What motivated you to want to become a Missouri FFA officer?
What motivated me to want to become a Missouri FFA Officer was the fact that I want to give back to the organization that has given me so much. FFA truly has been a pivotal organization for me. From CDEs to LDEs to raising and showing livestock, FFA has further developed my leadership abilities, communication skills, and so much more in four short years. For that, I am forever grateful, and I want to help current FFA members find their niche within FFA so their experience can be as life-altering as mine was. Another aspect that motivated me to want to become a Missouri FFA Officer is the simple fact that agriculture is still widely misunderstood. Throughout a state officer’s journey, they are allowed a platform to advocate for the industry we all hold close to our hearts—agriculture!
Who is your hero and why?
Over the past 18 years of my life, many things have changed, including my friends, style, ideas and interests. In an ever-changing world, there is one thing that remains consistent: my family. As the old saying goes, “blood is thicker than water.” To me, my family really does mean everything. My family has shaped me into who I am today. There has never once been a moment in my life where my family was not there when I needed them. My family means the world to me.
This is why I would classify my mom as my hero. She is the person I go to for everything, and I mean everything. My mom is honest, supportive and full of compassion. She has taught me many lessons about life. My mother refused to tell me job well done when I indeed did not do my best. I learned how to graciously accept what I had earned. She taught me the importance of enjoying the journey regardless of the outcome. She taught me the proper way to identify and use cues from others but still think as an independent individual. Due to all of this, I take failure in stride and now know some of the most valuable lessons I will learn come from not winning. True success comes from hard work and dedication.
What are your plans for the future?
My plan to achieve my goal of working in pediatrics is to start by earning a degree in biochemistry from the University of Missouri. Then I plan to apply for medical school in Missouri. Following, I will spend three to eight years of my professional career as an intern and resident in the pediatrics field. I then plan to return to rural America to provide healthcare for youth. The main reason I want to provide healthcare for rural youth is that almost one million children in the U.S. live in areas, often rural, where there is no local primary care physician. I want to help bridge this gap. I believe I can maximize my capacity to help through the study and practice of medicine. After I have established myself in my career, I would like to start a family and live on a family farm. Along with that, I would love the privilege to pass down my passion and enthusiasm I have for showing livestock, 4-H and FFA, and the great state of Missouri by encouraging my children to participate in what the agriculture industry has to offer.
What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you?
After graduating high school, I can say that in my lifetime, I never received a tardy slip in school: not elementary, not middle school, not high school. I know my inner nerd is showing, but it was a goal I set for myself at a rather young age. I have always been taught on time is late and early is on time. A little advice for everyone—be punctual!
Advice to FFA Members
In a world of deep divide, whether you are talking politics, race, religion, culture, the #metoo or countless others movements, I believe we are all missing a great point. We are all human beings that put our pants on one leg at a time. No one story is better or more important than another. What separates us is the slight edge, and the small steps we take each day to move forward. You see, any one of us have the opportunity to start a movement, but not everyone is willing to put in the work. So just remember, we have the responsibility to do better, to do more. You have a story, and you are important. We can talk about things, ideas, and differences, but the question still remains: what are we going to do? FFA members, my advice to you is to answer this question to meet your individualized circumstances and change the world one step at a time.