2019-20 Officers

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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Sunrises

Elizabeth Brooks

Elizabeth Brooks – VP

Do you remember the most breath-taking sunrise you have ever witnessed? For me, that sunrise was on the drive to Yellowstone National Park from Gardiner, Montana. It was still dark when my family left our hotel, but as we traveled through the mountains, pinks and oranges began to spill over the peaks into the valley. The dawn revealed dewy alfalfa fields and grazing cattle as I gazed at the beauty of the morning light peeking over the mountain tops. It was truly the most amazing sight I had ever seen!

 

I have seen many other beautiful sunrises in my life. I have always loved watching the sun rise because it gives me some perspective. Sunrises mean that today is a new day. Each time we witness the sun rise, we can enjoy a moment of peace and happiness knowing that we made it another day. No matter how dark the days before seemed, we can rest assured that each sunrise means a fresh start and a chance to make each day a great one.

 

Now, as I reflect on that memory and remember the beautiful sunrise, I recall the feelings of pure happiness and appreciation I had for that new day. Next time you see the sun rise, I encourage you to take just a moment to gaze at its simple beauty and appreciate the new day and new possibilities that lie before you.

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New Year, New Me

Alexandra Gast

“New year, new me.”

A common phrase we hear after the start of a new year. This statement is made by the individuals seeking change in their life and have a desire to be better than the year before. But here is a truth that very few people seem to accept: You will be the same you, same as the year before, if you do not work hard and make an effort to be better.

 

You see, change doesn’t happen overnight and neither does success. It takes countless hours of hard work, combined with passion and a desire to be better. In the next few weeks, FFA members across the state will be signing up for a contest team, beginning the preparations for their spring speeches, or gathering a team for Ag Issues. As this preparation starts, you must make a choice: will you approach this season of life just like before — lacking the hard work and passion to be successful? Or, will you commit yourself, learn something new, spend the extra hours to perfect your skills and knowledge?

 

FFA members, this season will only be different if you try. It will only be different if you change. Work hard, be excited for what’s to come, and set goals for the upcoming year. Believe in yourself and work hard.

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Stay in Practice – And Wash Your Hands!

Brenden Kleiboeker

FFA members, as I write this blog to you, I am preparing for a New Year, however I am laying in bed sick. Being sick over Christmas Vacation is no fun, and has led me to question many reasons why I am sick. However, being sick has helped me put together some thoughtful insight for the New Year for you.

I spent most of last week on the road doing chapter visits, I had a great time visiting FFA members across the state, however one thing I did not do enough is wash my hands. After a visit, I would swing through a drive through for a meal, and even think to myself that I should wash up, but decide I did not have time and go ahead and eat my meal. Just like in our everyday life, we often think doing the little things will take too much time. However, when it comes down to it, taking a single minute to wash my hands could have kept me from getting sick and spending multiple days in bed.

Whenever I came home from Columbia, I realized that I had forgotten my Vitamin C tablets in my dorm room. “No biggie” I thought to myself. I did not realize how big of an effect this could have on my immune system. A cold and a respiratory virus later, I wish I would have stayed in practice with my vitamins. Just like practicing for an LDE or CDE, if it works for you, do not quit doing it, or you will see the negative feedback later.

FFA members, learn from my mistakes in the coming year: do not overlook the little things, and stay in practice and I am sure that you will be successful!

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Feed Just One

Kensie Darst

“If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
–Mother Teresa

There is nothing more rewarding than uplifting others through service. Mother Teresa devoted her life to serve the poor and the impoverished. She spent countless hours, traveled many miles and made an unforgettable mark on the people she encountered. Teresa was admired by many for her heart of service. She believed that her life had purpose. With that purpose, she fulfilled her calling to serve others during their times of need.

 

Mother Teresa is recognized to this day as a humble individual who fought through harm’s way just to help someone else. She knew that she could not help all of those who were in need, but she became blissful to know that she changed the life of just one human.

 

Throughout our lives, we face times when we lend a hand to help our friends and family. As an FFA member, we live a life of service. Be willing to take any opportunity to serve others this year with a grateful heart. Whether this be through cleaning and fixing the local community garden, picking up trash along the highway with your chapter or simply beginning a food or clothing drive to provide for local families in need.

 

Mother Teresa is an individual who many looked up to, though she did not desire the recognition. Her life relates to the last line of the FFA motto, “Living to Serve.” Members, I challenge you to make a difference in the lives of others this year to fulfill your true purpose as a member.

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