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Ney Attends FFA District Officer Conference

Shannon NeyShannon Ney of the Russell FFA Chapter participated in the Kansas FFA District Officer Conference (DOC) held at Rock Springs Ranch in Junction City August 9 and 10. Ney serves as the Northwest District Sentinel.

The team-oriented theme "agpocalypse" encompassed the key elements of building yourself, building team and building others throughout the conference. Just as each of these ideas is necessary in any business or organization, district officers are expected to serve with these key themes in mind as they travel to their destination of impacting the lives of FFA members. Throughout the year, they will be serving FFA members across the state and building leadership skills that will make them capable, responsible citizens in life.

To kick the conference off, the district officers attended an informative session about the draft for the Water Vision in Kansas. Presenters Susan Metzger and Jordan Pieschl from the Kansas Water Office and Kansas Department of Agriculture led members in an interactive session to learn more about the status of water in Kansas and how the Water Vision will impact it. Sessions like these help members build their understanding of the agricultural issues directly impacting everyone.

The conference continued with an exciting session, Build You, which outlined the importance of knowing how to use your personal strengths to benefit a team. District officers were able to explore the contribution each officer can make and how to help each other navigate the year.

In the next session, Build Team, the district officers discovered the importance of setting measurable and attainable goals as well as communicating as a team. Officers were challenged to develop personal and team goals as well as a team mission statement to guide their year of service.

Inspiring words from national officer candidate, Emily Beneda of Wilson, and Associate Dean/Professor of K-State Agriculture Academic Programs, Dr. Don Boggs, further encouraged the officers in their endeavors. Later, the officers focused their energy in a training session specifically focusing on key skills that will enable them to produce great workshops. District officers were able to practice these skills and learn how to apply them in their own workshops through a rotational, hands-on experience.FFA NWD

FFA members know the importance of agriculture literacy. In a session led by national officer candidate Emily Beneda, district officer teams explored how to "agvocate" for the agricultural world around them. They practiced their skills by role playing different audiences and advocates.

The last session, Build Others, helped the officers remember the purpose of their year of service. This session put into perspective that small acts can have big impacts and that the officers can truly make a difference this year.

As the conference drew to a close, district officers enjoyed an ice cream social sponsored by the K-State College of Agriculture before heading home to implement the skills that they learned.

Pictured is the Northwest District Officer Team: (Left to Right) Taylor Green, State FFA President from Southeast of Saline; Megan Haresnape, District President from Smith Center; Allison Dix, District Vice President from Stockton; Landon Wingerson, District Secretary from Smith Center; Molly Maddy, District Treasurer from Norton; Jacob Brubaker, District Reporter from Cheylin; Shannon Ney, District Sentinel from Russell; and Matthew Brandt, District Advisor from Smith Center.

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