Jan 16 2024

MO Forest Products Assoc Names 2023 Speaking Contest Winners

Three Missouri FFA Student Members Receive a Total of $600 in the Missouri Forest Products Association FFA Public Speaking Contest Finalists Presented on January 9 at the MFPA Winter Meeting in Jefferson City

MFPA's 2023/24 FFA Speech Finalists/Winner

From L-R: Brooklyn Fleming, Carmella Pendergrass, Marlee Jones, Bethany Slovensky, Madilynn Cook, Brian Brookshire, Executive Director of MFPA

Missouri Forest Products Association, in conjunction with the Missouri FFA chapter offers congratulations to all students who entered their second annual FFA Public Speaking Contest and announced that Madilynn Cook from Forsyth High School located in Forsyth, MO was selected as the statewide winner.


The speaking contest was open to all Missouri FFA student members enrolled in vocational agriculture courses during the fall semester of the 2023/24 school year. Of the 12 students competing at the district level, the top six finalists (one from each FFA district in Missouri) each presented their 6-8 minute speech and answered follow-up questions on the topic of “What are the carbon benefits of the forest and wood products industry?” Three finalists were then selected during the MFPA’s winter meeting in Jefferson City at Courtyard Marriott on January 9, 2024. First place and $200 was awarded to Madilynn Cook, second place and $150 went to Bethany Slovensky, and Brooklyn Fleming received $100 for third place.






Braymer High School

Emily Ramsey

Peyton Niemeier


Wellsville-Middletown High School

Bethany Slovensky (2nd)

Emily Holbert, Audrey McDowell


Leeton High School

Brooklyn Fleming (3rd)

Hayden Dillon


Forsyth High School

Madilynn Cook (1st)

Clint Gailey

South Central

Cuba High School

Marlee Jones

Katelynn Davalos, Rick Borgman


Doniphan High School

Carmella Pendergrass

Matthew Pendergrass, Liz Schroeder

Missouri is home to more than 26,000 FFA members.


“A large component of Missouri Forest Products Association is education, so partnering with Missouri FFA is a perfect fit for us,” said Brian Brookshire, executive director of MFPA. “It is a great opportunity for MFPA to reach young leaders across the state and allow them to learn about and present a speech on a topic that pertains to not only our industry but a topic that is important to everyone’s future. We were quite impressed with the finalists for this year’s contest. We’d like to officially thank the students who participated and congratulate the winners.”

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