Agricultural Education Communication and Leadership
My SAE is rather unique and diverse. The first part of my SAE is beef cattle production. I work on my family’s beef cattle operation where I assist in making management decisions, breeding cows by artificial insemination and working cattle, and other traditional farm work. I also have my own herd of registered and commercial beef cattle and show cattle at the county, district and state levels. Additionally, I work at our family business, Tri-Lakes Animal Clinic, where I have the opportunity to help with large and small animal appointments. In September 2017, I started writing for several local newspapers to advocate for the agricultural industry. In April 2018, I expanded my advocacy program by creating a Facebook page. Both platforms are called, Youth and Agriculture, the Right Combination and allow me to communicate with two different generations. The final part of my SAE is agricultural education. I served as the Agricultural Education on the Move educator at Weaubleau Elementary where I taught fourth graders about the importance of agriculture in their daily lives.
What motivated you to want to become a Missouri FFA officer?
As a Greenhand FFA member, one of the first things I learned was the FFA Motto. To me, the line that stuck out the most was the last — “Living to Serve.” Since then, I have modeled my FFA experience by those three words. I believe that I have truly lived to serve others over the past four years in the blue corduroy jacket. Because of this, I have been inspired to continue serving Missouri FFA and give back to the organization that has given so much to me. Additionally, I attended Missouri FFA Camp Rising Sun going into my sophomore year of high school. While at camp, I was impacted by state officers. The state officers that week made me feel welcome and wanted within the state association. I was positively impacted by the state officers and have a desire to ensure that members all across our state feel welcome and wanted because every member is valuable to the organization. To this day, I am still positively impacted by the state officers that I met at camp. I wanted the opportunity to engage and interact with members to build those connections and inspire FFA members just like I was inspired. The Missouri FFA Association has become my home, and I want the ability to make it home to many more.
Who is your hero and why?
Like many others, my hero is my father. Not only is my dad my hero, but he is also a hero to the many clients that walk through the doors at our family business, Tri-Lakes Animal Clinic. My dad has shown me the importance of hard work and dedication. He has instilled a desire in me to do my best all the time. Throughout my lifetime, my father has made several sacrifices to ensure his children’s success. He has taught me the importance of humility and kindness. My dad’s passion for the agricultural industry and rural community stands as a firm foundation for my love and desire to give back. I will forever be grateful for the many life lessons he has taught me.
What are your plans for the future?
I will be attending the University of Missouri in Columbia to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership with minors in Agricultural Economics and Animal Science. I would like to attend law school to specialize in agricultural law or work as a communications specialist for an agricultural company. Eventually, I would like to return home to the family farm to continue raising beef cattle. In the future, I plan to remain in the agricultural industry and volunteer within my local community. As an FFA member, I have learned the importance of rural communities and have a desire to ensure the development of the future. My agricultural communication and education SAEs impacted my decision to want to continue my journey in communications. I want the ability to tell the story of agriculture and be a voice for the industry that feeds, clothes, and fuels the world.
What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you?
One fun fact is that I have not drunk a carbonated beverage of any kind in over four years. Something even more interesting is that I stopped drinking sweet tea in the beginning of 2020. Yes, in case you were wondering, I am the polar opposite of my Milo’s Sweet Tea loving team. Let’s see if I can make it through my year of service without a soda or sweet tea!
Advice to FFA Members
As Dr. Suess once said, “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive that is you-er than you!” Missouri FFA members, as you go throughout your year, stay true to yourself. Be yourself because each one of us brings something different, yet crucial to the table. We are all pieces of a much larger puzzle. It’s okay to step outside of your comfort zone and be true to yourself. With or without the corduroy jacket, you are who you are. Go throughout your year and be true to yourself as your authenticity will empower you to do more and be more. Take this time to show Missouri FFA who you truly are because you are the ones that have the greatest impact on our state association. FFA members, it’s simple—be YOU because it’s who YOU are!