What motivated you to want to become a Missouri FFA officer?
Growing up, running around on sidewalks and listening to the bliss of sirens and gunshots, agriculture was not an end goal. Agriculture wasn’t a consideration because I lacked the knowledge of where ham came from. Lafayette County opened my eyes to a soon to be passion. Once while I was giving a speech, one of the judges made a remark that resonated in my mind for weeks, “You should be a state officer. You have a great story.” I knew right then that I could use my story to motivate members to achieve the unthinkable. I could use these anecdotes in my tool belt to prove one does not have to have roots tied to agriculture to be an advocate for the cause. Times are changing and farmers are no longer the only ones on the frontier of this growing industry. Plant your seed wherever you belong.
Who is your hero and why?
My hero is my grandma. While she is too young to be called grandma, she likes to be known as Nana. Nana has always inspired me to be a first generation college student. She would spend hours working on multiplication with me in the car, in restaurants and even in the backyard. She encouraged my love for reading by taking me to my favorite store, Barnes and Noble, every time I asked. My Nana has been my right hand gal when it came to advice for school, plans for the future and even when it came to car shopping. I would not be who I am today if it wasn’t for her faith and encouragement she instilled in my mind from the time I was born.
What are your plans for the future?
As much as I hated school lunches and the loud buzz of the obnoxious bell, I will one day be walking those high school halls again. However, I will be there as a teacher, a mentor. I plan to attend Northwest Missouri State University In Maryville and major in Agriculture education with a minor in political science. I plan to be an ag teacher and FFA advisor.
Eventually, I will work my way into politics encouraging change for the betterment of the students that once sat in the seats I taught.
What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you?
When I was 7 years old, my Nana took me to Branson for the weekend. She booked a fancy dinner on a boat and the captain came to me and said, “Would you like to drive this boat?” Me being shy, said no, but my Nana believed in my ability to drive, (Side Note: I wrecked my car three times in the first three months of having my license) so I drove a river boat that had almost 100 people on board.
Advice to FFA Members
Do not think you are an outcast because you don’t wear camo overalls. On a more serious note, take advantage of opportunities FFA offers, and I encourage doing various research on other conferences your chapter typically doesn’t attend. Another thing I have taken away from my time in the blue jacket is that your roots can be transplanted wherever you are taken care of. So you do not need to have farmer skills or get your hands dirty to have a love for agriculture. Your ag class will become your second family.