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Missouri FFA members build off 2021 success.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

February 24, 2022

2 Min Read
hall lined with FFA awards
WORK HARD: Across Missouri, many high schools have a wall dedicated to hardware won by FFA members, serving as a testament to their work ethic. National FFA Week shines the spotlight on their successes.Mindy Ward

Welcome to FFA contest season. A time when FFA members, parents and advisors develop a different life rhythm, if you will — one where every minute counts, and rest is fleeting.

During this period, you may experience:

  • Sleeping in your clothes because the alarm clock goes off at 4 a.m.

  • Arriving at school before the janitor.

  • Arriving at school before sunrise.

  • Packing your car with clipboards, pens and official dress.

  • Packing your car with muck boots, chore coats and extra socks.

  • Calling mom for Subway because you’re out in a soil pit.

  • Staying at school later than the janitor.

  • Arriving at home after the sun goes down.

  • Walking to the barn with a flashlight to complete chores.

  • Waking up on Saturday morning to do it all again.


Honestly, looking back, I’m not sure how my kids did it. On top of FFA contest practices and events, they still had schoolwork, choir practice and basketball. That’s a lot to put on a young person. Some may say too much, actually. Well, I’m not one of those.

FFA contests taught my kids about agriculture and developed their leadership and communication skills. However, the season leading up to the contests taught them time management skills and how to set priorities. More importantly, it taught them to work — even when tired, even when sick, even when they simply didn’t feel like it. That is a trait that FFA members take into any school, college or career.

FFA infographic

The funny thing, most FFA members put in the work not solely for themselves, but for others. They have a team counting on them to show up. They have an advisor putting in extra time to see them succeed. They have parents who are going the extra mile to lessen their load. So, they muster up the strength and stamina, then add in a dash of fun to take full advantage of all the FFA contest season has to offer.

While 2021 was a great year for Missouri FFA members on the national stage, this year’s crop is not resting on their laurels. They are working hard in classrooms, meat lockers, beef farms, soil pits and tree groves to gain more knowledge and hone their skill.

This National FFA Week, let’s celebrate members, advisors and parents for the sacrifices they make to ensure the future of agriculture, our state, our nation and our world is left in the best hands possible — FFA kids.


About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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