Local students participate in Missouri FFA Public Speaking Academy

For the Linn County Leader

Forty FFA members from across the state, including several local FFA members, participated in the Missouri FFA Public Speaking Academy held June 8-10, on the University of Central Missouri campus sponsored by the University of Central Missouri’s Agriculture Department.

During the three-day event, FFA members used their resources to develop and refine an effective speech. Dr. Sam Cox, Terry Cunconan, Dr. Wendy Geiger, 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 their speech in competition at the conclusion of the academy. Awards were presented at a banquet held on June 10. 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. The academy was also sponsored by University of Central Missouri Communications Department and the Missouri FFA Association.

Beginning division results: 1st place Molly Sportman-Marceline FFA, 2nd place Abby LoesingWashington FFA, 3rd place Emma Whitlock-Milan FFA.

Intermediate division results: 1st place Mikaela Rojas-Linn County FFA, 2nd place Kate KottmanSalisbury FFA, 3rd place Emma Hankins-Republic FFA.

Advanced division results: 1st place Hannah Rice-Brunswick FFA, 2nd place Ava Williams-North Shelby FFA, 3rd place Rachael Cupp-Marceline FFA.

Assisting with the three-day conference were State FFA Officers –Emily Hoyt, State FFA Secretary, Meagan Forck, State Vice, Kraysen Leonard, State Vice President, and Riley Spurgeon, State Vice President. The Conference Coordinator for the academy is Marie Davis, Northeast District Supervisor for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education in Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.