Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

FFA is a way of life

 

Courtesy Photo

A Kimball FFA team following a competition earlier this school year. Pictured from left, front row, Kayla Bizelli, Hannah Marks, Lacey Klinkhammer, Madison Wynne, Jazlyn Harroun, Sheridan Magninie and Tristen Cook. Back row, from left, Heidi Clark, Cynthia Wallace, Aroon Flores, Luis Portillo, Jake Jenkins, and Greg Wilke.

As Chapter president of the Kimball FFA, senior Monica Wasielewski can't say enough about the leadership organization.

"You get out of it what you put into it," she said.

Her parents agree and they said that her devotion to the program shows in a myriad of ways. She is a stronger leader, more independent, increasingly responsible and she is comfortable speaking in public.

"That is Monica's life," mom Brandie said.

Monica has participated in FFA since she was a freshman, competing in land judging, livestock judging, parliamentary procedure, and range judging to name a few.

She served as chapter secretary her sophomore year, moved up to vice-president as a junior and was voted president this year.

Monica began building her leadership skills her freshman year and she has been the chapter's high-point winner from the beginning.

"You have to be involved though. You can't be in it and not stay active," she said. "It has taught me a lot about who I am because you can be yourself. FFA has taught me a lot about responsibility and dedication."

Courtesy Photo

The 2015-16 Kimball FFA Board presides over the Greenhand Ceremony, welcoming all incoming FFA initiates. Pictured, from left, are advisor Sally Wheeler, Joel Evertson, Kailey Dickerson, Monica Wasielewski, Connor Moore, Arica McCloud and Ben Tussing.

She has traveled to Kentucky for National FFA Convention and to Washington D.C. for a leadership conference, and she is currently working on her state degree.

"It teaches them so many things, and not just ag," Brandie said. "She placed first in districts and third in state livestock judging last year."

Though their daughter is independent and has gained and strengthened her individual skills, her parents added that she is very much a team player.

"They learn group participation," Brandie said. "She can go into an adult setting and function. She can talk like an adult and act like an adult. And it is not just her, I have seen a lot of FFA kids be able to do that. I think it's an awesome program, I'm not going to lie."

FFA has had such an impact that Wasielewski has decided to go into agriculture education.

"My four years have led up to what I want my future career to be. It gave me a perspective of what it is like and I have learned how to be a very powerful leader." she said.

 

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