It was a busy day for 425 high school students and their chaperons who were involved in the Missouri Farm Bureau Youth Leadership Day April 14. For 22 years, this event has brought students and their legislators together at the State Capitol. Youth Leadership Day is sponsored by the Missouri Farm Bureau Promotion and Education.
Students visited when both House and Senate chambers were in session. Some groups chatted with their senators and representatives in hallways just outside the legislative chambers. Others were introduced from the House and Senate floors. In many ways, the visitors found out how hectic and important the business of lawmaking can be. By the bus load, the group returned to Missouri Farm Bureau headquarters for lunch and a MFB welcome by Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst. They also heard from University of Missouri students and Farm Bureau Ambassadors Austin Stanton, of Centralia and Nora Faris, of Concordia, before a special talk by featured speaker Samantha Warner.
Warner is Instructor of Ag Communications at Missouri State University and this fall will assume the role of student when she returns to Oklahoma State University to complete her Doctorate. She grew up on a family row crop and beef cattle farm near Archie, Missouri.
While her brother continued to farm, Warner took another path with connections to agriculture. In 2009-2010 she was Missouri FFA state president. That, and an internship at Missouri Farm Bureau, helped her decide her career.
She told students almost everything is connected to what she calls Team Agriculture. “There are so many different options in agriculture, so don’t discount those careers that are not directly connected,” Warner said. “Follow your passion, find your place. Find a place on the Agriculture Team that fits your passion.”
Costs for the school trip are underwritten by county Farm Bureaus and the MFB Foundation for Agriculture.