I’m beginning to feel like an actual college student – a high school graduate with a career path and a good deal of knowledge about her university and such. It only took nearly two years.
This week (on Spring Break), I had the privilege of representing the William H. Darr School of Agriculture at a couple of events near my home town. Overall, it’s been quite the learning experience.
Event 1 – Eldon Career Center
I found out the day that break began for me that I would be heading north that evening so that I could be in Eldon by 10 Friday morning (which sounds like nothing if you’re used to getting up early, but I’m a college student – 9 is early, and 6 would have been way too early).
Together with one of my classmates and fellow Ag Ed majors, I gathered a bunch of recruitment materials (which turned out to be not nearly enough), and prepared for the day.
We arrived in our very official ag nerd garb (school of ag button-downs and khakis), and were very soon flooded with high schoolers. It was interesting, because we saw everyone – from freshmen to seniors. Much like me in high school, almost no one knew the right questions to ask (and unfortunately for me, I didn’t always have the answers to the questions they did ask). It was a lot of fun describing my school though, and it reminded me how incredibly proud I am to be a student there. More than that, it showed me how indescribably lucky I am to be at Missouri State University.
In high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, let alone where I wanted to do so. I always thought I would be at Mizzou, but the more contests I attended there, the more I realized it wasn’t really for me. The campus and classes were too big, and I didn’t want to be lost in a crowd. I loved the University of Central Missouri when it came to their music program, but the ag program there was way too small. Both universities were too close to home for me too – I love my family, but I didn’t want an excuse to drive home every weekend.
So basically, it was a lot like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. MSU was just right. And it is more so each day I spend there. I’ve learned so much, come to respect my professors as community leaders and people as well as academics, and found an awesome family of students who can line dance in the Student Activities room and still dominate an agricultural quiz bowl competition.
I was proud this week to wear my MSU Bears maroon and share my school spirit with high school students – I can only hope that they will find somewhere just as fun and challenging as I have to learn and grow.
Well, it looks like I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to write about my second event – it’s technically already tomorrow and I have plans that require sleep tonight.
Until then, don’t forget to be awesome and Farm Out Loud!
Oh State FFA Convention…. This coming week, hundreds (probably more like thousands) of high school students in blue corduroy jackets will converge on the Mizzou campus for an event they’ve been preparing for all year. Many will compete as state-qualifying teams and speakers in career development events (like Entomology, Dairy Foods, Meats, Soils, Floriculture, and other judging contests), and leadership events (speaking, Parliamentary Procedure, Knowledge, Sales, etc). Some will grace the stage as winners – of contests, awards, and degrees. Others will perform as talent entries or chorus members. This year’s leadership sessions will focus on this theme: Plant Goals, Harvest Success.
These two days of intense competition, inspiring speakers, leadership developments, and memories made are a celebration of agriculture in Missouri. These students are members of an organization that values and promotes our nation’s most vital industry – food and fiber production. Will all of them grow up to be farmers? Far from it. Many will go on to careers that are a far cry from a wheat field or a ranch – but even if their futures don’t become intimately linked with agriculture, they learn enough about the industry to speak up, vote smart, and spread the word – agriculture has a bright future, and we’re growing strong leaders for the winding road ahead.
This week, I’ll be spending most of my State FFA Convention in a room filled with computers and busy college students, typing away. It’s our job to record all of the awesome and exciting things that happen during convention to send to home chapters, newspapers and other media. The press room at convention will be hectic – but I think it’ll be a lot of fun. After all, this is part of what I can see myself doing with my life – telling the stories of the people of agriculture (or buying tan pants and a blue blazer – if girls even do that – and taking my own group of high schoolers to state contest). Talk about exciting!