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MEEKER I Thirty-six members of the Meeker FFA Chapter traveled to Soroco High School Nov. 10 for the district leadership conference and annual district speaking contests. While attending this event, the students engaged in several leadership workshops hosted by Kristin Schmidt (2012-2013 Colorado State FFA president) and Jayce Tappy (2012-2013 Colorado State FFA vice president). They also watched FFA members from Colorado FFA’s District 1 schools participate in the 2012 prepared speaking, extemporaneous speaking and creed speaking contests. The schools participating in these contests included: Rangely, Meeker, Moffat County, Soroco, West Grand and Walden. While Meeker did not have anyone participate in either the prepared or extemporaneous speaking contests, the chapter did have two outstanding candidates take part in the district’s annual creed speaking event.
The creed speaking contest, held every year for new members, asks students to memorize and then publicly present the FFA creed. This five paragraph document states what members of the National FFA organization believe and hold true as, “the future of agriculture.” Written by E.M. Tiffany, the FFA creed truly describes the joys and discomforts of American Agriculture as well as the future of agriculture; including less dependence on begging and more power in bargaining; how to obtain honest wealth; and believing that innovation, science, technology and hard work will continue to provide an abundant, safe and nutritious food supply for generations to come. In addition to improving participants’ memorization and public speaking skills, this contest develops students’ self-confidence, enhances their ability to communicate effectively and reveals to members the importance of agriculture in our everyday lives.
This year’s district creed speaking participants from Meeker were freshmen Madison Shults and Ty Dunham; they competed against the five other schools represented at the 2012 District 1 contest, including 11 other participants. Both contestants presented the creed with flair and ease and answered each of the three questions posed to them by the judges with poise and confidence. When the results of the contest were revealed, Ty placed sixth out of 12 participants and received a silver award, while Madison went on to win the contest and take the top-ranking gold place. She will be representing District 1 (and all of the schools included in the district) at the state FFA creed speaking contest, which will be held in conjunction with the 2013 Colorado State FFA Convention this June in Sterling, Colo.
When asked about the secret to her success, Madison said that she wanted to thank her parents, Clint and Tera Shults and older sister, Maclaine Shults, who were a big part of her win and helped her compete to the best of her ability. Madison enjoys FFA and believes that it is important for future generations. In June, Madison will be competing against 16 other district winners at the state-wide competition with the full intention of winning the state title and proceeding on to represent Colorado at the 2013 national competition, which will be held in conjunction with the 2013 National FFA Convention, located in Louisville, Ky. The Meeker FFA Chapter wishes Madison all the best of luck and is excited to help her achieve this goal.