Hannah Shanks

Hannah Shanks
Feb 03 2022

A ‘Work Hard’ Mindset

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a proud product of the dairy farming industry. For the first 16 years of my life, I lived and breathed farming on my family’s third generation dairy. The long hours, the hardships, the irreplaceable memories and people, and the wisdom I received from the farm will forever be what shaped me into the woman I am today. The one thing I would say would be my most prized possession from the farm is the principles of working hard it instilled in me. 


To me, hard work is a mindset not just a word used to describe the tasks someone is doing. It is not just putting in the effort while it suits oneself, but rather continuing to work hard throughout the entire task in order to see it through. Sometimes when we are working, we get tired and we decide to slack off or pass the buck to someone else, leaving others to make up for our shortcomings. Finishing before the job is done because you are tired or it does not suit you anymore, is not working hard. It is taking the easy way out. 


We are already starting the most work-filled time of the year in FFA. There are applications to fill out, contests to practice for, banquets to plan, and projects to finish. All these projects can seem daunting, but I challenge you to have a “work hard” mindset. Do not quit when the job gets difficult, when you get tired, or when you feel like you cannot keep going. Finish strong in each task and make your dreams a reality. Conquer with a “work hard” mindset! As Dwayne Johnson once said, “Consistent hard work leads to success.” 

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Hannah Shanks
Oct 08 2021

Worker Ants

Worker ants. They help their colonies in any way they can. Each one has a specialized job whether it be building and mending the network of the colony, bringing in food, or caring for the young. Each one helps keep the colony running smoothly. When I think of ants, I think of them joining together to help carry heavy loads back to the colony. With the power of many, they can carry loads that totally exceed what one ant could ever do by itself. Together, they are able to bring food and building supplies back to their colony to improve quality of life. 


The cooperation of an ant colony reminds me of community service. FFA members across the state do all sorts of great service projects that benefit their communities every day. In FFA, we focus on building communities, and these service projects do just that. One example happened this past summer at the Missouri State Fair. FFA members from across the state packed more than 201,000 meals at the annual Drive to Feed Kids. The meals are distributed to food banks across Missouri and impact our communities. The Doniphan FFA chapter helped us pack meals, and when they were volunteering at their food bank back home, they got to see first hand how these meals made a difference in their community as they handed out those FFA emblem-branded bags to citizens in need. 


This is just one instance of how we can come together and accomplish big goals in our community. I challenge you to think outside the box and see what you can do in your community to give back. We all have the ability to give back to our communities and make a difference in our world!

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Jun 02 2021

My Wish

“And if one door opens to another door closed…I hope you keep on walkin’ ’til you find the window.” Whether or not you are a county music buff like me, “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts is a song unlike any other. It talks about all the lessons we go through life hearing and gives wisdom about making the most of every situation and opportunity. What a world opportunity is! It offers so much promise.


When I began my FFA career almost six years ago, I knew that the only way I would make an impact was to be active in everything I wanted to experience. I wanted to accomplish, see and do so much, but the only way to do so was to take the opportunities I had been given. I believe that no matter what, if there is something you want to try, you should take a chance at it. I spent my FFA career continuously learning and experiencing. It led me to where I am today. When I was unsure if I wanted to give a speech, I decided I would not know if I liked it or not until I tried. I gave that first fall speech, and, no, it did not go according to plan. Still,  I knew I could improve. I kept trying, practicing and growing until I eventually got those first-place accolades for which I had been working. 


We only get one chance at life. If there is something you want to do, see, or achieve, do it and do not let anything hold you back. I promise you will not regret it! In the meantime, take a listen to “My Wish.” I have a feeling it can teach us all a few things.

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