Missouri FFA and Agriculture Education | Madelyn Derks – VP
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Madelyn Derks – VP

Create Your Legacy

Madelyn Derks

Madelyn Derks – VP

Thomas Jefferson doubled the size of the United States with the purchase of Louisiana.

 

Abraham Lincoln freed slaves.

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower ended segregation in schools and the military.

 

All presidents of the United State of America, these American icons created a legacy for themselves and changed our nation in a way that is remembered and evident to this day.

 

In school I always dragged my feet on the way to history class. It was always my least favorite class due to all the dates, names and events that I had to memorize and pronounce. My history teacher, Mr. Jenkins, would always yell at me, “Smile a little more, Derks!” I would respond with a sassy half smile and an eye roll as I took my seat. But, what I quickly learned is that history doesn’t go away as we graduate high school or finish a class; in fact, it followed me all the way to my agricultural education class.

 

In 1928, the Future Farmers of America (FFA) was organized in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

In 1933, the blue corduroy jacket was adopted as the official dress for the FFA.

 

In 1969, women were allowed to be members of FFA.

 

History is a valuable part of who we are and where we come from. Whether in the form of a president’s legacy or the roots of the National FFA Organization, history is remembered for years to come.

 

So I want to ask you, what will your legacy be? How will you be remembered?

 

Do you want to be remembered as someone who sat on the sidelines, afraid to try something new?  Or, do you want to be remembered as the person who reached his or her goals? Opportunities abound for us in the next few months. From participating in a career development event or a leadership development event to applying for awards and academies and attending State FFA Convention, we have so many activities and opportunities to take part in through FFA. We have the ability to build our legacy into anything we want. Our legacies don’t have to be as grand as the forefathers of our country, but they can be just as powerful with simple acts like talking to the new kid at school, running for an officer position, or volunteering to stay after and help clean up the classroom. The decisions and choices that we make every single day affect our legacy. It affects how we are remembered.

 

So right now, let’s take out a piece a paper and write down three goals or things we want to accomplish. How can those words be turned into actions that will positively define our legacy?

 

FFA members, you are destined for greatness. Each one of us has a unique and powerful legacy that is just waiting for us to initiate. It is our jobs to shine a light on who we are and what we stand for. Don’t be afraid of yours, because even the smallest of actions turns into the greatest of impacts.

 

Missouri FFA members, you don’t have to wait to cultivate tomorrow. Make it happen today. Do it now, and grow your legacy!

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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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Remembering Your Roots

Madelyn Derks, VP 2018-19

Madelyn Derks – VP

“Shhhhh!” a FFA member whispered as our advisor rounded the corner of his garage and… SPLAT! His face met the cool whip covered plate my officer team prepared. Not waiting for the retaliation that was sure to occur, we took off running. Every year, my advisor hosts our annual FFA end-of-the-summer gathering. It is a time for leaving seniors to share memories with incoming freshman. More importantly, it is a time to encourage new members for the upcoming year and reflect on the past with retiring members.

 

Summer is here and with that warm Missouri climate, comes exciting adventures of livestock shows, camps and working with our Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs). As we begin our journey to Camp Rising Sun or any FFA event, we should remember our roots.

 

Our roots are the lessons and skills that we have fine-tuned from previous experiences and events. New contests and challenges bring the willingness to open our minds to new ideas, skills and lessons. As we improve ourselves with shining new skills, it is when we combine them with what we have already learned that we become amazing. When we take our experiences from previous events and build upon them with new lessons, we can completely rejuvenate ourselves for tomorrow.

 

Our roots are the base to what grows into a flowering and prospering plant. FFA members, I encourage you to remember your roots as you take on new experiences and learn new lessons this year!

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