Agribusiness Management with an emphasis in marketing and finance
I have a placement SAE where I work at The Maries County Bank as a teller and marketing assistant. I also have a beef entrepreneurship SAE where I raise Hereford and black baldie crossbred cattle.
What motivated you to want to become a Missouri FFA officer?
When I started my FFA career, many great officers that I looked up to led the organization. In the winter of my freshman year of high school, I got to attend our district’s Greenhand Motivational Conference (GMC). For an activity, we wrote down goals to carry with us throughout our FFA career. One of my goals was to have three jackets on my wall: chapter, area and state. I knew from the moment GMC started that I wanted to lead and give back to this amazing organization and its members. I want to make that positive difference in the lives of students, and that is what I strive for every day.
Who is your hero and why?
My heroes are my Grandpa and Grandma Shanks. These are two of the hardest working people I have ever met. For almost 50 years, they operated Shanks Dairy Farm, teaching me the value of hard work and the importance of committing to agriculture. They showed me the beauty in the fruit of one’s labor. They instilled in me my passion and love for agriculture. Along with their passion for agriculture, they taught me the importance of family, friends and faith. They taught me to look at the bigger picture. These two inspiring role models pushed me every day to be who I am, to work hard and to never give up. I hope to pass along their lessons as I serve Missouri FFA.
What are your plans for the future?
In the future, I plan to finish college with my master’s degree in agribusiness management. Upon completing my degree, I plan to return to my hometown and bring back the knowledge I have obtained to help my community continue to grow and prosper. I want to work as an agricultural lending officer to help industry members meet their financial goals and needs. I also plan to continue to grow my cattle operation.
What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you?
One thing not many people know about me is that I am a first-generation beef farmer. My family owned and operated a dairy farm for years, and in January of 2019, we, unfortunately, had to shut down. That following March, I bought my first registered Hereford heifer. It has been a slow and steady journey, but I’m proud to be continuing to grow my herd by just putting my first two black baldie calves on the ground this past April.
Advice to FFA Members
If I could give any advice to members, it would be to take every opportunity you can. It might seem overwhelming or daunting at times. However, every experience you grow through will help develop you into whom you are meant to become. Just because you have never done something does not mean you cannot, or you should not. It is important to learn as much as you can. You can do anything you put your mind to, and the only thing stopping you is yourself.