2019-20 Officers

Tough Times Never Last Tough People Do

Andrew Moore

From the Dust Bowl and Great Depression of the 1930s, to the American farm crisis of the 1980s to the unprecedented floods of 1993 and even to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, our industry has persevered one struggle at a time. Agriculturalists embody resilience and adaptability. FFA members, you too can become adaptable to whatever life throws your way.


Becoming adaptable to life’s situations is something that many of us are not good at. There are a few guiding principles that can help us develop this ability.


“The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist,” author Zig Ziglar wrote. Acknowledging the circumstances we encounter and the personal weaknesses that got us there will help us be more adaptable to potholes down the road.


The second step to adaptability is to analyze how others that were faced with a challenge overcame their situation. Understanding how they busted through their roadblocks can help us emerge victorious.


The final step to adaptability is finding a mentor to guide us through this thing we call life. Having a mentor who has walked in our shoes can increase our chances of success when hitting those bumpy spots in life.


The FFA Creed states, “I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny”. FFA members, the time will come when we face hours of discouragement. Know these words by Robert Schuller, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” Just as our industry has adapted and persevered through every obstacle, you too can adapt. Don’t let anything keep you from your dreams.

—By Andrew Moore, state FFA vice president, Clark County FFA

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Brenden Kleiboeker

Brenden Kleiboeker, President

Nearly a year ago, the 2019-2020 state FFA officers chose the theme HOME for our year, Though we all came from different corners of the state, we all found our home in the Missouri FFA Association. We all had different life experiences, different joys and different trials.  However, each and every one of us found our home in Missouri FFA.


Little did we know that in the spring of 2020 HOME would have a much different meaning. This spring, nearly every one of the approximately 26,000 Missouri FFA members is confined to their home. FFA members have never been ones to back down from a challenge. This is a great time for FFA members to put extra time into their Supervised Agricultural Experience, or perhaps extra time into studying for a Career Development Event or Leadership Development Event.


Though times are uncertain, I am confident Missouri FFA membersare equipped with the leadership skills necessary to persevere. Even with nothing set in stone, after the battle has been won against this invisible enemy, I truly look forwardto later this year when members will celebrate the accomplishments of their HOME in Missouri FFA!

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Fight for A New Fate

Isaiah Massey

新しい運命のために戦う –  Fight for a new fate


To many people who know me they understand that I am a very big anime fan, and my favorite anime show to watch is Naruto.   For those who are not familiar with the show, Naruto is an orphaned child who possesses an immense amount of power that takes him a very long time to learn and master. As Naruto grew up he was isolated and treated like an outcast because people that knew of his powers feared him. One thing that I have always favored about Naruto is that he never gives up no matter how high the stakes are stacked against him.  Naruto’s optimism and passion for helping others is what truly makes him stand out. Ever since he was young, he wanted to become the Hokage of his village, or in relatable terms, Naruto had a goal of being his own version of a state officer.


One of Naruto’s most notable scenes was his fight against Neji. Neji was a child from a ninja clan where they are told that their life’                                                                                                                           s purpose was to be servants to another side of the clan that the only time they can be free from this service is when they pass on. Being told this throughout his entire life, Neji always had friction towards his sister Hinata whom was on the side of the clan that he had to serve even if it meant that it would cost him his life.  During this scene as he is telling Naruto about how his destiny has already been told to him, Naruto tells one of the most powerful quotes to have ever been said, “If you don’t like the hand that fates dealt you with, then fight for a new one.”  This phrase speaks volumes not just in a fictional world of chakra fused ninjas but this quote applies to our real lives as well.


All of us go through different seasons of life. People might try to put you in a ceiling cap because of the name you have, maybe even because of the person you were before. If we take a look in our world, there are people who don’t see agriculture in the same light that we do. In a world that is filled with curve balls such as COVID-19 or not being able to finish senior year, sometimes it feels like you’re defeated. But just because you feel defeat doesn’t mean you are defeated.  If you don’t like the hand that fates dealt you with, then fight for a new one! FFA members don’t give up hope, don’t give up now on the things you’ve worked so hard for. Just because you feel like the odds are stacked against you, does not mean you have lost.  We are the future of agriculture. No matter how hard the challenges may be, or how difficult of a curve ball life may throw at us, there is always still a reason to keep on fighting.  FFA members what fate will you fight for?

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Everything Happens For A Reason

Natalie Koch

Natalie Koch – VP

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.


Let me tell you a quick story. Rewind to April 2018 and the night before my area officer interviews. I sat in my room staring at my official dress debating whether or not I should take it to school the next day. If I just so happened to “forget” my official dress, I wouldn’t be able to interview. Yet when the morning rolled around, I knew I’d regret not giving it my all, and my advisors would be disappointed.


The school day was a blur. I was so nervous; I couldn’t think straight. Finally, as the night came it was time to interview. My knees were weak, and arms were heavy as Mr. Mertz would often say. I inhaled a deep breath and gave it my all. Two years later serving as an area officer holds some of the best memories I’ve had in the jacket. My life would be so different if I would have left my official dress at home. Everything truly happens for a reason. However, sometimes the reason might not be as clear or easy to see. Kind of like right now, as COVID-19 continues to take over the news and as events continue to cancel or postpone. As upsetting as these times may be, there is no better occasion to make some memories! Later in life, we might remember this as the time we spent with our siblings before leaving for college. Or, this might be the time we spent at our favorite fishing spot when normally we’d be in school. The reason might be unclear today, tomorrow or even a year down the road. However, we have the incredible opportunity to make the best out of the situation and create memories that will last a lifetime!

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Stop, and Think

Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore – VP

I don’t know how it is at your home, but when the temperature starts to drop at Moore Farms that can only mean one thing — baby calves! The other day I was watching a newborn calf in our barn take its first few steps and try to nurse from its mother. To this point the cow had done a great job cleaning her calf and nudging him to get up and walk around. However, when the calf finally was ready to nurse, the mother didn’t like it and kept moving. After more than 30 minutes of the baby calf chasing the cow trying to get some milk, the mother finally held still and the calf had his first meal. It occurred to me, the cow only relied on her motherly instincts for so long, until those instincts failed her. It was instinctive for her to lick and nudge the calf, but not to hold still and let the calf do what his instincts told him to do. Sometimes in life, we just need to hold still. For many of us, it is instinctive to work, and that’s a good thing! However, it might pay off to stop, think, reflect, think some more, and then act. Impulsive decisions are almost always bad decisions. Today, that cow stands still nearly every time the calf needs to eat. In a sense, she learned from her mistake. Sometimes our instincts won’t fail us, but often we just need to stop and think.


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How Dirty Are YOUR Boots?

Matthew Morgan

I pulled on my rubber boots and grabbed my screwdriver as I headed to my first Soils Career Development Event (CDE) practice of the year. The temperature was below freezing, and it didn’t take me very long to realize that I had no clue what I was doing. My teammates and I were already thinking about quitting before the first competition was over. Our team received almost dead last that day, but we decided to make a goal to move on to state, and we were determined to reach that goal.


As we studied and practiced more, we slowly saw improvement. We kept with it and attended many more practice CDEs. With every contest, our scores got better and we felt more confident. We went to districts with one thing in mind, which was state. As we patiently waited for our results, we started to second-guess ourselves and our ability to judge soils. Finally, we received our results and found out we qualified for state! We went to state and rocked that soils contest.


After state, my teammates and I looked back through the year and realized how close we were to giving up. We realized we could have missed all of the friendships and learning experiences that we had gained. Sometimes you have to put on your rubber boots, get your hands dirty and put in the extra work to accomplish your task. You, too, will find out that with a little bit of luck and a whole lot of persistence and determination, you can and will meet all of your goals.



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The Art of Fishing

Alexis Wilkinson

Alexis Wilkinson – VP

Growing up, I was always a daddy’s girl following in his footsteps and wanting to be just like him. On all of our fishing trips, he would always catch the first fish. Not only would he catch the first fish, but also the biggest fish, and more fish than me and my brother combined. I could have the same exact lure, fishing pole, everything, and still not catch a fish like he could. It must just be my luck. He’s been fishing for years, and I’ll never be as good as him — at least that’s what I thought at the time. Looking back now, I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself. Fishing is an art of patience and hopefulness. With every cast, I told myself it was useless and that I wouldn’t catch anything anyway. But over the years, I have learned that you’re not going to see the fish swimming up to bite your lure. You won’t be expecting it, and that’s the best part. You have to be patient, be confident that you might catch something, and then nothing will feel greater than the thump of that fishing line and the fight he puts up when you’re reeling him in.


Sometimes in life, it’s easy to get discouraged. Maybe you’re ready for something to happen, but it’s not happening soon enough. Sometimes we tell ourselves that it just won’t happen, and we give up. However, we have to just live life and enjoy it for what it is. When you don’t catch a fish, open your mind and keep casting. Sometimes, we have to keep trying and keep casting over and over. Eventually you will catch something, even if it’s just a log. Be optimistic, be patient, and good things will come.



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Finishing This Season Strong

Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson, VP

My favorite season has always been winter. After spending half of my life in a place where the concept of snow was just a folktale, I have spent the last few years soaking up as much snow and winter as I can get. With that being said, the shorter days bring with them a dark side. It’s harder to get things done, harder to stay motivated and easy to isolate oneself; the winter blues often result. In this season, I have found it more difficult to find the cheery and playful Kate that has buried herself deep under layers of snow. It is so easy to lock myself in my room alone, leaving my backpack full of homework beside my bed to watch the next episode of The Office for the third time. I build my bed covers into an igloo and hide myself from the wants and needs of the world only to come out and see that nothing has changed.


When the world around us is so full of darkness, it is more important than ever to seek the goodness of light. Something as simple as going bowling and eating ice cream with friends helped me to uncover the Kate that I know. I was then able to get my work done with much more ease. A friend once told me that the sun is so dense that a mere tablespoon would weigh 10,000 pounds. Little bits of light can go a long way and it doesn’t take much to change someone’s day.


As we finish out this season of winter, I encourage us all to seek the light in the little things that happen in ordinary, everyday life. Go bowling and eat a tub of ice cream with some buddies, get up early to watch the sunrise (roughly 7:20 a.m. these days give or take), go to a coffee shop with a friend and read a book. Even laughing at spilling water all over the floor can change your attitude and bring joy to difficult situations. Intentionally finding happiness creates a mindset of joy and motivation.


One of my favorite quotes goes like this: “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” -J.K. Rowling (From: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.) FFA members, don’t forget to turn on the light!!


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Reflecting on Home

Brenden Kleiboeker

Brenden Kleiboeker, President

“Home is not where we are in life, but what we make of where we are in life.”


This line was the basis of my speech for this year’s sGreenhand Motivational Conferences. However, I think it is important for each of us to reflect upon. “Home is not where we are in life, but what we make of where we are in life.” Many of us face different challenges in life. For myself, it was basketball in third grade. I enjoyed playing basketball for Upward during elementary school and was ecstatic to play on my school team for the first time. I practiced at home in my driveway and didn’t even think I was too bad in practice at school. However, once I got to the game, the same thing happened time after time. The ball was stolen from me. I shot- thump off the floor, clank off the rim- or the worst- no sound as I shot an airball. By the time we got to our first tournament, my coach didn’t even play me. In fact, he played members of the girls team on the boys team before myself. How embarrassing! I stuck it out for the season but knew that basketball was not the right place for me. That is when my parents enrolled me in 4-H, and I made some of my very best friends that I still have today. I started showing pigs, a passion I continue today. Luckily for me, my parents realized there was a problem, and helped me. We all have different problems in our lives, and different people to help us. Maybe it’s a coach, teacher, advisor or counselor. It is vital that we listen to other people’s advice, and even swallow our pride sometimes.


FFA members, none of us are in a place we cannot get out of. We are each provided with new opportunities and people to help us. As we go throughout our lives, let us remember, “Home is not where we are in life, but what we make of where we are in life.”

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Pushing Through The Drifts

Drew Kientzy

Drew Kientzy – VP

I vividly remember the winter of 2012, and more specifically, the monster snowstorm that hit northeast Missouri the second week of January. Two full days of near whiteout conditions, subzero temperatures and winds in excess of 40 miles per hour with gusts approaching 70.


After the snow stopped falling, my dad and I traveled to our farm in 11 inches of fresh powder the to retrieve a tractor to plow our way through the snow to the highway. Although the deep snow might have made travel difficult, the inconvenience paled in comparison to the drifts. In places, the snow exceeded five feet deep, making already difficult travel that much harder. There were many spots on the road where the drifted snow blocked our path, and we had to ram our way back and forth in the truck to break through the drifts and continue on our way. Although the journey was long, tedious and treacherous, we had soon cleared a path to our house.


At times, our lives might seem much like that Missouri snowstorm. Life goes poorly for us and just when we think it can’t be much worse, we run into a snow drift of additional difficulty that stops us in our tracks. However, even though this inconvenience might seem like it is too much to handle, snow drifts are thin and can be broken through, and if we keep our goals in mind, we can overcome our problems like that old Chevy overcame the snow. Luckily, no drift can be infinite so our challenges must become easier on the other side of the peak, and with perseverance all of our problems will melt away just as the snow does in the March sun.

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