Pork Production Placement. I work on my family’s farm raising and breeding a small herd of crossbred spot pigs. I use artificial insemination to breed my pigs. I then raise half of the piglets to sell to 4-H and FFA members for show pigs, and the other half I raise to be sold as pork to local consumers.
What motivated you to want to become a Missouri FFA officer?
If you were to take a look at the inside of my FFA jacket you would find my Greenhand Motivational Conference (GMC) paper with “state office” listed at the top of my long term goals. While attending GMC, I watched the state officers interact with Greenhands, push members to be themselves, share their passion and stories to inspire others in the organization to reach new heights as leaders, and how to advocate for agriculture. Growing with these people gave me the opportunity to see them as an area officer at barnwarmings, banquets, and leadership workshops, every event I got to see how much they had changed from the last. This is what truly made me want to serve FFA for one more year and become a Missouri FFA Officer.
Who is your hero and why?
My hero was an officer in my local 4-H club when I first joined. Even though he was several years older than me, Zachary Parsons always treated me and everyone else in the club as an equal, and as an important person in his life. As we grew closer through exhibiting livestock and attending other 4-H activities, he taught me about sportsmanship, selflessness, and acceptance of myself and others. Going into my second year of 4-H, Zach encouraged me to run for office and start public speaking. Thanks to his encouragement and training he provided me without realizing, I was able to serve as the vice president of our club with Zach as our president. This was the spark that ignited my passion for advocating for what I am passionate about and developing as a leader. Zach pushed me to step out of my comfort zone that year up until the day he passed away. Zach is my hero that makes me strive to be one for others.
What are your plans for the future?
My future plans include studying agribusiness at State Fair Community College and filling up my elective classes with animal science courses to one day start my own larger scale hog breeding business. This operation will include breeding, raising and selling show pigs and genetics. I also plan to incorporate summer internships and visits for 4-H and FFA members and their chapters.
What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you?
My eyes are asymmetrical, a trait that is only noticeable after prolonged eye contact. The iris of my right eye is not a perfect circle. Some of the brown color from my iris sticks out into the sclera, or the white part of the eye.
Advice to FFA Members
Like many others, I struggled to be myself for many years, and I always seemed to look into the past and second guess the actions of my past self. However, if FFA and the family it provided has taught me anything it’s this: Every single event you’ve attended, every choice you’ve made, and every person you’ve met has led you to where you are now. So be who you are, and live in the moment! Your time in this organization will fly by, but by being true to yourself and living in the moment, you will find the best version of yourself and gain amazing skills and stories to last a lifetime.