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Spring 2012

84th Annual Missouri FFA Convention Awards • Career Show • CDE’s • Workshops MEMBERS MEET IN COLUMBIA BY JOANN PIPKIN, EDITOR


areer Development Events. Workshops. Career Show. Awards. Friendships that last a lifetime. The 84th Missouri FFA Convention kicks off April 1920 in Columbia and more than 7,000 FFA members, parents and guests are expected to converge on Columbia for the organization’s premier state-wide event. The University of Missouri’s Hearnes Center will host the gathering. Headlining this year’s event will be Grant Baldwin, an engaging communicator and a leading expert at helping students prepare for life after high school. Baldwin is author of CONTINUED ON PAGE H Missouri’s 84th Annual State FFA Convention kicks off in Columbia April 19-20. More than 7,000 members and guests are expected to attend the event, to be held at University of Missouri’s Hearnes Center.

Table of Contents Page B The President’s Position

Page C Meet Your State FFA Staff

Page D

Page L

Sweet Springs’ Sweet Success

In Their Words

Page F

Page N

‘Eggceptional’ SAE

LEAD for Chapter Officers

Page K

Page O

Weathering Weather’s Woes

FFA Calendar



2011-2012 State FFA Officers Area Officer 1 Evan Grusenmeyer - 1st V.P. Smithville

2 Zach Grossman Tina-Avalon 3 Brady James - President Knox County 4 Cody Jones Fulton 5 Corey Hudson Silex 6 Kelsey Forqueran - Secretary Malta Bend 7 Kollen Chapman Osceola 8 Jill Blankenship Eldon 9 Samantha Whittaker Miller 10 Megan Mayfield Fair Grove 11 John Littlefield Diamond 12 Meagan Green Branson 13 Lane Howard Salem 14 Trina Stumpe Sullivan 15 Adam Birk Jackson 16 Sarah Davis Poplar Bluff 2

Jon Black - Past Pres. Chillicothe

Department of Elem. & Sec. Education P.O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102 Phone: (573) 751-3544. District Supervisors: Nancy Alford, Leon Busdieker, Oscar Carter, Keith Dietzschold, Lisa Evans & Steven Rogers Missouri FFA Today • Joann Pipkin, Editor 3674 S. State Hwy N • Republic, MO 65738 Email: Phone: (417) 732-8552




t was my senior year my goal was to make it to state on a contest team. In previous years I had tried—Knowledge, Entomology and Dairy Foods. I was competitive in these contests, but I never had that extra something to get me to state, to push me to that next level. So, as a senior, I decided that this was my year to make it on stage. I chose to try Entomology for a second time. Our team was filled by three of my closest friends, and we set the goal of making it onto that state convention stage. Our season started out strong; we were making flash cards, and studying. We were trying our best at the practice contests, always making sure to go back through every bug just to be sure we knew what it was. We kept practicing, but eventually the time had come for the district contest. This is where we would sink or swim. We had to be in at least the top 10 to make state level. We studied the whole way down to the contest, continuously quizzing each other. We got into our contest, tried our very hardest, and waited for the results to be posted. The second the rankings were hung on that wall we were there searching for our name, Knox County, at the top of that list. We looked down the results, going

through 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Not there. So we continued 6, 7, 8 and 9. Again, our name was not there. The 10th place was the last spot, the only other team that could make it to the state contest, and written next to 10, was not us. We didn’t achieve our goal. We were 11th. Even though we didn’t achieve our goal of making it into the state contest, we still tried hard. We gave it our all, and we did not let the fear of failing keep us from trying. In FFA and in life, we cannot let the fear of striking out keep us from stepping up to the plate. We have to push through, give it our all, and try our best. FFA members, today is the day that you step up to the plate by setting that goal that you think might be out of reach. Get rid of the doubt and swing for the fences.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in its programs or activities. Inquiries related to Department programs and to the location of Department services, activities, and facilities that are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities may be directed to the Jefferson State Office Building, Civil Rights Compliance (Title VI/Title IX/504/ADA/Age Act), 5th Floor, 205 Jefferson Street, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0480; telephone number 573-526-4757 or Relay Missouri (800) 735-2966.

DESE Ag Education Staff Get to Know ‘Em



OSCAR CARTER MO FFA EXEC. TREASURER Northeast District Supervisor

NANCY ALFORD Southeast District Supervisor South Central Distric Supv.

LISA EVANS Central District Supervisor YF/YFW Exec. Secretary

STEVEN ROGERS Southwest District Supervisor State Fair FFA Superintendent


HYMAX Academy for Outstanding High School Freshmen

n recognition and appreciation for former Missouri FFA Advisor Terry Heiman, the Missouri FFA Leadership Fund is starting a new leadership conference for Missouri FFA Greenhands. The HYMAX Academy, Helping Youth Maximize their Agricultural eXperiences, is designed for outstanding freshmen and will be held June 2224, 2012 at FFA Camp Rising Sun.  The conference mission is to prepare outstanding Greenhands for continued success in their FFA experiences, assist with career exploration, and provide training in agriculture advocacy.  A variety of workshops, hands-on experiences, industry presenters and tours will be part of the weekend at Camp Rising Sun. Conference participants will be nominated by their FFA Advisors and students will submit applications for the conference. HYMAX will be available to the top 100 students selected.


Seeds for Tomorrow Sweet Springs FFA Sows Seeds of Success



ith 70% of its student body enrolled in FFA and community support that has stood the test of time, Sweet Springs FFA has again propelled itself to be the top chapter in Missouri. And, to ‘top’ it off the chapter is also home of the 2011 National FFA Creed Speaking Contest winner, Heath Snider. Established in 1929, Sweet Springs has a rich history rooted in the FFA. The ag department’s walls are lined with plenty of plaques, photos and banners to commemorate decades of achievement. “We’ve never had an individual compete at the national level before so for Heath to win state and compete at nationals was a tremendous honor for our chapter,” explains Brent Niemeyer, one of the chapter’s two advisors. “Our kids and community took a lot of pride in that.”

Sweet Springs FFA members Cole Nowland and Austin Hemme work on a project during an agricultural education class. More than 70% of the school’s student body is enrolled in the FFA chapter. Sweet Springs has been the state’s top FFA chapter for four consecutive years.


“Heath’s work ethic helped to really separate him from his competitors,” Niemeyer says. “He’s also so sincere. It’s not just a performance to him; he means exactly what he says.” “(Winning the national contest) means I can accomplish more than I thought I could,” says Snider. The National FFA Creed Speaking Contest puts state-winning beginning FFA members in a dual to deliver and demonstrate their interpretation and self-expression of the FFA Creed. Contestants must also answer a round of questions. Niemeyer and fellow FFA advisor Kristen Fenner are adamant that the Sweet Springs FFA Chapter belongs to its members.

“Kids are getting farther removed from the farm,” Niemeyer says. “Our students have a lot of drive in FFA, but our number one goal in ag education is to stress the importance of agriculture. How we educate and what specifically we teach has changed to reflect the changing rural atmosphere.” With a mix of both traditional and non-traditional students enrolled in FFA, what is it that sets Sweet Springs apart from other chapters in Missouri? “Nothing would happen without the students coming up with ideas and following through with them,” Fenner explains, adding, “and community support is crucial.”

She says Sweet Springs FFA members want to be successful because they’ve seen their siblings or parents and grandparents be successful in the organization. “A lot of the students we have now are second and third generation members of the chapter,” Fenner says. “It hits home for them when they walk down the hall and see their dad or uncle or grandpa’s name on the wall.” Fenner says a chapter can’t be successful without having support from the inside out and outside in. Whether helping at community festivals and livestock shows, shoveling snow for the elderly

or gathering coats and shoes for the needy, Fenner says it’s important to involve the students in something ‘bigger than them.’ “We’re just trying to find ways to help our kids look at the bigger picture,” Fenner notes. “It’s not about you; it’s about what you can do for someone else.” The chapter organizes a coat and shoe drive to benefit the Missouri Alliance for Children and Families in Sedalia. More than 700 items were donated in 2009,

enough to fill the organization’s need through 2010. “We’re not just educating these students,” Fenner explains. “We’re sending little seeds out to educate the public.” Niemeyer concludes, “Regardless of whether our students are involved with agriculture or not in the future, my hope is that what they learn (through the FFA) will make them better citizens.”

6 Tips for Successful Public Speaking 1. Practice so much that you can say it in your sleep. There’s no replacement for this invaluable tool!

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2. Over long stretches of time between contests, don’t burn yourself out! Practice your speech once a week until it is “go-time”, then really put things into gear. 3. Whenever you can, deliver your speech to people who don’t coddle you and will give you their honest opinion. Criticism may sometimes be discouraging, but will always be helpful. Compile a list of critiques from each person until you find a pattern and then eliminate it (i.e. solve the problem). Repeat the process until you’re satisfied with the results. 4. Be religious and superstitious at the same time. Believe in yourself and of course little help from above, has never hurt. 5. Be confident every time you deliver your speech, but not arrogant. There is a fine line between the two, so know where the line is and never cross it. 6. If there is a holding room, don’t feel the need to socialize constantly with everyone you see. Use that time to continue preparing as it will steady your nerves and keep important information fresh in your mind. — Source: Heath Snider, Sweet Springs FFA, 2011 National FFA Creed Speaking Contest Winner


‘Eggceptional’ SAE Dustin Stanton’s Egg Business Wins National Award

SAE helps community BY BEVERLEY KREUL


hat does the University of Missouri, Isle of Capri Casino and a small town nursing home have in common? Eggs. These three outlets are just a small portion of the businesses, industries and organizations that order their eggs from Stanton Brothers Eggs owned by Dustin Stanton a member of the Centralia FFA Chapter. This freshman at the University of Missouri has owned, operated and grown his small chicken farm into a fully functional egg production business. “I have more than 30 outlets that I sell to on a weekly basis,” Stanton said. “I take the time to produce the eggs and transport and deliver them by myself all in the same week.” This type of dedication and hard work catapulted Stanton into winning a national proficiency award in agricultural sales. He currently runs an operation that is home to more than 8,500 laying hens and sells the eggs all over central Missouri and Kansas City. His customers include the Columbia Farmer’s Market, University of Missouri and Columbia College dining halls, Isle of Capri Casino and various nursing homes, bakeries, restaurants and grocery stores. In addition to running a business and tending to the day-to-day needs of his laying hens, Stanton

attends college where he is studying agribusiness management. Finding a way to balance full-time work and ownership of a business with college classes can be challenging for many students, but Stanton finds a way to find stability in his life. “Balancing college and work can be a tough issue,” Stanton admits. “Currently, I am commuting from home and live there and go to college two days a week as a full time student. I have a full block of the day, but after that I can come back home and focus on the business. “ After graduating, Stanton hopes to turn his supervised agricultural experience project into a life-long business. He hopes to use the knowledge he has gained through his experiences with his SAE project and his studies at the University of Missouri to continue his passion for Stanton Brothers Eggs. “I believe this business and the knowledge I have gained is very much a part of my future,” Stanton said. “I actually want to continue my SAE and make it my career. I plan on continuing to expand my business and growing it from where it is right now. I hope to get it to the point where I can make a family income off of it and that is what I am working toward at the moment.” The unique aspect of Stanton’s SAE project is proof that FFA members can participate regardless of their project. A proficiency in agricultural sales

Centralia FFA member Dustin Stanton won a National FFA Proficiency Award in agricultural sales. His egg business is home to more than 8,500 laying hens. Stanton markets eggs throughout central Missouri and in Kansas City.


is an opportunity for any FFA member to take his/ her entrepreneurship project and turn it into a fully functioning business. Stanton stood out from his competitors on the national level because of his ability to diversify his business and maintain a strong customer base. “With this proficiency area the biggest thing is to find a way to niche market your product,” Stanton said. “With sales you can always try to compete against the big competitors, which can be extremely difficult. But if you can find a market and work your way into it and help the customer and other people as well, it will be much easier and you will be much more successful.” Stanton credits much of his success to the community and the customers he has developed strong business relationships with over the past five years. “I have been able to start a project and find my

place in the community,” Stanton said. I have worked with this and gained the full support of my customers as well as accumulating other buyers and repeat customers and it has been great.” Yet, doing so is easier said than done. Stanton has faced many obstacles and discouragements along his path towards becoming a national proficiency winner. Still, despite the hard work it has taken to overcome these hurdles, Stanton hopes other FFA members will pursue their passions and goals. “The biggest message I have for FFA members is don’t give up,” Stanton said. “That’s a big thing. I started FFA as a freshman in high school and I had a couple of chickens. And, people laughed at that. Despite that, I didn’t give up. And, here I am now as a national proficiency winner, something very few people have the privilege of saying. It is all about believing in yourself and trying your hardest and setting goals and achieving them.”

is all social now. todays_farmer


84th Annual State FFA Convention Continued from Page A in 42 states through leadership conferences, conventions, school assemblies and other student events. In addition to speaking and inspiring students, Baldwin lives in Springfield with his wife and three daughters. Missouri FFA also welcomes National FFA Western Region Vice President Seth Pratt. Having discovered his

love of FFA when he attended the national FFA convention as a freshman in high school, Pratt has been involved in member drives and competitions. He has served as committee chairman, a chapter officer and Idaho FFA president. “Through these roles, I’ve met thousands of other FFA members, developed self-confidence, learned to communicate with others and realized the broad scope of agriculture on a national and CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

More than 7,000 FFA members and guests are expected to take part in this year’s convention. Career Development Events will take place April 19 and 20 at various locations in Columbia.

the book and curriculum “Reality Check” and is a popular youth motivational speaker. He has given hundreds of presentations and has spoken to over 250,000 people

Grant Baldwin, a leading expert at helping students prepare for life after high school, will headline this year’s state FFA convention.



well as Post Secondary Agriculture Organization, former State FFA President Samantha Warner and Mizzou Collegiate FFA. The annual FFA Career Show promises excitement for FFA members and guests alike. The Star State Farmer, State

Star in Agribusiness and State Star in Placement awards will be presented and more than 700 state FFA degree recipients will also be recognized during the convention.

Education that Works

National FFA Vice President Seth Pratt will be a featured speaker at this year’s Missouri FFA Convention. The Idaho FFA member will also conduct workshops for members on Thursday and Friday during convention.

global basis,” Pratt says. “As an FFA member, I strive every day to achieve my three personal goals, which are to influence others using my individual strengths and experiences, strengthen industry relationships and encourage agricultural youth into leadership roles.” A sophomore at the University of Idaho, Pratt is majoring in agricultural science, communication and leadership. He hopes to pursue a career in agribusiness before returning home to the family ranch. In addition to these special guest speakers, the annual convention will feature workshops for members conducted by Pratt as



an Since 1961

eligible college


Weathering Weather’s Woes Mark Famuliner’s SAE Steadfast Amid 2011 Flood

National Award is pay day BY BEVERLEY KREUL


eather is sometimes the most unpredictable element in nature. Tornadoes, hurricanes and flash floods all have devastating effects on anything in their path. However, Mark Famuliner of the Carollton FFA Chapter didn’t let weather stand in the way of his goal of winning a national proficiency award. Famuliner’s family has been farming in the Missouri River bottom for more than 75 years

and this high school senior works 25 acres of corn and more than 50 acres of soybeans north of the Missouri River. Only one levy separates Famuliner’s fields from the Missouri River. Due to heavy rainfall and reservoir releases upriver in 2011, the river breeched the levy and completely flooded his Supervised Agricultural Experience project. “The levy broke near our family farm and we lost all of our fields,” Famuliner said. “We were actually living on an island for about two months. We had to canoe in and out of our house just to get food.” Despite the obstacles Famuliner faced, he went on to win the National FFA Proficiency in Grain Production. Even further, he was the youngest competitor on the national level across the nearly 50 proficiency categories. Famuliner’s risk

Mark Famuliner’s SAE propelled him to win the National FFA Proficiency in Grain Production. The Carollton FFA member survived a flood in 2011. He farms just north of the Missouri River, where only one levee separates his fields from the waterway.


management plan is what set him apart from the other projects. “I had a lot of seed damage which basically destroyed my crops,” Famuliner said. “However, I was able to implement my risk management plan because of this. I dug drainage ditches and was able to put into practice a lot of the suggestions the USDA recommends.” Overcoming the adverse conditions of the year is an essential part of Famuliner’s character and dedication—both of which were necessary to actually participate in the competition. Famuliner said that competing on the national level for a proficiency award was a unique experience. All four finalists introduced their projects to the judges in the same room and then proceeded onto individual 15-minute interviews about their projects. After a week of waiting, all four finalists were led to the stage for the winner to be announced in front of 30,000 FFA members and live on RFD-TV. “At first you are thinking ‘oh it’s ok, it’s not that big of a deal’,” Famuliner says. “But as soon as you get closer to the stage and see the lights and the TV screens and people cheering, your nerves get higher and higher. They introduced us all and then they do like they do on game shows and wait way too long to announce the winner. They said my name and it was a huge relief.” As a winner of a national proficiency award, Famuliner is eligible to participate in the Costa

Rica International Travel Seminar. National winners are able to visit the island of Costa Rica and engage in international travel and international agriculture. “Being able to travel abroad at my age is just a huge opportunity,” Famuliner said. “I am eager to see what the small practices these less privileged people are using and I just hope I am able to take it all in and be able to understand agriculture on an international level. To take that knowledge back to my hometown and just to have that experience and knowledge is priceless.” In the future, Famuliner hopes to attend the University

of Missouri and study agricultural finance and business administration. He wants to become a financial consultant for farmers and ranchers in midMissouri and maybe start an agricultural service business. “I think the one thing people need help with the most is financial,” Famuliner said. “I hope to help people look at their finances and get them in order to better utilize their machinery and equipment and really just make sure their operation runs smoothly.” FFA has helped shape his future and Famuliner is a firm believer in the potential FFA

brings out in its members. His advice for future and current FFA members is to participate, whether that is taking part in contests or becoming an officer or incorporating FFA into every other part of life. “Through the FFA and through your hard work and tedious labor, you can actually reap the benefits of it,” Famuliner said. “It is an overall great experience. The more you put into FFA the more you will get out of it. If at first you don’t succeed with the FFA, try again. Don’t quit. Never quit. In the long run, you will never regret it.”

Feeding the Champions Visit the Purina Booth at the FFA Convention Career Show and try your hand at Checkerboard Jeopardy!


In Their Words Up close with your Missouri State FFA Officers

Zach Grossman


t was a chilly, wet March morning. It was the kind of morning that makes you want to stay in bed and not go to school. This particular day happened to be the depressing aftermath of my Tina-Avalon High School basketball team losing our sectional game the night before. I’d been a leader of a team that had achieved many accolades and awards over the season, and it had all just come to an end, and for seniors like me, forever. That morning also happened to be the day of my Area 2 state

officer interviews. I had already decided that I wanted to try for a state office, yet I was so tired, sore and sad that I contemplated not even going to school that day. As I lay in bed early that morning, I thought of my wonderful experiences as an FFA member. I realized all the opportunities that would be ahead if I could get that state office. I also knew that deep down, interviewing for the office would give me peace of mind, knowing that I gave it everything I had. As I crawled out of bed with a smile on my face, I knew I had a road full of opportunities just ahead.

Every single person who joins FFA has many opportunities, so set the bar high, and let one road lead to another!



ver since my freshman year of high school, the spring season has always been the busiest. From contests to speeches, banquets and sports, the spring can be very hectic. Although it can be frantic, this season is also exciting with summer approaching. That means you have to stay extra-focused on the tasks at hand. During spring of my junior year, contest time was upon me. My agriculture class that year was especially small and we decided as a class to try the parliamentary procedure career development event. Not knowing anything about the contest, we CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE were determined to TAKE A CHANCE! Another advisor was kind enough to help us with preparing, to make our team stronger. I was chosen as chair of the team, which at the time was really scary. Still, when an opportunity presents itself, you have to take the chance. After working harder than ever for three months we advanced to state competition. When our team started this contest, our goal was to make it to state convention for competition. When I look around the district, state and national levels I see FFA members Taking Chances and Making Opportunities! Missouri FFA members, set your goals and have fun while working to achieve them. I encourage you all to TAKE CHANCES AND MAKE OPPORTUNITIES!



remember as I freshman in high school, it was a struggle to fit in. It seemed like everyone had a place, a home where they belonged, and I longed for a place to call my own. I was shy, timid and awkward that year just searching for acceptance. That year my Ag class was given an assignment to memorize and present the FFA Creed to the class. In all reality, I wasn’t too thrilled about the assignment. I feared that my classmates would judge me and I was scared to feel vulnerable. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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LEAD for Chapter Officers


hapter officers and advisors will come together May 29-June 1 as the LEAD Conference kicks off at four locations across the state. Sponsored by the FFA Leadership Fund the Learn, Educate, Advance Develop conference brings officers and their advisors together as they start off a new year as a new officer team. The teams will set goals, officer codes of conduct/expectations, develop a program of activities and calendar of activities, and explore how to work with the different personalities on their team. Sessions will be held at College of the Ozarks, Shelbina, Springfield, Trenton, Rolla, Sedalia and Cape Girardeau. Contact your chapter advisor for more information.


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Despite my fears, I was the first Greenhand to say the entire FFA Creed, memorized, to the class. At the time I just wanted to get the assignment over with, but after hearing the applause of the class and my advisor’s encouraging words, I wanted to say the Creed 20 more times. At that moment, I felt what I had longed for—acceptance. Looking back, I realize that all the students in that Ag class had the same fears that I did. In addition, I realized acceptance is something for which we all strive. So FFA members, do not let your fears hold you back from what you want to achieve. Remember, in order to feel accepted you must feel comfortable in being yourself.

Explore Our Majors! Agribusiness Management Agricultural Economics Agricultural Education Agricultural Systems Management Agriculture Animal Sciences Biochemistry Fisheries and Wildlife Food Science and Nutrition Forestry Hospitality Management Parks, Recreation and Tourism Plant Sciences Science and Ag Journalism Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences

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FFA Calendar Missouri FFA is on the Move




1 MU Interscholastic Events CDE & Orscheln Scholarship Apps. DUE

MSU Horse Clinic—Springfield

3 College of the Ozarks FFA Workshop Point Lookout


American Degree Applications DUE

7 Mizzou Ag Ed Society Leadership Contests Columbia

1 Market Steer DNA validation DUE for American Royal

8 MU Southwest Center CDE Workshop Mount Vernon


10 Mo. Youth Livestock Grading/Juding Contest Columbia 19 Crowder Ag Sales & Speaking Contests Neosho 22

NCMC Ag Club Contests—Trenton


Crowder College Aggie Day—Neosho

26 Northeast District FFA/Ag Sales CDE’s Monroe City

LEAD Conference Registration DUE

4 Mizzou Ag Ed Society Invitational Agriscience Fair—Columbia 4-5

Cabool Farm Fest/Cattle Working—Cabool

4-7/13 State FFA Camp Rising Sun—Kaiser 15

Public Speaking Academy Registration DUE


Swine DNA Sample Card DUE to State Fair

29-6/1 LEAD Conference for Chapter Officers



Southeast District Horse CDE’s—Advance


Teacher & Student Agri Science Apps. DUE


Southeast District Ag CDE’s—Cape Girardeau


Missouri Agribusiness Academy Tour —St. Louis


South Central District CDE’s—Rolla


Public Speaking Academy—UCM

31 Southeast District Ag & FFA CDE’s CTCC, Cape Girardeau 31 Southwest District Speaking CDE’s & Ag Sales MSU, Springfield

april 2-3 Southwest District Ag CDE’s—MSU Springfield 3-4

Northwest District Ag CDE’s—Maryville


Central District Ag CDE’s—UCM, Warrensburg


South Central District CDE’s—Rolla


Northwest District FFA CDE’s—Maryville


Northeast District Ag CDE’s—Columbia

5 Central District FFA & Ag Sales CDE’s—UCM Warrensburg 19-20

State FFA Convention—Convention


State FFA Alumni Convention—Columbia


8-9 Area Officer Institute—Camp Rising Sun Lake of the Ozarks~Kaiser, Mo.


Livestock Entries DUE for State Fair

15 Agri-Entrepreneurship Applications DUE to National FFA 20

The Leadership Adventure Registration DUE


Mo. ACTE Conference—Springfield

27-8/5 Ozark Empire Fair—Springfield


Missouri FFA Today welcomes your comments, chapter notes and story ideas. Send them to us at: or call: 417.732.8552


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MO FFA Today - Spring 2012 Issue  
MO FFA Today - Spring 2012 Issue  

Spring 2012 Issue