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High School students from more than 58 counties descended on the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation (MOFB) Center in Jefferson City, Missouri, to learn about our political system during MOFB Youth Leadership Day April 7. With the exception of 2020, the event has been held for 28 years.
Governor Mike Parson spoke to the group before they headed to the Capitol. The governor commended the students, many wearing FFA jackets, for making the decision to participate. After a brief orientation in the morning, the students went to the State Capitol. Some groups were invited into the side galleries by their legislators to witness the proceedings. Other students visited with them in the hallways outside the chambers.
The students were welcomed back to the MOFB Center with lunch and comments from President Garrett Hawkins, a farmer from Appleton City, and MOFB’s two student ambassadors, Jacob Hall and Jessica Janorschke. Missouri Director of Agriculture also visited with the group, advising them that one doesn’t have to have a career in agriculture to make a difference in agriculture. She cited her own daughter, who left the farm to become a nurse.
Keynote speaker Rachel Kagay of Maysville talked to the students about overcoming their fears of failing. In asking, “what if I never find my purpose?” Kagay suggested finding your talents and passion for them. “There is where your potential lies,” she said. “Then ask for help. None of us can get where we are going on our own. We need each other’s support along the journey.”
Youth Leadership Day is sponsored by the MOFB Promotion and Education Program. Costs for the event are underwritten by county Farm Bureaus and the MOFB Foundation for Agriculture. Among the nearly 400 students attending were those from Sullivan County Lorna Rainey, Cale Miller, Landry Oaks, Payton Miller, Andrea Penderfraft, Grant Oaks and chaperon Stephanie Oaks.