More than 30 Cole County R-1 Schools students attended the area Greenhand Motivational Conference Jan. 8 at Lincoln University.

Dressed in the signature dark blue, corduroy jackets, the Russellville greenhands laughed and cheered alongside more than 400 first-year FFA members from the state’s central district.

“We want them to get involved and the best way is to bring them to something like this,” said Advisor Alicia LePage.

Some of the lessons learned were leadership, teamwork and to be one’s self.

“Having leadership skills can help lead other people in a positive and confident direction,” Logan Thompson said. “Having teamwork skills can benefit everyone in that group. From the skills I learned, it motivated me to work harder in FFA and compete in livestock judging.”

Each student took home a piece of the conference special to them.

Bridge Brennecke said she also learned “to be ready for any occasion life brings to me.”

Nicholas Cain discovered he wants to become the historian for his chapter.

And Bailey Martin looks forward to further competitions and travel experiences through FFA.

A unanimous fond memory was the spoof play created and performed by the Missouri FFA State Officers. Among them was Katie Gibson, a former Nichols Career Center chapter officer.

A freshman at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Gibson will speak to each central district chapter this spring.

“FFA made a huge impact on my life,” Gibson said. “We’re growing future leaders and I wouldn’t want to spend my time anywhere else; this is an amazing opportunity.”

Traditionally, the skit is the most memorable from the greenhand conferences, she said.

“It’s a great time for freshmen to see opportunities and have a laugh.”

This greenhand motivational conference will be replicated across the state. It is among the first larger FFA events open to the first-year FFA members.

“FFA gets kids excited about careers in agriculture and developing leadership skills,” said Leon Busdieker, state FFA advisor. “This is the first of our leadership continuum.” undefined


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