BROOKINGS, SD — In the world where we are so connected, we can also be very disconnected from what truly sustains us. The average consumer rarely considers the vital role that farmers and ranchers play in their communities. Before a thick, juicy steak or fresh vegetables make it to your plate, there are many steps and processes that take place before it gets there.
Passion comes easily for most farmers and ranchers. Their roles in the world are more than just a job, it’s a way of life they love, rooted in a deep pride in their work and a common goal shared by all involved in agriculture: to provide to the world of quality food, fuel, feed and fiber.
One of the aims and objectives of the FFA is to raise awareness of the global and technological importance of the role that agriculture plays in each of our lives.
Matea Gordon, senior of the Sturgis FFA Chapter, shares this passion. She has shown great enthusiasm in educating her community and state about the vital industry. She has written over 25 articles for her high school newspaper on FFA and agriculture-related news. As a result of her efforts, she received this year’s Agricultural Communication Skills Award from the State of South Dakota FFA.
“I personally really like having a passion for agriculture and I really appreciate FFA because of the opportunities it provides for young people like me and because you can meet young people from all over the state who share the same passion. and have the same ideals and values. I think it is so impactful to teach people about agriculture given that it is found in all aspects of our daily lives and plays such an important role in our world,” said she declared.
The Agriculture Communication Career Development Event challenges students to effectively communicate and advocate to consumers about the critical importance of the industry and share the FFA story. Students develop a written media plan using a variety of media including broadcast, print, social media, press releases, blogs, flyers, and brochures. Students learn a variety of communication, collaboration, creativity, technical, and presentation skills.
Next year, Gordon will attend South Dakota State University, majoring in agriculture.
“I really like math and finance, but also marketing and graphic design,” she said. “I thought it was the best degree to encompass all those interests.”
During his FFA career, Gordon has also twice won the National FFA Agriscience Fair for his projects – “What Were People’s Perceptions of Prepressed Fire as a Land Management Tool” and “People’s Perceptions Towards Hemp as Being Legalized as an Agricultural Crop”. The science fair competition uses scientific principles and emerging technologies to solve complex problems related to agriculture, food and natural resources.
The future college freshman additionally breeds and shows Boer meat goats that win this year’s state proficiency award, serves as vice president of the Sturgis FFA chapter, and will also receive her graduate degree. State FFA and will compete in this year’s State Meats judging. FFA Congress.
During the evaluation of meats, “we identify different cuts of meat, rank them, rank them from what we think is the best cut of meat to the worst,” Gordon said.
She encourages all secondary school students to take agricultural training and join the FFA.
“You’ll definitely meet new friends and learn lifelong skills that I know I’ve used and will continue to use,” Gordon said.
Tune into ConnectCenter1.tv to watch the state graduation ceremony during Session Two of the South Dakota State FFA Convention at 6 p.m. MST.