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4 Tips to Jumpstart Your Career

 

1 – KEEP AN OPEN MIND.

Change is inevitable. When former FFA member and now Missouri Department of Agriculture  Deputy Director Garrett Hawkins started college, he wanted to be an ag teacher. Half way through, he realized it wasn’t the right fit and decided to study ag business. Bottom line, your first choice won’t necessarily be the right one for your skills and passions.

 

2 – DON’T FORGET SOFT SKILLS.

Technical skills are important, but you must be able to work with others to be successful in the long run. An ability to listen, write and speak will serve you well in any career.

 

3 – GET HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE.

This begins now through your SAE, community involvement and getting to know business leaders in your community. As you pursue the next step, get an internship. The right one might just open a door to a great career.

 

4 – LEARN AS YOU GO.

Humble yourself and have the mindset that you’re not going to start at an executive level position. You must acquire skills and learn the culture of the organization. Be satisfied in what you’re doing and know that opportunities to advance will come. Show that you’re willing to work hard, be a team player and try new things.

–by Alexa Nordwald

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Small Town Service

Size can be relative. In the case of Bosworth, Missouri, that’s exactly the case.

With a population around 300, little things like a community garden can make a big difference.

That said, FFA Advisor Melissa Eiserer saw an opportunity to better her community and she took it.

 

LIVING TO SERVE

After seeing information about Living to Serve (LTS) grants in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announcements, Eiserer realized it would pair well with the school board’s desire to have a garden at their school.

LTS grants provide an opportunity for FFA chapters to seek funding to support a variety of service projects through a competitive application process.

Applicants must identify a community need that falls within one of four focus areas:

  • Community Safety
  • Hunger, Health and Nutrition
  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Community Engagement

Eiserer, who has taught at Bosworth for eight years, said she met two, if not three, of the areas with the garden project.

“We harvested over 1,200 pounds of vegetables for our school and community with the 2018 project,” she said.

Once the grant was secured, Bosworth FFA members—and the entire student body—went to work.

Even with the whole school pitching in to start and maintain the garden, Bosworth still needed the community to help. After all, only 54 students attend Bosworth School.

“Out of 18 high school kids total, we have 15 students in FFA,” Eiserer said.

 

GARDEN GREATNESS

Bosworth has a small agriculture building, with a greenhouse next to it. Until the garden project, a double-wide trailer that had been used for preschool sat on a lot near it, but the school board moved the trailer to make way for the community garden project.

Eiserer saw great potential in the spot where the trailer had sat.

“The foundation was non-fertile soil, and I thought that would be awesome to put raised beds on because it was otherwise useless,” she said.

That vision took flight in the form of a galvanized livestock tank container garden.

Each class, preschool through 8thgrade, has a row of three container gardens. The lessons learned through the garden for each age are different. Preschoolers and  and young ones use seed tape. The older kids get a hand in all that a garden entails.

“Each class put the potting soil in the containers, and everybody got their hands dirty,” Eiserer said. “Our FFA members were the extra hands to help the younger ones.”

The first day, everybody built gardens. They came back the next day and planted the gardens.

In addition to the container garden, they also planted a traditional garden so students could get experience with running a gas-powered tiller.

 

LEARNING TO DO

From the weeding to the watering and finally, the harvest, Bosworth students get to grow their own food. It’s an experience many of them have never had.

While Bosworth is a small town, most of its students are not from the farm.

“I don’t have traditional farm kids here,” Eiserer said. “Most live in town. Only three of my FFA students actually live on a small, hobby farm.”

The community is involved, too.

“We held workdays throughout the summer for community members to come in and help water the garden and harvest,” Eiserer said. “Over the summer, the kids come in and help, too.”

To get the goods out to the community,Eiserer uses social media and her front porch.

“I put a post up on Facebook that the produce is available, and it’s all gone by the next morning,” she said.

Some of the produce also goes to the local store using an honor system.

“The community members can make one stop and get their community produce, too,” Eiserer said. “They can donate money in the can, and out the door they go with their produce.”

The bounty was good for the garden’s first year—about 40 watermelons and 50 pie pumpkins among numerous other fruits and vegetables. Students are preserving some of the produce to be used in the school and community holiday program, which is a series of noon luncheons for the whole school.

“We will provide fruit and vegetables out of the garden for the Christmas dinner this year,” Eiserer said.

 

DOING TO LEARN

The community is benefiting from more than a homegrown holiday dinner.

“Some of our older citizens that don’t garden anymore have been able to have some garden produce without driving the 20 miles into town,” she said.

The kids are also learning a skill that they can use.

“Teaching these kids that they can have a garden is very rewarding,” Eiserer said. “They’re learning that taking a chance on something that you’ve worked hard to grow can be good for your body and fun to do.”

 

EARNING TO LIVE

After applying, and getting, the LTS grant twice, she said it does take some work.

“The hardest part was getting the objectives right,” Eiserer said. “Writing educational goals for preschool through 12thgrade was challenging.”

Eiserer used education resources from Missouri Farmers Care and the Missouri Soybean Association, which helped with the educational component of the application.

In 2019, the community garden—and the LTS grant funding—will continue.

“This year’s project will be for improvement with a watering system and expansion of different agriscience projects with gardening,” she said.

–by Ginger Merritt

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2018 National FFA Convention – Missouri Tidbits

  • 518 American Degree Recipients

 

  • National Officer Candidate – Sydney Mason

 

  • 5 Teachers receiving Honorary AM. Degree

    Charli J. Baugh – Joplin; Jay Craven – Holden; Paul Crews – Glasgow; Kelli Nolting – Carl Junction; Kyle Whittaker – Marshfield.

 

  • 16 National Delegates

 

  • 6 National Talent Performers

Sierra Barker, North Callaway; Skyler Barker, North Callaway; Maggie Frakes, Portageville; Brett Griesbaum, Palmyra; Matthew Huchteman, Dadeville; Hunter Todd, Odessa.

  • 16 National Chorus Members

Ryan Altman, Winfield; Bethany Bailey, Gallatin; Emily Bilyeu, California; Sierra Bruse, Princeton; Trenton Gabirel, Worth County; Patience Lockhart, Nevada; Logan Lucas, Monroe City; Macie McNeely, Gallatin; Chloe Moss, Crocker; Dylan Murdock, Couch; Dallin Nield, Miller; Kylee Peters, Higbee; Connor Pfaff, Monroe City; Konner Sisseck, Nevada; Jill Stundebeck, Salisbury; Colin Wilburn, Van-Far.

 

  • 13 National Band Members

Aubrey Bunge, Van-Far; Trace Chambers, Fayette; Cathryn Denny, Carl Junction; Haleigh Ferguson, Smithton; Emily Korff, North Callaway; Kimberly Niemeyer, Bowling Green; Tara Schnelting, Owensville; Avery Shultz, Memphis; Olivia Sloan, Salisbury; Luke Vaughn, Marceline; Jacob Wilson, Gallatin; Cory Word, Saxony Lutheran; Koltan York, Crocker

 

  • 4 Individuals receiving Honorary AM. Degree

Colleen Abbott, Columbia; Hilary Black, Jefferson City; Doug Kueker, Lake Ozark; Jackie Lacy, Maryville.

 

  • Hall of States – Cassville FFA

 

 

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2018 Missouri National Finalists

American Star Farmer Finalists

Austin Stanton – Centralia


Agriscience Fair – 9 Finalists
  • Animal Systems – Division 4 – Dylan Sparks/Izabella Kidwell – Troy
  • Animal Systems – Division 5 – Daryin Sharp – Bolivar
  • Animal Systems – Division 6 – Jenna Hahn/ Colli Nichols – Troy
  • Environ Services/NRS – Division 4 – Megan Hargis/ Lexi Vickrey  – Troy
  • Environ Services/NRS – Division 5 – Isaiah Massey – Troy
  • Environ Services/NRS – Division 6 – Jordan M iller/Tyler Linneman – Carrollton
  • Food Products – Division 5 – Preston McDowell – Tuscumbia
  • Plant Systems – Divison 5 – Addison Burns – Gallatin
  • Social Systems – Division 6 – Katy Grant & Allie Lock – Carrollton

Proficiency Awards – National Finalists (11)
  • Agricultural Sales – Placement – Hank Hoeppner – Higginsville
  • Agriscience Research – Integrated Systems – Sara Gammon – Drexel
  • Dairy Production Entrepreneurship – Austin Freund – Concordia
  • Diversified Horticulture – Natasha Jenkins – Boonville
  • Environmental Science/Natural Resources Management –Cameron Gehlert – Linn
  • Equine Science – Placement – Jacob Blank – Richland
  • Forage Production – Hannah Strain – Rolla
  • Goat Production – Riley Tade – Ashland
  • Grain Production – Entrepreneurship – Jacob Dierking – Santa Fe
  • Specialty Crop Production – Grace Box – Neosho
  • Swine Production – Placement – Brenden Kleiboeker – Pierce City

National Chapter Awards
  • 31 Three Star Chapters
  • Model of Excellence Finalist  – Marshall FFA and Paris FFA
  • Premier Chapter – Growing Leaders Finalists – Marshall

CDE Participants
  • Ag Issues – Eldon
  • AG Sales – Eldon
  • AG Mechanics – North Shelby
  • Agronomy – Elsberry
  • Conduct of Meetings – Troy
  • Creed – Kaitlin Kleiboeker – Pierce City
  • Dairy Cattle – Butler
  • Dairy Cattle Handlers-Grant Dohle,Pleasant Hope
  • Employment Skills – Jayla Wortman, Neosho
  • Environmental/Nat Res. – Mount Vernon
  • Extemp Speaking – Hattie Grisham, Eldon
  • Farm Bus. Mgt – Slater
  • Floriculture – Owensville
  • Food Science – Columbia
  • Forestry – Stockton
  • Horse – Columbia
  • Livestock – Nevada
  • Meats – Paris
  • Milk Quality – Wheaton
  • Nursery/Landscape – Audrain Co. R-VI
  • Parliamentary – Tipton
  • Poultry – Paris
  • Public Speaking – Brenden Kleiboeker, Pierce City

 

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Missouri Agriculture Bands Together to Combat Childhood Hunger

Drive to Feed Kids Logo
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – The 2018 Drive to Feed Kids officially kicks off today. The goal for this collaboration is to raise funds to provide food for hungry Missouri children, pack 100,000 nutritious, kid-friendly meals at the Missouri State Fair and to stand in the gap for the Missouri children who face food insecurity.

 

In 2017, Missouri Farmers Care (MFC) launched Drive to Feed Kids to combat childhood food insecurity and showcase Missouri agriculture. The inaugural Drive raised nearly $150,000 for Feeding Missouri, the coalition of Missouri’s six regional food banks, provided 52,000 nutritious meals and 9,000 pounds of food donations to Missouri children who face hunger on a regular basis.

 

According to the latest data from Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap”, there are more than 240,000 children in Missouri who don’t know where their next meal will come from. Missouri counties with the highest rates of food insecurity are disproportionately rural, where one out of every three children faces food insecurity.

 

“We have seen hunger and food insecurity increase in rural areas over the past decade,”said Alan Wessler, D.V.M., MFC chairman. “Some things are out of our control. We can’t control the economy. We can’t create rapid recoveries for rural communities who have suffered economic setbacks. However, we can join together as an agricultural community to do what agriculture does best-feed people. That’s why Missouri Farmers Care, with its more than 45 member organizations, is leading the way with Drive to Feed Kids.”

 

Events of the 2018 Drive to Feed Kids will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, in conjunction with the Missouri FFA’s Food Insecurity Day when hundreds of FFA members from across Missouri will work side by side to package 100,000 meals. The Drive will culminate on Saturday, Aug. 18, with a check presentation to Feeding Missouri during the Cole Swindell/Raelynn concert at the Fair.

Missouri Farmers Care encourages companies and individuals to participate in the Drive to Feed Kids by becoming a sponsor. If you would like to partner with MFC to benefit the Drive to Feed Kids, contact Ashley McCarty, MFC executive director, at ashley@mofarmerscare.com. Individual donations can be directed to http://mofarmerscare.com/drive. All proceeds will be dedicated to Feeding Missouri network food banks who work daily to alleviate against childhood hunger.

To learn more about Drive to Feed Kids, visit www.mofarmerscare.com/drive.

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Missouri FFA Sponsors Missouri FFA Public Speaking Academy on UCM Campus


Sixty-six FFA members from across the state participated in the Missouri FFA Public Speaking Academy held June 5-7, 2018 on the University of Central Missouri campus.

 

The Missouri FFA, along with Case IH, made it possible for FFA members to benefit from the professional staff at University of Central Missouri.

 

During the three-day event, FFA members used the Internet and other communication technology to develop and refine an effective speech.  Dr. Terry Cunconan, Dr. Wendy Geiger, Dr. Sam Cox, and Dr. Nikki Freeman from the University’s Speech Communication Department conducted the three days of intense learning.  The academy was designed to help FFA members increase their confidence, develop organizational skills, use language effectively, analyze audiences and improve speaking skills by judging themselves honestly and critically — while keeping a positive attitude.  Each student presented his or her speech in competition at the conclusion of the academy.

 

Awards were presented at a banquet held at the Ozark Room of the University Conference Center on Thursday, June 7, 2018.  The banquet included the presentation of certificates of completion to each of the participants and recognition of the winners in each division.  The finalists in each division (Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced) were presented plaques and a State Public Speaking Pin from the Missouri FFA Association. Case IH was the primary sponsor

for this year’s academy.  The academy was also sponsored by Seitz Fundraising, Harmison’s Hometown Fundraising, University of Central Missouri Communications Department and UCM’s Ag Club, and the Missouri FFA Association.

 

Assisting with the three-day conference were State FFA Officers –Allie Lock, State Vice President of the Carrollton FFA Chapter, Andi Montgomery, State Vice President of the Everton FFA Chapter, Regan Ragsdale State Secretary of the Paris FF

 

A Chapter, and Hannah Viets, State Vice President of the Sweet Springs FFA Chapter.  Jessie Peterson

served as a valuable intern for the event.  The Conference Coordinator for the academy is Marie Davis, Northeast District Supervisor for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education in Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Missouri FFA has 25,375 members representing 343 chapters. The National FFA Organization has more than 653,000 members representing 8,568 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

The FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.

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2018 Food Insecurity Day

Drive to Feed Kids LogoMissouri FFA ispulling together details for our second Food Insecurity Day at the Missouri State Fair.

 

First of all, we are pleased to partner with Missouri Farmers Care, Missouri State Fair, The Food Bank of Central & Northeast Missouri, Meals of Hope and Feeding Missouri on this and other events at the MSF this year in regards to Food Insecurity.

 

We plan to pack 100,000 Meals at the Missouri State Fair on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. These meals will stay in Missouri; in fact the goal is to work to get at least 15,000 to 20,000 meals to each of the six food banks located in the state (truly a state effort).  This day is also the Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive Day at the Fair.  Missouri Farmers Care has been gracious enough to again add our sponsorship needs to their efforts as they are working to raise $250,000 for the Backpack program in Missouri.  We have been included in this effort and we need to provide FFA members to assist with various activities during the Fair in return.

 

What does the Food Insecurity Day look like on August 14, 2018?

THERE ARE MODIFICATIONS FROM LAST YEAR.  We heard that an 8 a.m. start was difficult for some chapters to fascillitate, so we are working to adjust our schedule and MSF and MFC are behind us 100 percent. We have scheduled two packing shifts this year.

Here is the TENTATIVE schedule and associated items as of May 15, 2018:

 

8:30 am – Registration for morning volunteers at the Directors Tent on MSF grounds

9:00 am – Welcome – State President

9:05 am – Introduction of Partners (with a few remarks) – MSF, MDA, Food Banks, Sponsors

9:15 am – Scavenger Hunt instructions

9:30 am – FFA Members transported to Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall by trams provided by MSF

9:45 am – Instructions for packing

10:00 am – News Conference with Partners

10:15 am – Begin Packing with first shift

11:30 am — Registration for afternoon volunteers at the Directors Tent on MSF grounds

12:00 noon – Noon Meal in the Directors Tent for BOTH morning volunteers and afternoon volunteers

12:30 pm – Speaker – Diane Sullivan – Advocate for Agriculture and working to end Food Insecurity

1:00 pm – FFA members transported to Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall

1:30 pm – Begin Packing with second shift

3:30 pm – Conclude packing and clean up

By 5:00 pm – turn in scavenger hunt paperwork at FFA Building for a thank you gift for your participation

5:30 pm – Sponsors dinner with speaker Diane Sullivan – Invite only!!

If you are interested in helping, please contact your FFA advisor. Questions may be directed to Keith Dietzschold at keith.dietzschold@dese.mo.gov 

 

Thank you for service to FFA members across the state.

 

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2018 Missouri AgriScience Fair Results

Animal Systems – Division 3
Jacob Toombs – Bolivar

Animal Systems – Division 4
Isabella Kidwell and Dylan Sparks – Troy

Animal Systems – Division 5
Daryin Sharp – Bolivar

Animal Systems – Division 6
Jenna Hahn and Collin Nichols – Troy

Environ Services/NRS – Division 3
Alex Rhode – Boonville

Environ Services/NRS – Division 4
Lexi Vickrey and Megan Hargis – Troy

Environ Services/NRS – Division 5
Isaiah Massey – Troy

Environ Services/NRS – Division 6
Jordan Miller and Tyler Linneman – Carrollton

Food Products – Division 3
Caroline Herigon – Boonville

Food Products – Division 4
Gabi Hall and Gracie Bachtel – Carrollton

Food Products – Division 5
Preston McDowell – Tuscumbia

Food Products – Division 6
Jennifer Austermann and Hersh Patel – Troy

Plant Systems – Division 3
Jacob Love – Troy

Plant Sysems – Division 4
Olivia Conrow and Mason Ray – Boonville

Plant Systems – Divison 5
Addison Burns – Gallatin

Plant Systems – Division 6
Jacob Maclean and Abbegail French – Troy

Power, Structural/Tech – Division 3
Gabe Lorenz – Boonville

Power, Structural/Tech – Division 4
Adam Lester – Boonville

Social Systems – Division 3
Bryanne Knowlton – Troy

Social Systems – Division 4
Briley Gregg and Sally Schmidt – Carrollton

Social Systems – Division 5
Britany Jones – Boonville

Social Systems – Division 6
Allie Lock and Katy Grant – Carrollton

Agriscience Fair 2018 Candid2
Agriscience Fair 2018 Candid3
Agriscience Fair 2018 Candid6
Agriscience Fair 2018 Candid4
Agriscience Fair 2018 Candid5
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Missouri FFA to Honor Andrew McCrea

 

This year, the Missouri FFA Association is pleased to recognize Mr. Andrew McCrea for his service to agricultural education and the Missouri FFA.

 

Andrew McCrea is a farmer and rancher, an award-winning radio and tv broadcaster and a nationally-recognized speaker. He is the host of the nationally-broadcast radio feature, The American Countryside, a program that has won five Oscars for rural and agricultural broadcasting. McCrea has interviewed hall of fame sports stars, Emmy and Grammy winners and even been body slammed by professional wrestlers! His broadcasting work has taken him to all 50 states and six continents to interview thousands of guests for his program. The American Countryside is unique in broadcasting because all of the interviews are done on location. His broadcasts are heard daily on nearly 100 radio stations and Sirius XM satellite radio. The television version of the show is a regular feature on U.S. Farm Report.

 

In addition to McCrea’s broadcasting duties, he continues to own and manage the farm and ranch where he was born and raised. McCrea Farms operates nearly 4,000 acres of crop and pastureland in northwest Missouri raising corn, soybeans and beef cattle. A past chairman of the Missouri Beef Industry Council and representative to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, McCrea remains active in a number of agricultural groups, both as a participant and as a frequent speaker.

 

McCrea’s past is rooted in Missouri FFA, beginning with the King City FFA Chapter in the late 1980’s. He served as the 1991-92 Missouri State FFA President and 1993-94 National FFA Secretary. He also worked as a trainer for National FFA from 1995-2005 and continues to assist the organization with national officer training and behind-the-scenes work at National FFA Convention. Since 1996, McCrea has conducted Missouri FFA State Officer Training, in addition to working with state officers in Illinois and Arizona. He is the Missouri State FFA Convention manager and is the director of both Area Officer Institute and Public Speaking Institute. McCrea has received the chapter, state and American Honorary FFA Degrees.

 

McCrea and wife Paula, along with children Luke and Allison, reside near Maysville, Missouri, where they are the fifth and sixth generations to operate the family farm. He’s quick to credit his VERY supportive wife, kids and father who handle the chores at home while he travels.

 

The Missouri FFA extends a special thank you to Andrew McCrea for his many years of service to agricultural education and the Missouri FFA.

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Missouri and Kansas FFA Chapters Donate Over 4,400 Items in Western Farm Show Food Drive

FFA students from Missouri and Kansas collected an impressive 4,457 food items for an annual food drive at the recent Western Farm Show.

 

The food cans and other non-perishable items have been donated to Harvester’s – The Community Food Network, a regional food bank serving a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas. The FFA donation totaled 2,334 pounds, which Harvesters says will provide 1,945 meals.

 

Each year, participating bi-state FFA chapters collect food items in their local communities and deliver them to the Western Farm Show, which is held at the American Royal the last weekend in February. For the 2018 food drive, 14 Missouri chapters delivered 3,613 items and six Kansas chapters accounted for 844 items.

 

“Harvesters is grateful to the Western Farm Show for its commitment to fighting hunger in our region,” said Logan Heley, Harvesters Food and Fund Drive Manager. “During the past seven years, the Western Farm Show has donated more than 31,000 pounds of food which have provided more than 25,000 meals.”

 

Ken Dean, Western Farm Show manager, said participating students not only support an important cause, but also have the opportunity at the show to expand their agricultural knowledge and learn about ag industry career opportunities. “Our show usually coincides with National FFA Week, which embraces the FFA and the important impact it has on its members,” Dean noted. “These Missouri and Kansas FFA students can be very proud of the dedication they have shown to supporting those in need.”

 

Produced by the Western Equipment Dealers Association, the Western Farm Show also features the latest farming and ranching equipment, livestock demonstrations, cooking shows and a Health and Safety Roundup, as well as other attractions for farming and ranching families.

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