Small-Town, Big-Time Rewards

Small but mighty. These three words can be used to describe the state’s Top Chapter, named at the 91st Missouri FFA Convention held earlier this year. Lead by 12chapterofficers and advisor Paige Brock, the Braymer FFA Chapter planned and hosted countless activities and events to grow leaders, build communities and strengthen agriculture. 

 

“Our chapter is one of the smaller chapters,” said Dustin Davies, 2018-2019 chapter president. “We don’t have a lot of members, but every one of our members works very hard at everything they do through the FFA.”

 

The smaller nature of their chapter allows each member to participate and remain on the same page.

 

“It’s a small chapter,” said Keaton O’Dell, 2018-2019 chapter vice president. “We have 45 members in our chapter, and we all know each other. We all know each other’s names. We talk to each other on a daily basis, and we get along great. We’re very cohesive, and we work well together.”

 

This hard work and cohesion paid off when Braymer was named Top Chapter in the state, a surprise to many of the chapter’s members.

 

“The student that was on stage accepting the award, he actually thought that there was a mistake and that he wasn’t actually supposed to be standing up there since they hadn’t called our name yet,” Davies said, laughing. “We were very shocked and very excited to win that award.”

 

This recognition is backed by a year of hard work, starting with the chapter’s Program of Activities (POA).

 

“At the beginning of the year, we decide what will be in the POA and what activities we are going to do,” Davies said. “A lot of the activities are annual, so we like to keep them the same, but we are also always looking for new things and activities to do.”

 

From there, the finer details are ironed out to ensure that the POA is organized and well-rounded. While all sections are addressed, members of the Braymer FFA Chapter like to focus a lot of their attention on building communities.

 

“I think we like to focus primarily on the building communities section,” Davies said. “In everything we do, even if it is in growing leaders or strengthening agriculture, we are still bringing it back to our community and using the events to build our community.”

 

O’Dell agreed and added, “We’re very involved in our community. I’d say we are a big-hearted chapter.”

 

From picking up trash to the Teal Pumpkin Project, members of the Braymer FFA Chapter are no strangers to serving others.

 

“During harvesting season, we will pack lunches and take them to our local co-op for farmers as they are unloading their grain,” Davies said, “so, they can have food without having to worry about stopping and getting something.”

 

O’Dell’s favorite event is also community-focused.

 

“We help with Smoke in the Valley,” he said. “It’s our tractor pull here in Braymer. It gets the FFA name out there and shows we are supporting the community.”

 

In addition to their full calendar and focus on service, the Braymer FFA Chapter’s family atmosphere makes it unique.

 

“We are like a family,” O’Dell said. “We’re everything a family should be. We work together, and we work hard together.”

 

Davies agreed and added that their chapter’s members are especially close.

 

“Everybody always says that FFA is a family,” he said. “But I feel like our chapter is a really, really close-knit family. If anyone needs any help with their SAE or a contest team, they just need to ask another member, and they are more than willing to help.”

—By Brandelyn Martin

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Homeward Bound

Memphis FFA member Brock Aylward has his sights set on the future, yet he won’t be far from home.

 

A national finalist in the grain production placement proficiency award area, Brock says working on the family’s farm alongside his father and grandfathers has had the most impact on his future plans to return home and continue a legacy in production agriculture.

 

“This has enabled me to learn and appreciate the love of the land and the impact I can have by being a good steward of the soil, embracing technology and the value of every bushel produced,” Brock explains.

 

Four national finalists are selected in each of 45 proficiency award areas to compete for a national proficiency award. Proficiency award winners are announced on stage during the National FFA Convention & Expo, which will be held Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Proficiency awards are based on a member’s Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE).  They recognize individual skills and career-based competencies developed through multiple years of participation in Immersion type SAE projects.

 

Brock considers himself privileged to learn from two generations that have built a business from shear heard work and smart management decisions. “I’ve witnessed from my family that this job doesn’t mean managing from an office, but from putting in the physical labor and understanding all functions alongside all employees to be profitable,” he explains.

 

Through his placement experience on Aylward Farms, Brock operates tractors in addition to tillage equipment, planters and grain carts. Guidance systems assist with operating field cultivators, harrow, sprayer and planter — which he says is critical in helping the farm be as efficient as possible and reduce overlapping.

 

“The investment in planter monitors was a huge financial investment,” Brock says.

 

The monitors record the population, plant date, speed and hybrid/variety of the crop planted. Understanding how and what the monitors can do and then overlay that data with precipitation data from The Climate platform is then used to make additional informed management decisions, he says.

 

“With my employment on this row crop operation, I have witnessed the differences between owning land and cash renting ground,” Brock explains. “These differences include increased financial profitability and the ease of providing maintenance and improvements to the land.”

 

By investing his salary earnings and a previous purchased ground cash rental payment, Brock was able to purchase, with additional financial assistance, a 90-acre bottomland farm that he cash-rents to his family’s operation. Currently pursuing a precision agriculture certificate at the University of Missouri, he hopes to farm the land himself following college graduation.

 

While Brock’s role at Aylward Farms began in maintaining machinery and equipment, the young farmer now assists with machinery purchases as well.

 

“Working beside my dad engages me in all management decisions such as fuel purchases, seed, fertilizer and chemical pricing, commodity marketing, crop insurance and employee management,” Brock explains. “I have learned that fertilizer decisions are based off of yield results and soil testing.”

 

He’s also learned how to read soil tests and implement the best management practices to employ based off of the results.

 

Perhaps the greatest challenge Brock has been faced with in his role on the farm is understanding the different components that make up the farm. Juggling employees as well as machinery and other factors such as the weather that are out of ones’ control can prove difficult even for a well-seasoned farmer.

 

Still, through hands-on hard work and his involvement in soils and farm management FFA career development events have helped the aspiring farmer succeed.

 

“The knowledge, information and experiences that I received from being on these teams has given me immense comprehension into critical components of grain production,” Brock says. “The farm management team was the most challenging, but I think the most rewarding because the information I gained is very practical and critical to becoming a successful grain producer.”

 

— BY JOANN PIPKIN

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Live Life in the Yellow

Jessica Janorschke - VP

Jessica Janorschke – VP

The sun was shining as sweat dripped down my skin and fear ran through my bones. Standing tall before my classmates, I was on a high ropes course that we would soon conquer. As we harnessed ourselves to safety, our instructors told us the goal was to live life in the yellow. That is, push us out of our comfort zones.

 

With my lack of balance and fear of heights, there was little in my favor. The first set of obstacles consisted of two tight-rope like cables. The goal was to make it across with only a partner to hold on to. I was paired with Thaddeus, and we each put one foot on the cable, then another and another. My arms and legs were shaking as I gripped Thaddeus to ensure we didn’t fall. We swayed back and forth. Then, a gust of wind brought the fearful fall, but it only lasted a second. Laughing and dangling in the sky by our harnesses, Thaddeus and I helped each other up to finish the course.

 

After falling, I realized that there was nothing to fear. If I wouldn’t have taken the opportunity to live life in the yellow, I never would have experienced the adventure. The fact of the matter is, we must push ourselves to explore new opportunities to grow. This fall, we have the opportunity to present a fall speech or to work toward a successful SAE. Sometimes when we take the first step, we might fear of losing our balance. Our supporters, classmates and agriculture advisors are with us and can help us reach our goals, or in my case the other side of the cable.

 

FFA members, I challenge you to live life in the yellow.

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Don’t Be Afraid To Be The Difference

Isaiah Massey - 1st VP

Isaiah Massey – 1st VP

Fear: to be afraid of something that is likely to be dangerous, painful or threatening.

 

Everyone has his or her own personal fears. Some people are afraid of clowns, spiders and snakes but one thing we all share in common is that we all are afraid of being different.

 

Being different definitely is nerve wrecking, and I can attest to that on a personal level. My very first FFA meeting I attended was in a pair of cool grey Jordans and a shirt that was all white with a large bold black word saying “hustle.” I recognized very quickly from the surrounding AriatÒhats and boots that I stood out like a sore thumb.  At first, I was nervous, thinking that I didn’t belong here, that I was too different from everyone in the room, and they wouldn’t accept me for who I was. I remember being ready to storm out of that room as soon as the meeting was over just so I could avoid hearing the snickers and cackles that I drew up in my mind.

 

As soon the chapter president adjourned the meeting, I stood up and raced down the bleachers until I was stopped by a kid named Lucas Ellis. Lucas and I were classmates back in the 4th grade but hadn’t talked until that day after the FFA meeting — three years later.

 

I remember Lucas telling me that everyone was excited that I was there because not many people like me want to try understanding the world of agriculture.  I had spent this entire time worrying during the meeting that no one would accept me because I was different, but in fact it was the very reason of me being different that they accepted me.  In life, there will always be times where you will be different than others, and it will be scary. However, FFA members, being different is a beauty within itself.  It is where you can express yourself, be who you are and the best part is, there isn’t anyone else that can replicate your own personal identity.

 

FFA members I challenge you to be DIFFERENT.

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The Curse of the Photo Album

Drew Kientzy - VP

Drew Kientzy – VP

While spending Labor Day weekend at home, my Saturday morning began just as any other would — eating breakfast at my Grandma Janie’s house with my entire family. After the meal was over and the dishes were put away, one of my younger cousins came strolling into the kitchen with an old photo album. In just seconds, the book was sprawled across the table and everyone’s noses were buried into the faded pages.

 

About halfway through the album, my Grandpa stopped flipping pages and pulled out a picture of him on a tractor in 1973. After a few minutes of admiration and talk about the picture, Grandpa muttered “Yeah, those were the good old days, I only wish that I could go back for a while.” Following his declaration, we continued looking at the photos until my cousin that brought the album to the table spoke up and quietly asked, “Pop, why do you say that you wish that you could go back when you know you can’t. All that you can do is try to make next year be better and more like that one.”

 

At that statement, the whole room was taken aback. My eight-year-old cousin had just uttered some of the wisest words that any of us had ever heard, and though the idea in his statement might have not been a popular one, it was all too true. Now, I try to think of the past as merely a memory, good or bad, and only compare the present to what can be done better in the future.

 

As we move through our years in FFA, we must always remember to keep looking forward. Although there have been good times in the past, there is no way to re-enter that day. So instead of dwelling on the past and making the present and future less meaningful, let’s pin our eyes on the horizon of future opportunities, because we can never know when the most beautiful sunrise of opportunity might occur.

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Waves

Elizabeth Brooks - VP

Elizabeth Brooks – VP

Good ole’ August, the final month of summer full state fair shenanigans, school shopping, and my personal favorite, vacations! In fact, I was fortunate enough to spend my final days of summer soaking up the sun in Destin, Florida with my family. I spent most of the week on the beach, listening to the waves hit the shore and running away from seagulls that kept trying to steal my snacks. As I sat watching the waves, I thought about what a perfect metaphor for life waves are. Life literally comes in waves – there are moments when the waters are calm and life is just easy, and then there are moments when, no matter how great a swimmer you are, the waves just keep knocking you down (and maybe even stealing your sunglasses while they’re at it). But you know what, members? No matter how big the waves get and no matter how much life tries to knock you down, the waters will always recede, and life will always keep going. So, as the new school year kicks off, make this one the best one yet and remember that things will always, always get better!

 

 

 

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For Students, By Students

What started as a search for firsthand experiences with livestock for students of the Mount Vernon agricultural education program ended in a 10-month building project, now known as the animal science lab. Built for students by students, the lab is designed to help members of the Mount Vernon FFA Chapter become more familiar with animal agriculture.

 

Agricultural educators and FFA advisors Jay Shepherd and Steven Prewitt started crafting in December 2017 their idea of a hands-on space where students could learn about livestock.

 

“We had posts driven by a local fence builder who is an alumnus,” Shepherd said. “My students built the rest of it.”

 

Using a mobile welding trailer made the year before, students Ryan Raucher, Lane Hale and Corby Allen used their welding skills to build the lab.

 

Between working during their agricultural education classes and coming in on their own time, these students completed the project in 10 months.

 

“We worked on the lab pretty much every day,” Rauchersaid. “Sometimes after school, sometimes on weekends. Just whenever we had time. We even came in during the summer.”

 

The students said they gained just as much as they gave while volunteering their time.

 

“We learned a lot from it,” Allen said. “We just saw what needed to be done, and we knew how to do it, so we just kind of took action and made it our priority during school.”

 

Now, their hard work is paying off as they enjoy the finished project and students start using the lab for hands-on learning experiences.

 

“My favorite part is finally seeing it done and knowing that it was basically three kids that put it together,” Raucher said.

 

Allen agreed and added that it is rewarding to know he played a part in building the structure.

 

The animal science lab is made up of sorting pens made for many different species. Rather than being a place to house student Supervised Agricultural Experiences, the space is dedicated to labs for learning more about livestock and animal agriculture. It will be used primarily by Animal Science and Ag Science 1 classes during livestock units.

 

“The main purpose is to get students’ hands on live animals,” Shepherd said. “To help them learn how to deal with live animals, whether it’s injections, deworming or castration. We’ve even had someone come in to teach artificial insemination in cattle.”

 

The point is to have a consistent place to bring livestock to the students instead of having to make trips to various farms.

 

“When our advisors get on a certain unit, they’ll bring in someanimals, like cattle,” Raucher said. “We’ve castrated cattle, vaccinated and ear tagged them. We checked a couple cows to see if they were pregnant. We’ve even brought in show cattle, clipped them and showed them in the lab.”

 

Raucher said the lab isn’t just for cattle, though. They have brought in other animals, like horses, as well.

 

“We’ve worked some cattle in the lab,” Shepherd added. “We had a lab for horses where students saddled a horse. We’ve had some dairy cattle in to judge and had judging practice in the lab with goats and other animals.”

 

This hands-on education is equally important for both students who come from a livestock background and those who do not.

 

“We have a lot of kids in our program that are close to the farm, but many times if they are doing something, like working cattle, they’re the ones in the back pushing the cattle up,” Shepherd said. “So, we’re trying to get them some more direct experience.”

 

In addition to those students familiar with the farm, Mount Vernon also has students who have never been around livestock. The lab serves as their opportunity to experience firsthand what they are learning about in class.

 

“The students really enjoy any sort of hands-on stuff in class,” Shepherd said. “Because of the lab, they’ve gottento see a lot of things they otherwise wouldn’t.”

 

Shepherd acknowledged the fact that the lab was made possible only by the gracious support of the surrounding community.

 

“We sent out some letters to some key people we thought might be interested in supporting the project,” Shepherd said. “We sent out about 16 letters, and we got enough responses to start building. We decided we would try to get the money as we went along.”

 

Seeing the benefit of having a space dedicated to hands-on learning for their students, the surrounding community was supportive throughout the entire process. Between monetary contributions and building materials, nearly $12,000 in donations were made, Shepherd said.

 

“The support of the community was awesome,” Raucher said. “We had organizations like Missouri Cattlemen’s donate. We also had a lot of individuals that donated. Many individuals came together to make it happen, and I really think it’s going to pay off in the long run.”

 

Looking toward the future, the Mount Vernon agricultural education program plans to continue its use of the animal science lab while continually growing its potential for student contact with livestock.

 

“The plan is to get a roof over it and have it powered by solar power,” Raucher said. “I think members of the community plan to help with that, too.”

 

— Brandelyn Martin

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Stand Up and Speak Up

loud-speaker

Whether you are new to FFA or a returning member, now is the time to get involved by participating in one of the many speaking contests held this fall. Here’s a list of organizations that offer opportunities for FFA members to brush up on their public speaking skills. Check with your chapter advisor for information regarding area and district contest times and places.

MISSOURI ASSOC. OF SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICTS
www.maswcd.net
Contact: Peggy Lemons
peggyl@maswcd.net

 

MISSOURI CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION
www.mocattle.com
Contact: Sydney Thummel
sydney@mocattle.com

 

MISSOURI FARM BUREAU
www.mofb.org
Contact: Eric Volmer
evolmer@mofb.com

 

MISSOURI INSTITUTE OF COOPERATIVES
www.mic.coop/
Contact: Kristi Livingston
LivingstonK@missouri.edu

 

MISSOURI PET BREEDERS ASSOCIATION
www.mpbaonline.org
Contact: Kevin Beauchamp
4agfriends@gmail.com

MISSOURI PORK ASSOCIATION
www.mopork.com
Contact: Diane Slater
diane@mopork.com

 

MISSOURI QUARTER HORSE ASSOCIATION
www.MoQHA.com
Contact:Joe Eddy
joe.eddy2814@gmail.com

 

MISSOURI SHEEP PRODUCERS
www.missourisheep.com
Contact: Ed DeOrnellis
edornel@amfam.com

 

MISSOURI TEACH AG
www.moteachag.org
Contact: Pam Rowland
pprowland@windstream.net

 

MISSOURI YOUNG FARMERS/FARM WIVES ASSOCIATION
Contact: Lisa Evans
lisa.evans@dese.mo.gov

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Back to School

Back-to-school season can be an overwhelming time for parents and students alike. Between picking out classes, trying new sports and deciding on organizations to join, high school freshmen have an especially busy season on their hands. The Cass Career Center FFA Chapter officers noticed the effect this was having on their first-year members’ level of participation and took action by creating a Greenhand Information Night and Ice Cream Social to be held the second or third week of school to boost involvement.

 

“The main goal is for Greenhands and their parents to see the opportunities in FFA and get excited for those opportunities,” said Jason Dieckhoff, a Cass Career Center FFA Chapter advisor. “We started hosting our Greenhand Information Night and Ice Cream Social in 2016.  Our chapter officers started the event because the year prior, it took about half the year before Greenhand members felt very comfortable coming to chapter activities.  We wanted to increase the participation level of Greenhands earlier in the year.” To build participation, the chapter began by increasing awareness of opportunities and events.

 

“We invite all new Greenhands, as well as their parents,” Dieckhoff said. “Chapter FFA officers start the evening with opening ceremonies and a president’s welcome. Our treasurer goes over the dues for the year and what dues pay for. The rest of the evening, Greenhands and their parents enjoy ice cream and toppings while going around to different stations to listen to chapter officers talk about opportunities in FFA and the ag program.”

 

These stations typically cover opportunities like chapter field trips, trapshooting, Supervised Agricultural Experiences, chapter fundraising, Career Development Events, Leadership Development Events and more.

 

Additionally, the event is meant to connect chapter officers with the Greenhand members. Coming from a larger school, the officers might not already know incoming freshmen. Building this relationship early in the year makes it easier for the officers to interact with Greenhands in the halls of the high school, during lunch or even at other school activities. Dieckhoff said the first-year students also enjoy hearing about events directly from the chapter officers themselves.

 

“Greenhands react better to their peers than to hearing opportunities from advisors or their parents,” he explained. “By letting Greenhands interact one-on-one with chapter officers, they feed off the enthusiasm of the officers and get excited about what they can do in FFA.”

 

Kara Vergouven, a second-year member of the Cass Career Center FFA Chapter, agreed and said the most memorable part of the evening was hearing from the officers. She attended the event last year.

 

“My favorite part about the Greenhand Night was talking to the previous FFA members and learning about all the different things that the organization had to offer. Listening to them had me even more excited about being a part of FFA and cleared up all the questions I had,” Vergouven said.

 

Dieckhoff said the event has accomplished its main purpose, and there has been an increase in Greenhand participation at events throughout the year. He also cited benefits such as increased parent communication and an established professional tone for their organization.

 

Vergouven said the Greenhand Information Night and Ice Cream Social increased her involvement because she was excited about pursuing the opportunities discussed.

 

“Before the event, I didn’t realize all the different activities they had,” she said. “Once I went and found out what they did, I went to most of the activities. Now, I encourage everyone to try FFA because I think they will like it very much.”

— By Brandelyn Martin

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FFA Helps Feed Missouri

The third annual Drive to Feed Kidstook place on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. More than 750 Missouri FFA members from 73 chapters across the state gathered to pack meals for food insecure families. They exceeded their goal by packing more than 128,400 meals.

 

Kids feeding kids is the focus of the 2019 Drive to Feed Kids, and 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.”

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Tools to Success

Kate Thompson - VP

Kate Thompson – VP

Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia. A rare type of evergreen, it is seldom that you see them shed their leaves. It is a wonder they ever manage to sell rakes in the land down under. Nevertheless, it was a cool day at St. Matthew’s Catholic School when a young Kate Thompson stood with a rake held high above her head. She thrust the rake towards the earth, poking 16 fresh holes in the ground below her. She looked to her mother and said, “Mum, look what I did! I am giving the soil air.” Mum replied with laughter, “Well done, Kate.” Grinning with pride, Kate continued to poke 16 holes at a time into the soil around the grassy play area.

 

Now in hindsight, I realize that I, Kate Thompson, wasn’t really doing much to help. But it gave me some perspective. How often have we been presented with tools and opportunities that have the potential to do great things, but wasted them poking holes in the ground? How many times have we skated by, exerting minimal effort, instead of taking the reins to propel us as far as possible? As FFA members, there are many tools and opportunities at our disposal: public speaking, CDE and LDE contests, FFA Camp and summer academies, the friendships and connections we make. Let’s take full advantage of the tools that we are given.

 

“To whom much is given, much is expected.” -John F. Kennedy

 

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Stand Your Ground and Don’t Back Down

Matthew Morgan - VP

Matthew Morgan – VP

“Stand your ground, that crazy cow is not going to hit you. She is just bluffing.” I know my Dad is probably right, but 1,000 pounds of angry beef running full speed ahead towards you with her calf in between your legs can still be intimidating.  I quickly tag the calf, and to my relief the cow was bluffing.  The goal set fourth was accomplished.

 

I learned two things from that day.  1. It is always good to have a person you trust that is willing to back you up and encourage you when you need it. 2. When you’re faced with something that is challenging, you stand firm and hold your ground because you can’t reach your dream by giving in.

 

One of my favorite songs is I won’t back down, sung by Johnny Cash.  In this song Cash sings, “I’ll keep this world from dragging me down, gonna stand my ground.” It doesn’t matter what knocks us down, what matters is how we get back up and learn from those experiences.  When you hang out in the right places and with the right people you will soon do incredible things.  The friends you surround yourself with make a huge difference on you.  Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams even if they intimidate you.

 

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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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