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January 15th, 2013 in News

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