children in our own communities!

 

How can you help:

  • Ask your neighbors, friends and local businesses to donate to the cause.Donations can be made online at:http://mofarmerscare.com/drive/or by texting “Drive2” to 44321.
  • Spread the word about the Drive to Feed Kids through social media.You can do this by sharing posts from Missouri Farmers Care or utilizing the attached social media assets on your chapter’s page. On July 30, add the Drive to Feed Kids Facebook profile filter to your profile picture.
  • Pre-Event Press Release: Chapters participating at the State FFA Food Insecurity Service Day can complete the attached template press release and share it with their local newspapers prior to Aug. 8.Show your community the great projects your chapter is helping with.

If we all do our part together we can bridge the gap of food insecurity. Thanks for all of your help! We couldn’t do this without you.

— ByJessica Janorschke, Missouri FFA State Vice President

 

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Jul 26 2019

Everyday Advocates

Telling agriculture’s story is no easy task, but thanks to their time in the blue jacket, a number of Farm Journal’s staff are better equipped to get the job done.

 

Sara Schafer, editor of Top Producer, was a member of the Jamestown FFA chapter and served as Area 6 state vice president from 2003 to 2004. Her supervised agricultural experience project included raising, butchering, and selling broiler chickens, as well as straw production.

In the end, she says everything she does helps bring information to farmers, which is why she enjoys what she does so much.

 

“Why my role is really interesting is I have a really defined audience,” Schafer says. “So, the information I put out is to help farmers be successful today and in the future. They need to gain a competitive edge and learn the business side of farm management so they can grow into the future and be sustainable. Helping them to do this is what creates an industry that will continue to be successful.”

 

Susan Rhode, director of marketing at Farm Journal, echoes this desire. Rhode was a member of the Stet FFA chapter, served as Missouri State FFA Secretary from 1989 to 1990, and was on a state winning soils-judging team.

 

“I love knowing that what we do benefits the farmer every day,” Rhode says. “I remember growing up in a farm family, you had stacks of magazines everywhere. Farm Journal was always on our coffee table. It was in the stack of magazines next to my dad’s recliner. He made it a point to make it a part of his day to help his career. I think that speaks for itself.”

 

Farm Journal not only encompasses the 141-year-old flagship magazine Farm Journal, but also includes a multitude of other outlets, including print, broadcast, events, market research, custom content, and mobile and digital platforms.

 

All three professionals acknowledged that part of what brought them to agricultural journalism were their experiences in FFA.

 

“Truthfully, I didn’t know ag journalism existed until I went to my first state FFA convention and stumbled onto the ag journalism booth from Mizzou,” Schafer says. “Then, it hit me. It was a perfect combination of my love for farming and my love for writing. FFA gave me exposure to the field that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I became familiar with the publications and met people in the industry.”

 

Through FFA, one of these connections was Joann Pipkin, editor for Missouri FFA Today.

 

“I met Joann at Missouri Agribusiness Academy and reached out. Before long, she was assigning me stories,” Schafer says. “I wrote for Missouri FFA Today for several years, and that gave me a great opportunity to write for a state publication in upper high school and throughout college.”

 

Along with learning how to network and building her confidence in writing, Schafer says FFA prepared her for her career through Career Development Events and Leadership Development Events.

 

“I learned a lot of agronomic and business skills in my ag classes that I can lean back on,” Schafer says. “Being on the agronomy team helps me now when writing about plant health. Communication skills go so far beyond public speaking. Learning how to communicate your points can help anyone, but really helps if you pick journalism.”

 

Sonja Begemann, Farm Journal’s seeds and production editor, says looking back, her early involvement in FFA foreshadowed where her career would end up, and offered a bit of irony.

 

“My least favorite contest team was the agronomy team, and today everything I do is agronomy related,” Begemann says. “On top of that, my first office was reporter, and even throughout school I continued to write for our newspaper. So, there was some foreshadowing. I remember calling my advisor after my first job selling seed out of college. I said, ‘Hey, do you remember how much I hated agronomy? Well that’s what I do now.’”

 

Begemann was a member of the Fair Play FFA chapter, served as area 10 state vice president from 2010 to 2011 and won first place individual at the national level in the Dairy Foods Career Development Event.

 

This love of competition is one thing that has carried her through her career, and after coming in second in districts, she said it taught her that she would only be as successful as she set herself up to be.

 

“I’m not competitive with coworkers, but with others in the industry,” Begemann says. “I want to cover things better, more in depth and be someone farmers can trust. It’s up to you what you want to do with anything in your life, whether it’s a silly contest or your career.”

 

Just as Begemann strives to be someone farmers can trust, Rhode has had opportunities within and outside of Farm Journal to be a trustworthy source for consumers.

 

When her first son Isaac was born, Rhode took a 14-year-hiatus from her career in the agricultural industry. During this time, she took on a new position at an engineering firm in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

“The biggest thing I learned was working with people who didn’t grow up on a farm and weren’t just like me,” Rhode says. “I became the advocate in the building. So, when anything happened in ag, people came to me. It totally changed my perspective. When we work in ag, we talk about being an advocate, but when I jumped out of ag for my career, I had never been in that position before. I was a trusted source of information in people’s eyes about agriculture.”

 

According to Rhode, you can tell agriculture’s story no matter where you are if you gain the skills and knowledge to do so, and FFA is a great place to start.

—By Alexa Nordwald Hunziker

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Jul 26 2019

133 Meals Per Minute

Two years ago, the Missouri FFA Association began co-hosting an annual statewide food insecurity day at the Missouri State Fair to package meals for six food banks across the state. Mexico FFA members have participated in this event, as well as a similar one during the Washington Leadership Conference (WLC), which sparked an interest in making a difference within their home county.

Mexico FFA members and other students in the Mexico School District spent President’s Day this year packaging 20,000 meals for the Laura Miller George Help Center to distribute to families in need within Audrain County.

 

The food insecurity rate in Audrain County is a staggering 23%, and the Mexico School District has numerous students receiving free breakfast and lunch. Kendra Allen, Mexico FFA advisor, explained the need to the FFA members, which inspired them to help make sure other students and their families have food in the evenings and on weekends.

 

“The school is on a grant so all the elementary [students] up to eighth grade get a free breakfast and lunch,” Allen said. “For a lot of our kids, that’s what they eat in the day. Our chapter didn’t think that was right, so we wanted to help provide the Help Center with additional food so they could give it out a little more freely.”

 

The Mexico FFA officer team began seeking sponsors for the events in the summer of 2018. Funds donated by numerous local sponsors purchased the materials for the meals through the Meals of Hope program.

 

“The officer team got all the sponsors, and then we incorporated the middle school ag program and other organizations in the Mexico High School to help us,” Allen said. “The officer team raised enough money to package 20,000 meals!”

 

Twenty-five Mexico FFA members and nearly 50 other students and volunteers packaged the macaroni and cheese meals. Each included a soy protein packet, fortified noodles, and a cheese packet. The meals contained six servings, making it a large enough portion to feed a family.

 

All of the local sponsors were printed on t-shirts to recognize their contribution, but the sponsors contributing larger amounts were invited to the event to package meals with the students.

 

“The ones who came in thought it was a surreal deal,” Allen said. “They didn’t really understand what we were doing when we went and asked for the money at first. But, once they got their hands in there and were packaging meals, they thought it was really cool that we did it, and the kids really wanted to give back to the community.”

 

Allen described the event as an opportunity for the students to see a different side of each other as they worked in teams throughout the day. To package such a large number of meals in one day, the students had to reach outside their comfort zone. That allowed them to see the impact their hard work was making on their community in need.

 

“When we loaded all those meals onto the trailer and the trucks to be taken to the Help Center, I think it was a moment of ‘wow, I just helped these people for a couple of days,’” Allen said.

 

Allen believes the experience opened the eyes of her students, encouraging them to be more supportive of their community members and peers.

 

While it might have taken only a few hours out of the students’ day off of school, their hard work and inspired hearts made a huge difference within Audrain County. With the support of the Mexico community and the driven mindset of FFA members, the chapter has intentions of making this an annual event.

—by Julie Choate

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Alexandra Gast
Jul 26 2019

Conquer With A Positive Attitude

Alexandra Gast - Secretary

Alexandra Gast – Secretary

As the beginning of the school year is around the corner, a new season of change is upon us. We may think this is just another year, we may not see the potential of a fresh start, or we may be hopeful that this year will bring growth. No matter the situation, or the outlook you have, this can be your year.

 

Attending FFA camp as a sophomore, I had a few preconceived notions of what to expect. The hot days in the rec hall, the bad food, and the treacherous hike up and down the trail to the waterfront was not something I was looking forward to. I let others decide my attitude going into the week and didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that I had been given.

 

I tried to fill my time with activities at the waterfront and learning to like the food that was served in the dining hall. My time at Camp Rising Sun was not the greatest and I was ready to go home.

 

Applications came out for camp the next year and I was not going back. NO WAY and NO HOW. But you see, I forgot one vital detail my first time at camp- I did not earn my leadership medal. I had to go back, open-minded and ready to conquer a challenge.

 

That year at Camp Rising Sun, I stayed positive. I focused on my goal. I had some fun along the way. FFA Members, this school year will be what you make it. Go in with a positive attitude, ready to conquer a new challenge.

 

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Learn From Your Life Jacket

Jacob Knaebel - VP

Jacob Knaebel – VP

Watch Out! Those were the last words I heard right as the canoe I was in tipped over sending myself and another FFA member straight into the Lake of the Ozarks. When I woke up on Day 4 of FFA Camp, I never would have guessed that later I would be walking around completely soaked with my brand-new tennis shoes almost ruined. To say the least, things were not going according to my plans that day. As I clung to my life-jacket, bobbing in the water, I could not help but laugh as I realized the campers were never going to let me forget this embarrassing moment.

 

Throughout our time in FFA, we are always going to try and plan events out perfectly. Whether we plan on winning a contest or receiving an office, all members will undoubtedly experience those days when our plans get turned upside down. Instead of looking at these unexpected times as failures, they should be seen as opportunities to better ourselves.

 

The next day, despite the embarrassment from my previous attempt, I went back out on the lake. However, this time I was more experienced and knew what not to do in a canoe. Whenever we experience those moments where our plans seem to be ruined, we just have to remember to use our newfound knowledge to better ourselves for the future. To learn from our failures, we must always carry with us an open mind, an optimistic attitude, and in my case a life-jacket.

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Share Your Ag Story

Kaylee Lewis - VP

Kaylee Lewis – VP

Can I take your picture?

This question came from a complete stranger in a car on the side of the road and completely threw me off guard. Why was this stranger so concerned with taking a photo of me? All I was doing was walking my show barrow on his regular path just like any other night. The stranger could see the confusion on my face and proceeded to inform me that she had never seen anyone walk a pig before, and she wanted to show her family this strange sight.

Now I understood; she had never been enlightened about the livestock show industry. Flashing lights started to go off in my mind. Maybe she was not informed about other aspects of the agriculture industry.

As Margaret Fuller once said, “If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” This random, unplanned road side encounter allowed me to advocate for the agriculture industry in an unconventional way by sharing my story with another individual.

FFA members, this is a prime example that there is no need to wait for the perfect opportunity to advocate for the agriculture industry. Sometimes unplanned moments touch the lives of people more than the “perfect” sales pitch. I encourage you all to not be afraid to talk to the stranger that wonders about your SAE or anything that has to do with the ag industry. We need FFA members like you to share your story and your knowledge—that is how we can make a difference!

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Your Biggest Fear

Tyler Schuster - VP

Tyler Schuster – VP

What’s your biggest fear?

That question was posed way more often than I expected to hear it while I was at FFA Camp this summer. Y’know, it might have been because we kept talking about Paxton’s fear of snakes, which rivals that of Indiana Jones’ snake phobia, but that’s beside the point. The question really hit me, and I was drawn back to the times in my life when my answer was shaped.

As I became involved in high school with sports and clubs and leadership opportunities within FFA, my answer began to form. It really presented itself to me Monday morning before FFA Camp, when I could feel my stomach tighten and the creeping dread over what was to come. Today, my biggest fear is meeting new people and starting conversations.

That might come as a surprise to some people, because 95% of the work I do as a state officer is meeting new members and building connections, but it’s true. Every time I look to a person I haven’t met before, I can feel my chest tighten because I know that the first interaction is going to be uncomfortable and difficult for me. Then, I go up and say hello. And, that makes all the difference.

Everyone has his or her own biggest fear in life, but that fear is not nearly as important as the work you are doing to get past it. I see my fear in the face of every new person I meet. Where do you see yours? And, more importantly, what are you doing to become fearless?

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Hands-On Skills

Pursuing a career in veterinary technology is rewarding and requires passionate individuals with a distinct drive to help animals. Crowder College is graduating veterinary technicians who are meeting a hiring demand in clinics across a multi-state region. Recently, the Crowder College Veterinary Technology program was named one of the top 30 veterinary technology programs in the United States, according to veterinarianedu.org.

Shawna Estep, Veterinary Technology program director, explained that graduates of the program are receiving multiple job offers, allowing them to leverage better salaries.

 

“Placement rates are 100% for our graduates,” Estep said. “We have more open positions than we have graduates.”

 

The three-year program housed on the Crowder College campus in Neosho, Missouri, accepts a maximum of 20 students per year through a selective admission process. To be accepted students must have a 2.0 grade point average (GPA), 20 hours of veterinary observation, ACT scores, three letters of recommendation, and be at certain levels of math and reading. The program, accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), includes 78 required credit hours, and the students graduate with an associate’s in applied science in veterinary technology.

 

Students in the program are taking courses in a variety of topics, including radiology, large animal medicine, clinical pathology, pharmacology, veterinary dentistry, avian medicine and microbiology. In addition to the courses, veterinary technology students will complete 320 hours of clinical internship throughout two years in veterinary clinics.

 

“We strive to maintain a high quality of graduates with great hands-on clinical skills who are immediately employable and can be irreplaceable to a veterinary practice,” Estep said. “Students take a licensing exam at the end of the program and we can proudly say that our pass rate is at a three-year-average of 89%, compared to a national average of 70%.”

 

HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE

Veterinary technology students practice on large, small, exotic and avian animals, a requirement of AVMA-accredited programs. The program at Crowder College has a large-animal emphasis and offers labs focusing on radiology and anatomy as well as a dog kennel and cattery.

 

“Our program at Crowder has a large- animal emphasis because of our 300-acre school farm that raises cattle, sheep, goats and horses all of the time,” Estep said. “Students are in hands-on, large-animal labs from their first to last semester.”

 

Aside from the school farm, the Veterinary Technology department includes a number of facilities and laboratories, including an anatomy lab housing microscopes with the ability to project to a Smart Board, along with numerous anatomy models. The department also is home to a realistic treatment room in a veterinary clinic with diagnostic blood machines, autoclaves, recovery cages, and an anesthetic machine.

 

In addition to the facilities, Crowder College maintains a pet adoption program each semester. Veterinary technology students care for dogs and cats on campus that come from local humane societies.

 

“The animals come early in a semester and are adopted out at the end of the semester,” Estep said. “We have had over 300 animals rescued from shelters and humane societies that have been a part of our program.”

 

While the animals are in the program, the students practice their skills through laboratory work on the animals. These tasks range from simple physical exams to x-rays, vaccinations, IV and catheter placement as well as assisting surgical procedures including spays and neuters, endotracheal intubations, anesthetic monitoring, and fluid therapy, among many other responsibilities.

 

During the program’s tenure, Crowder College has rescued more than 300 animals from shelters and humane societies. Estep explained that students often get attached to — and fall in love with — the animals and adopt them themselves. However, the animals are up for adoption to the public as well and listed on the Crowder College website at www.crowder.edu.

—by Julie Choate

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Are You Tough Enough

Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore – State VP

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”

 

Raging flood waters, devastating weather phenomena and turmoiled markets are just some of the obstacles we face in agriculture. From the Dust Bowl and Great Depression of the 1930s, to the American Farm Crisis of the 1980s, to the unprecedented floods of 1993, our industry has persevered one struggle at a time. Agriculturalists embody resilience and adaptability. FFA members, you too can become adaptable to whatever life throws your way.

 

Becoming adaptable to lifes situations is something that many of us are not good at. There are a few guiding principles that can help us develop this ability.

 

The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist,” Zig Ziglar said. Acknowledging the circumstances we go through and the personal weaknesses that got us there will help us be more adaptable to potholes down the road.

 

The second step to adaptability is to analyze how others who were faced with a challenge overcame their situation. Understanding how they busted through their roadblocks can help us emerge victorious.

 

The final step to adaptability is finding a mentor to guide us through this thing we call life. Having a mentor who has walked in our shoes can increase our chances of success when hitting those bumpy spots in life.

 

Our creed states, “I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.” FFA members, the time will come when we face hours of discouragement. Know this, “Tough times never last, but tough people do!” – Robert Schuller. Just like our industry has adapted and persevered through every obstacle, you, too, can adapt. Don’t let anything keep you from your dreams.

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Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Natalie Koch

Natalie Koch – VP

“There is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone.” These 15 words changed my perspective on life when past Missouri State FFA Vice President Isabel Legg said them during her reflections at Public Speaking Academy (PSA). This was the summer before my junior year of high school, and, up until this point, going out of my comfort zone was a risk I was not willing to take.

 

I have a reputation for getting homesick, and, quite frankly. both of my advisors did not think I could make it through the roughly 50 hours at PSA. However, this camp took me far out of my comfort zone. Taking a topic and transforming it into a speech in two days was a challenge, but presenting this speech in front of judges was another daunting task that forced me to step out of my comfort zone. Not to mention, I was able to stay the entire time without getting homesick.

 

The following week, I attended FFA Camp where I took a leap of faith and decided to deliver reflections one night in front of the entire camp… without note cards. I thought it sounded fun when the directors talked about it, but when the time came to stand up in front of the entire camp and give reflections, I was ready to throw in the towel. Afterward, I knew as challenging as this experience was, it was far more rewarding in the end.

 

The growth zone is a scary and uncomfortable place to be. There will be plenty of times when you would rather stay in your comfort zone, but the real reward comes when you step outside of the comfort zone and grow into someone you never dreamed you’d become.

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LIVE from Nashville!

Ten of your Missouri State FFA Officers traveled June 13, 2019, to Nashville, Tennessee, to film three episodes of FFA Todayon RFD-TV.  The show uses state officers from across the nation to host the episodes.

Those attending were Brenden Kleiboeker, Isaiah Massey, Alexandra Gast, Elizabeth Brooks, Kensie Darst, Jessica Janorschke, Natalie Koch, Matthew Morgan, Tyler Schuster and Kate Thompson.

These episodes are slated to air on RFD-TV on July 1, July 8,  and July 15.  The new episodes air at 6 p.m. CT each week.  Encore airings take place each Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. Central Time and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CT.

RFD-TV understands not all cable/satellite companies carry RFD.  They do have some options for you. We cannot share the episodes due to FCC guidelines and sponsor agreements through social media channels.  You can subscribe to RFD Country Club at https://www.rfdcc.com/. You can also subscribe to the agriculture portion through TV apps such as Firestick and Roku. Here is an article to help you navigate watching RFD-TV without cable: https://cordcutting.com/how-to-watch/rfd-tv. You can also find clips of the FFA Today show on the RFD-TV You Tube Channel.

FFA advisors and FFA members,RFD-TV is looking for viewer submitted ideas and stories. If you have a story idea, here’s a YouTube video  to help you with your video submission.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt9_uL8e5Lg&pbjreload=10

These stories can be service oriented, alumni or SAE highlights.  If you have questions, contact Emily Buck, FFA Today Producer. Her email is ffatoday@rfdtv.com

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Serve to Make a Difference

Alexandra Gast - VP

Alexandra Gast, Vice President

I didn’t want to be here. Four years ago, I did NOT want to be involved in FFA. I was completely apprehensive to be involved in FFA and Agriculture because I was scared. I was scared that my dad was going to be right all the times he said “you would love it if you gave it a chance”, I was scared that I would constantly hear “oh, you only get that opportunity because your dad is the ag teacher”, I was scared that I would live in the shadow of the upperclassmen and wouldn’t ever find my place.

 

I spent more time being scared of the thing, rather than just doing the thing. I applied at the end of my freshman year to HYMAX Academy in agreement that if I didn’t get in, I would not enroll in an ag class the next year. I put half effort into my application, and when I didn’t make it in, I was MAD. I wasn’t mad at anyone other than myself though. I decided that day I got the letter of denial, I was in it to prove Missouri FFA wrong. After the first 6 months of that mentality, and attending State FFA Leadership Camp I realized that my home was the members in the blue jackets. I found my best friends in FFA, I found my sisters and brothers in FFA, I found my future roommate through FFA, and most of all I got the opportunity to serve FFA; through the Chapter, Area, and now State.

 

Missouri FFA, I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t matter how many awards you get, how many hands you shake, how many pins are hanging on the inside of your jacket, the level you serve at, or the number of times your name is in local newspaper; you can serve, and if you make even one positive impact, you made a difference in the world.

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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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