My SAE is Swine Production Placement. In my SAE, I work alongside my family on our commercial hog and row crop farm. My SAE includes daily checks of hogs, maintenance of the buildings and unloading and loading hogs into trucks.
What motivated you to want to become a Missouri FFA officer?
My motivation to become a Missouri State FFA Officer is to find members’ voices and use my voice. As a kid on the Autism Spectrum, using my voice was not always the easiest for me, especially in elementary school. I struggled to communicate and turn my thoughts into words. I spent years in speech, occupational and physical therapy. While I had learned to use my voice somewhat, it still wasn’t anything spectacular. During my freshman year, I was chosen to be our chapter Creed speaker. I spent hours reciting the Creed in front of my mirror working on my mannerisms and body language. I knew from that point I wanted to help those members who struggle with their voice and pay back the organization that gave me a voice of my own.
Who is your hero and why?
My hero is my mom. My mom has been my greatest supporter all throughout my life. She worked with me daily to overcome the barriers that being on the Autism Spectrum brought to me alongside making positive changes in our community. To this day, she still is involved and makes those daily sacrifices for our family. I hope someday that I’m able to become as kind, compassionate and affect my community just like my mom.
What are your plans for the future?
My plan for the future is to attend the University of Missouri-Columbia Honors College with a major in Biochemistry. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I hope to attend grad school for ag research and continue ag research as a career.
What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you?
While the State Officer team has gotten to learn this, not a lot of other people know that I play the ukulele! I had wanted one ever since freshman year of high school, but I finally was able to get it during my junior year! Anna Milazzo and I hope to perform the first state officer ukulele duet during this year. (Don’t tell Anna this, but I think that I’m the better ukulele player.)
Advice to FFA Members
Strive not for PERFECTION, but for PROGRESS. We tend to worry so much about perfection: the perfect test score, the perfect image, the perfect senior year. Nobody is perfect, and if we only look at what we accomplish next to perfection, we’ll never see or appreciate the progress we make. Shoot for the stars, but make sure that you can appreciate and learn from every inch you get closer to your goals.