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

Smile! And, feed the world.

Paxton Dahmer

Paxton Dahmer – President

“The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.” -John McAfee

 

It is quite common that we turn on our televisions or open our Twitter feed and learn of an act of hate that has occurred somewhere around the world. A variety of causes can be blamed for these events, but I believe one of the most common is a lack of kindness.

 

Take a moment to think about the last time that someone smiled at you while walking down the street—an act so small that we often take for granted can make an enormous impact. Now consider the domino effect in relation to a simple act of kindness. Imagine how wonderful our world could be if everyone smiled at just one person every day.

 

You see, the impact of that one smile goes far beyond that single moment. As that person goes about the remainder of his or her day, spirits will be lifted. That single smile could change the entire course of a day. That smile could inspire the same in return, creating a chain reaction that can and will change our world.

 

As we listened to the speakers at the National FFA Convention and Expo, we were inspired to make a change. This is wonderful, but far too often we lose that inspiration when we return home. FFA members, the time is now. We can make an impact and change our world, but we have to start now.

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Inspiration and Thank You

Chloe Momphard

Chloe Momphard – VP

Captain Charlie Plumb, a farm kid from Kansas that grew up to be a pilot for the United States Navy, expressed this during one of his motivational speeches. Captain Plumb was a graduate of the Naval Academy. After training to become a pilot, his squadron was called to action for an eight-month tour. After 75 missions and only five days before the end of his tour, his airplane was shot down and he was taken as a prisoner of war (POW) for six years.

 

Plumb survived the hunger, isolation, monotony and terror as a POW for six long years. He became an inspiration to all of the POWs and now inspires all those he encounters. He does not consider himself a hero and takes advantage of every opportunity he has to thank those that participated in the constructing and packing of his plane. He survived the unthinkable and came out stronger after his time as a POW.

 

In Plumb’s words, “If life was perfect and everyone said yes, you wouldn’t try as hard or dress as neat. Therefore, there is great value in being blown out of the sky.” In other words, life throws obstacles our way. However, it is how we handle them and move forward that develops who we are in the future. Setbacks will occur and obstacles will get in the way, however, we write our story and live our life by the choices we make. If we choose to be defeated, it probably will become so. If we choose to embrace the challenge and fight through it, great things await. How will you choose?

 

To all who have bravely served our great country, THANK YOU! If you ate today, thank a farmer!  If you ate in peace, thank a soldier!

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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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You

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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