One of Mackenzie's best FFA experiences was attending State Leadership Conference for Chapter Leaders this past summer. Mackenzie said," I was the only one from my chapter that went. I'll admit, I was very nervous to be on my own but, meeting new people, and learning how they grew up was a great learning experience. SLCCL also taught me how to be a better chapter leader and how to better our community. " Another one of Mackenzie's favorite FFA experiences is during FFA week when her school has a petting zoo. "I love bringing in my livestock and seeing the faces of kids light up from a joy of a animal, and asking so many questions about it. The bond between a animal and a human is the most greatest thing I have seen," Mackenzie said.
Lafe is a member of the Plainview-Elgin-Millville FFA. Lafe's passion for the FFA, as well as his desire to help others, motivates him to go to the Washington Leadership Conference. "I want to gain the skills and knowledge taught at this conference to bring back and use them in my home and community to help others."
Lafe's best FFA experience was the time when he went to the State Greenhand Leadership Conference. He says, "At this conference, we were taught about what the FFA has to offer to students like us and what we can do to become more involved in our communities and the state as well as becoming better leaders. What made this conference so special was that it was the first time I truly knew I wanted to be active in the FFA. The officers facilitating the camp inspired myself and many others, as a result of this camp I am committed to making a positive difference in this world and in my communities. That conference is responsible for me wanting to get more involved with the FFA and work to help others."
Laura Church is a member of the Randolph FFA Chapter advised by Mr. Ed Terry. While wearing the blue corduroy Laura was impacted by the Minnesota FFA in numerous ways. She states, "My FFA advisor always asks us students how to spell FFA. The answer is not simply "F-F-A" but instead "opportunities". Throughout my years in the FFA, I have been given countless opportunities that have shaped me into the person I am today, and that is all thanks to the MN FFA Foundation. Between serving as a region officer to participating in a national CDE contest to traveling to leadership conferences each summer, the Foundation has always been there to support us members. Last year, I received a scholarship from the Foundation which made it easier for me to attend the Washington Leadership Conference. This was an amazing experience and helped me become a service leader in my community, and I am forever grateful for that opportunity."
During the Minnesota FFA Convention Laura served as a Minnesota FFA Foundation Ambassador. She enjoyed this experience because, "We had the chance to connect with industry professionals, sponsors, and supporters to share with them our FFA story.
It was a great opportunity to "put a face to the organization"."
This fall Laura will be a freshman at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities pursuing a degree in Agricultural Communications and Marketing with a minor in Animal Science.
Mallory Carlson knows personally her life has been changed because of the impact of FFA. Carlson has experienced more than five years of agriculture instruction at Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, and is currently a freshman at South Dakota State University pursing a double major in animal science and agricultural communications.
“If it wasn’t for FFA, I truthfully don’t think I would be the same person I am today because of all the experiences, skills and responsibilities I have gained,” states Carlson. “Its had a huge impact on my life.”
Carlson started her own cattle herd in 7th grade when she bought two heifer calves from her father. “This is when my parents and I felt I knew enough skills to make decisions and be responsible for my own animals.”
Building a herd initially does not generate income. To sustain her project and take care of the cattle, she did daily chores on the family farm, configured feed rations, managed records on animals for breed registration, and helped with sire selections.
“Growing up on a farm and developing my own herd helped me decide to major in animal science,” explains Carlson. “But FFA inspired my interest in agricultural communications because of the Career Development Events and officer positions I held through high school.”
The impact of FFA and ag education is significant on young people. Just ask Mallory.
A professor at Iowa State knows his life was changed because of FFA. That’s why for 14 years, Dr. Curt Youngs has donated to the Minnesota FFA Foundation. He is the sponsor of the Novice Parliamentary Procedure CDE, the Sheep Proficiency, and donates funds to support the State Greenhand Leadership Conference.
"FFA changed my life. As the youngest of three brothers growing up in Minnesota, I felt I was always in their shadow," explains Dr. Curt Youngs, an animal science professor at Iowa State University.
“From learning the creed to participating in soils judging and farm business management contests to having my own Supervised Agricultural Enterprise; FFA gave me the chance to grow as a student, as a person and as a leader.”
Through his contributions to the Minnesota FFA Foundation, Youngs hopes to spark excitement and passion in the youngest of FFA members. According to Youngs, “I want them to experience the 'FFA Adventure' that will transform their lives!"
Thank you Dr. Curt Youngs! Your support is having an impact.
"I feel so blessed to have been involved in FFA. FFA has provided me with opportunities to learn about agriculture, create life-long friendships, and grow as a leader. I wanted to give back through the Minnesota FFA Foundation because every time I put on my bluejacket I am reminded of all that I have accomplished and all that I will accomplish in the future. I hope that I can help other FFA members feel the same way by giving them the opportunity to have their own jacket as well."
-Harley Braun, Sleepy Eye FFA Member
"Becoming a member of the FFA was one of the best decisions I ever made growing up in southwest Wisconsin. The foundational skills that I learned in leadership have served me well in my career at the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service. I look forward to giving back to the FFA as this organization can and will make a difference in people’s lives."