Some of my fondest memories from high school stem from my time spent in the Marshfield FFA. From traveling to Mizzou for state competition, to wearing my best boots to the annual Barnwarming party, to joking around with Bill(Roberts) on every bus trip. All while remaining cautious of any soil pits or rouge Dr. Pepper bottles…
I’m almost certain I filled in the blank for ‘favorite color’ my freshman year of college as corn gold – it was a habit by then I suppose. When I think about it, the life lessons I was taught in the FFA helped mold me into the person I am.
I think I was hooked my first year of Ag Ed with Mr. Whittaker. “I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds.”
You may take a moment to read the FFA Creed in its entirety, but the very first phrase sums it up for me. I've always believed that actions speak volumes about one’s character. If you want something bad enough, you have to walk the walk – not just talk the talk. Inevitably, this is one of the biggest things I carry through life.
Whether it be bettering my personal relationships, checking off the books on my to-read list, furthering my professional career or expanding myself as an entrepreneur – it all comes down to leadership from myself and respect from others.
I can't expect to achieve these goals or gain respect from others without setting the example and doing the best that I'm able, working efficiently and thinking clearly.
Since my career has led me back to my hometown, I’ve been able to reconnect with people that I would’t otherwise see on a weekly or monthly basis. If you notice from A1, I recently spoke with my former teacher regarding the Winter Ozarks Ag Series.
The cancellation of the 97th Annual Diversified Ag Conference is devastating to many in the surrounding states. However, Whittaker still plays a large role in the facilitation of agriculture education through his role at the University of Missouri Webster County Extension Center. It’s no surprise that he’s playing a hand in creating a virtual alternative.
He was right on the money when he said that we can learn a lot from those who have experienced similar struggles or have common goals in mind. Just like the upcoming Winter Ozarks Ag Series, you can apply the lessons learned in Ag Ed to just about any aspect of your life, regardless of your niche.
I truly miss three things from high school – softball, the dip-able bosco cheese sticks and the Marshfield FFA. If you have time, flip through the FFA Week special section that comes out next week and see what the chapters from our surrounding area have been up to. I guarantee they’re having a blast and learning priceless life lessons.