Missouri FFA and Agriculture Education | Paxton Dahmer – President
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Paxton Dahmer – President

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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Summer Reflection

Paxton Dahmer

Paxton Dahmer – President

The combined smell of livestock and corndogs, the sound of cattle and carnival games, and the view of the coliseum, swine barn and ferris wheel can only mean one thing — the Missouri State Fair! With the excitement of the fair, we tend to overlook that it is the end of summer break and it marks the beginning of the school year.


The start of school often leaves little time for reflection on the summer. When we take time to reflect on the events of the summer, we remember the time spent at Camp Rising Sun with friends learning leadership skills, the trips to livestock shows with our family, the countless hours spent in the field and so much more. Although these events are all wonderful, I love to reflect on our Food Insecurity Day at the state fair.


It was so wonderful seeing more than 600 FFA members from across the state come together for one reason — service. FFA members were energized and ready to continue serving after they returned to their home chapters. As members of a service-based organization, this is a necessity. The fourth and final line of our motto can help to serve as a guiding factor for our FFA careers.


A number of several prevalent needs in our home communities. Some communities need assistance in combatting food insecurity, some need volunteers at the community center and some need help at homeless shelters. Regardless of what the need is, we should be willing to help serve at all times.


As we start school and get back into the groove of FFA, I challenge you to take your service to the next level. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new and work to make your impact everyday so that you can truly live to serve!



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Breaking Barriers

Paxton Dahmer, President 2018-19

Paxton Dammer, President

Throughout our high school careers, we often hear our advisors tell us, “You get out what you put in!” This is the case for me, at least. Our advisors are often our main source of inspiration and motivation, and although we tend to dismiss their advice and move along, they are pushing us in the right direction.


Missouri FFA offers us endless opportunities to develop leadership and personal skills. As I entered my freshman year, I hadn’t quite reached my full potential. With a push from my advisors, I broke through my shell and discovered the “soft skills” that FFA promotes such as public speaking, teamwork, networking and creative thinking. Breaking our personal barriers isn’t always easy, but it is an essential step in our journey.


For me, this happened at HYMAX (Helping Youth Maximize Agricultural Experiences) Academy. Spending a weekend with other members that were my age from each area of the state reassured me that FFA was the organization for me. I still remember learning about methods of “AGvocating” for our industry over the course of the academy. HYMAX taught me countless life skills that I have applied to the rest of my FFA career, and I have no doubt that it introduced me to some of the most passionate people I know.


As we finish the school year, I look forward to spending the summer traveling the state and meeting members as we break through our personal barriers and discover success! If we take the advice of our advisors, we have the skills it takes to be successful!


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