3 Southwest students attend FFA Public Speaking Academy

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Southwest FFA students Maggie Patterson, left, Leland Colf and Hope Robbins recently participated in the Missouri FFA Public Speaking Academy at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. At the three-day event, the students learned how to research, write and present a speech in front of a panel of judges. Each student presented their speech in competition at the conclusion of the academy. The event was designed to help students develop organizational skills, use language effectively and increase confidence. Contributed photo

Three students from the Southwest FFA Chapter recently participated in the Missouri FFA Public Speaking Academy at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. For three days, the students learned how to research, write and present a speech in front of a panel of judges. Maggie Patterson and Hope Robbins participated in the intermediate category, while Leland Colf participated in the advanced category.

Sixty-one FFA members from across the state participated in the event, which was held June 6-9 on the university campus.

During the event, FFA members used the internet and other communication technology to develop and refine an effective speech. The Missouri FFA, along with Case IH, made it possible for FFA members to benefit from the professional staff at the university. Dr. Terry Cunconan, Dr. Wendy Geiger, Dr. Sam Cox and Dr. Nikki Freeman from the university's speech communication department conducted the three days of intense learning.

The academy was designed to help FFA members increase their confidence, develop organizational skills, use language effectively, analyze audiences and improve speaking skills by judging themselves honestly and critically, while keeping a positive attitude. Each student presented his or her speech in competition at the conclusion of the academy. Awards were presented at a banquet held at the Elliott Student Union on Thursday, June 8. The banquet included the presentation of certificates of completion to each of the participants, and recognition of the winners in each division.

The finalists in each division (Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced) were presented plaques and a State Public Speaking Pin from the Missouri FFA Association. Case IH was the primary sponsor for this yearís academy. The academy was also sponsored by Seitz Fundraising, Harmisonís Hometown Fundraising, University of Central Missouri Communications Department and UCMís Ag Club and the Missouri FFA Association. Assisting with the conference were State FFA Officers Dakota Allen, state vice president of the Fairfax FFA Chapter; Mariah Fox, state first vice president of the Trenton FFA Chapter; Chad Laxton, state vice president of the Miller FFA Chapter; and Isabel Legg, state vice president of the Perryville FFA Chapter.

Jessie Peterson served as an intern for the event. Conference Manager for the academy was Marie Davis, northeast district supervisor for agriculture, food and natural resources education in Missouriís Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Missouri FFA has 26,057 members representing 342 chapters, and the national organization has more than 649,000 members representing 7,859 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.