Missouri FFA and Agriculture Education | 2018-19 Officers
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2018-19 Officers

Garth + POTUS = One for the Books

McKenzie Loftis

McKenzie Loftis – VP

This year’s National FFA Convention was one for the books! Every year an invitation is extended to the President of the United States. This year, Donald Trump accepted the invitation. He talked about many different agriculture issues that impact our agriculture industry, and he even discussed the skills we learn in FFA. His words hit home with me for different reasons. Many different opinions exist on important issues in agriculture, but who better to hear about the issues from than the current leader of our country. His speech also sparked many good conversations of how we can improve what we already do as agriculturists. On top of that, we heard some really good country music from Garth Brooks. To be completely honest, I was hard-core-fan-girling when one of the members sitting up by the stage got Garth’s hat. I grew up listening to Garth Brooks, and it was amazing to see him in concert. He put on a great show. The national officers presented him with an FFA jacket in a shadow box. I had never seen anything done like that until this year. I found it really cool, though. I am thankful an artist like him still represents country music so well. This quite possibly was the greatest National FFA Convention of all time. Thank you for allowing me to serve one more year in the blue jacket and have the opportunity to attend this amazing week of events.

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Audrey Martin

Audrey Martin – VP

The lyrics to one of my favorite songs ask, “if not us then who?”. The song really asks the listener to consider if they are doing their part to do good in the world and make a change. It is easy to see a problem, then simply assume that someone else will take care of it. It is easy to get stuck in everyday routines and forget that you can step up to make a change. No matter how big or small the act, you can make a difference in someone else’s life.


Many of you just got back from National FFA Convention where we learned about the power of “Just One”. FFA members, I know that many of you want to make a difference in your chapters and in your community. However, the task seems overwhelming or you doubt your own abilities. FFA members, there is absolutely no need for this. I promise you that you have the will, knowledge, and determination to make a difference. You have capabilities far beyond what you imagine right now. You and you alone have the power to make a change through just one act of kindness, compassion, or encouragement. Believe that you have the power to make a difference because if you don’t, who will?

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Chase Your Dreams

Shelby Davies

Shelby Davies – VP

When we are little, we are told to always follow our dreams. Everyone’s dreams look a little different, but the summer of 2006 my only dream was to catch a peacock. During two weeks at the Blacktail Ranch, a dude ranch nestled deep in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, I tried everything my 6-year-old brain could think of to reach my dream. I tried outrunning them, sneak-attacking them, lassoing them, and I even tried trapping them in a corner! Nothing worked. As we were getting ready to leave the ranch Tag, the ranch owner finally took pity on me. He got a bucket of feed from the barn, brought it to me and told me to wait calmly and quietly. Sure enough, soon the peacocks were flocking around me, and I finally got to live out my dream of petting a peacock.


Fall is such a promising time in the FFA. Classes have just started up and as FFA members we are tasked with figuring out what we want to do with the rest of the year. Just like 6-year-old Shelby had a dream of catching a peacock, we also need to dream dreams that will propel us through this new-year in FFA.


The first step is figuring out what your dream is. A great place to look for ideas you want to accomplish is our website, www.ffa.org. There, you will find links to all the amazing career development events, leadership development events, camps, trips, proficiencies and so much more that are available in our organization. With all the options available, I have no doubt that you will quickly find one that you can make into a dream worth chasing!

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Fall Is Upon Us

Allie Lock - VP

Allie Lock – VP

Fall is my favorite season — from spending days walking around pumpkin patches to traveling into corn mazes and raking up leaves to nights spent at bonfires gathered around family and friends. But as fall comes upon us, it also comes with more responsibilities.


One very large event that occurs in the middle of fall is the annual National FFA Convention. Each year, my FFA Chapter takes a select few students out to either compete or participate in national convention. My sophomore year of high school, I was lucky enough to be chosen.


National FFA Convention was the highlight of my year, and I had a blast attending different workshops and speakers with my friends. As the event came to a close, it was time to get back to school. But when we came back, I found it difficult to get caught up in my classes. I had not asked my teachers for work beforehand, and I had not known about different assignments that would be due when I got back. As a result, I had to spend more time figuring out how to get caught up and ended up missing even more assignments. Eventually, everything did even out, my grades still took a hit because of it.


FFA members, fall is a busy time and the year will only get busier. Prioritizing our time is more important than ever. As you begin participating in various clubs and organizations, be sure to inform your teachers of what you might miss and to work on assignments ahead of time, you could even buy a planner! Whatever it is you need to do to stay organized, do it. If you stay ahead of the game, you can spend more time doing all your favorite fall activities, whether it is attending national convention or fallinginto leaf piles.

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October Treats

Madelyn Derks

Madelyn Derks – VP

Crunch. Crackle. Snap. I anxiously walk the pathway to my grandma’s house. I slowly raise my finger and press the doorbell. Ding! The door cracks open and I scream…. TRICK OR TREAT!


Every October, my mom would sew my two brothers and I matching Halloween costumes. One year, I was Cruella De Ville with my two Dalmatian puppies and another year, I was Snow White with my dwarfs, Grumpy and Sleepy. From carving pumpkins to watching Hocus Pocus, I loved this chilly season.


But October doesn’t just bring us Halloween. For those of us in agriculture, it’s late nights in the field. It’s watching your dad work hard to reap the product of his toil. It’s the bright lights from the combine and the smell of dirt on a cold evening. It’s harvest.


All around us farmers are working hard to harvest their crops. What are you doing to showcase your hard work?


Will you take the time to harvest the opportunities that FFA has to offer?


Before we know it, some of us will be traveling to National FFA Convention, competing in fall speaking contests, and participating in our chapter activities. As FFA members we have the chance to work hard to achieve a goal, try something new or make a new friend. It’s all up to us. It can be scary to try something new. It’s hard to participate when we’re much more comfortable alone. Just like farmers, though, harvest season is not always easy.


FFA members, I challenge you to harvest every opportunity that comes your way this week, this month, this year. I challenge you to give it your all. Give workshops, sessions, contests, events 110 percent just like our fellow farmers are giving it their all in the fields. Make this your time to develop to your fullest potential.

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“Just One” – 2018 National FFA Convention Theme

Regan Ragsdale

Regan Ragsdale – Secretary

It’s been just one of those days. Just one of those months. I’m just one person. It’s just one word.


Going through the days, it is easy to think that just one action can’t have much impact. Just one little thing really can’t help or hurt anyone. We let ourselves think that our days are average — that things we say don’t have impact — that we truly cannot have an enormous effect on others.


But, at the end of the day, just one act can go toward something much greater.

The 2018 National FFA Convention theme “Just One” signifies the epitome of how we can make a difference in other’s lives. Missouri FFA will be traveling to Indianapolis, Indiana, to embark on a few great days of learning. What will you do in Indianapolis?


Will you try just one workshop to better your leadership skills? Will you walk up and say “hi” to just one New York FFA member at the Expo? Will you soak up just one keynote speaker at a session and take his or her words to heart?


Missouri FFA, we have the chance to leave a lasting impact in Indy this year. There are 653,359 National FFA members. We can each be just one person that benefits our organization. If each of the 653,359 members do just one positive action, can you imagine the influence we could have?


So do it. Just one random act of kindness. Send up just one prayer. Be just one advocate for agriculture. Have just one fabulous day. Be just one person, because just one person can make all the difference.

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Developing A Personal Brand

Paxton Dahmer

Paxton Dahmer – President

When I hear someone’s name, I immediately begin associating it with the things that make them who they are. For example, when I hear someone say, Harriet Tubman, I think of her dealings with the Underground Railroad. She stood up for what she believed in and risked her life in the process. Tubman had a foundational belief that freedom is a universal right, and although she was responsible for helping escort over 300 slaves to freedom, she never sought personal glory. In response to Tubman’s selfless acts, she has been branded as a leader that prioritized the freedom of others. She was willing to sacrifice her own freedom to help others. She was selfless. She was invested. She was the leader that the world needed.

Just like Tubman, we can develop our own personal brands. If we invest ourselves in the causes we feel are worthy, we will improve ourselves. For me, FFA was always the cause that I chose. FFA is invested in improving members each and every day. As an aspiring educator, I fell in love with that concept.

A variety of activities will not only improve us, but also allow us to develop our brands. Attending leadership academies, participating in CDE’s and LDE’s, and engaging in community service are great ways to improve your personal brand. When community members see that you are involved in these activities, it will reflect well on you, thus improving your image and brand.

I believe that when we have positive personal brands, it reflects well on our entire organization. It is no secret that our industry is under scrutiny, so as we progress throughout the remainder of our FFA careers, let’s put our best foot forward and work to improve our brands!

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All Kinds of Kinds

Madison Bader – VP

When you are growing up, everyone always talks about how you want to be a leader, not a follower. No one wants to be the person taking orders when they could be giving them, no matter what the situation might be.This was always such a hard concept for me to understand.

Growing up, I was rather shy and liked to stay behind the scenes. I was okay with being a follower because that was what I was good at. I liked the doing the small details and making sure everything was running smoothly, all from the safety of a curtain shielding me from the public eye. I felt weird and alone while doing this, because all my other friends were pushing to be the ones in charge, yet I wanted nothing to do with it.

As I got older, I became more okay with wanting to be behind the scenes. I quickly realized that there are two types of people in the world- those that want to be front and center, and those that do not. I was okay with being the latter. My friends would never bat an eye when I chose to do the tedious details they did not want to do, whether it be making arrangements to get caterers for events or to go and get supplies needed for different activities because they knew that those jobs needed done, and it was something that I could accomplish well and on time.

Overall, my message here isn’t that you should not try for different leadership positions, but that you should never feel uncomfortable with doing the work behind the scenes. FFA has a position for everyone, and in the words of Miranda Lambert, it takes all kinds of kinds.

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Quentin Carlyle

Quentin Carlyle – VP

Climbing Mount Everest is one of the most harrowing items on my bucket list.  Imagining the feeling of standing at the summit, literally on top of the world, fills me with inspiration and excitement.
To accomplish this goal, I am going to have to put in a great deal of work. The first step is to get all of the supplies.  The list is long, including necessities such as oxygen tanks, snow shoes, climbing tack and even simple things such as a very warm coat.
After gathering the equipment, I must do a couple of additional things. The goal is to reach the summit, but I’ll have to decide what path I will take to get up there.  Multiple ridges exist leading to the top, each with different advantages over the others. Planning the route is crucial to summiting the mountain.  After I have my supplies and my plan in place, all that’s left is to climb to the peak.
Much like climbing Everest, we need to put in some work to get the most out of life.  First comes setting a goal: what do you want to do?  This might be something you want to accomplish in school, sports or anything in your life.
Next, we have to gather our resources. For myself, many of my supplies for life came from the numerous opportunities in FFA.  You also are offered many things through our organization as a member, whether it be the opportunity to improve your leadership skills at an event such as Greenhand Motivational Conference or the chance to gain employment skills in a Career Development Event.
The last crucial step is making the plan. What steps can you take to help you reach your goal?  How will you summit your own mountain?  If you can answer all of these questions, all that is left is to climb to the peak.
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20 Seconds of Courage

Adriene Aubuchon

Adriene Aubuchon – VP

One of my favorite movies of all time is We Bought a Zoo. In this heartwarming movie one of the many quotes that has impacted my life is this: “You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come out of it.”

This quote not only embodies what we all should strive for, but it also tells us that something good can occur because of it. FFA members, take that step of bravery and reach for your goals. Sometimes it can be scary to have faith in yourself because we don’t want to embarrass ourselves, but sometimes that is exactly what we need. We aren’t perfect; instead we should strive for the uniqueness our courage brings.

FFA has amazing opportunities to help us practice these 20 seconds of courage. It takes 4 seconds to say ,“Hi, my name is Adriene Aubuchon. What’s your name?” If we don’t leap right into these sometimes-scary situations, we might not ever meet a once-in-a-lifetime inspiration or friendship or connection. It takes about 20 seconds to say the opening line to your speech. It takes 1 second to wave at someone we see that’s having a bad day. This not only applies in FFA, but in school, other clubs, friendships and future careers.

Twenty seconds FFA members, 20 seconds. A year is 31,536,000 seconds. The magnitude of opportunity one year holds for a challenge, a new experience, a small change, is so exciting. May we never let fear of the unknown or of failure keep us from those few seconds of insane courage.



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