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National FFA Week Q&A: Albert Lea officeholders talk leadership

FFA chapters around the country will celebrate National FFA Week, Feb. 20-21. Here is a Q&A with Albert Lea students who are leading the local chapter.

Kendra Smeby

Albert Lea FFA Office: President

Grade: 11

Parents: Kurt and Cindy Smeby

What have been some things you have learned while being in FFA?

In my time in FFA, I have learned to be more of a leader and to be gracious. I have also worked on my “people skills.” A big room of people that I have to talk in front of used to scare me, and I have now become more comfortable with it. Overall, FFA has made me a better leader, more understanding, and more responsible.

What does it mean for you to be involved with FFA?

I have a huge passion for FFA, and I try to always put my all into it. Involvement is going to meetings and participating in CDEs or other FFA events. Being active is so important to me, I am so thankful for FFA and everything that it has done for me!

What are your future plans?

As of right now, my future is pretty open. I have not decided on a major or where I will be going for college yet. I do know that I have a passion for helping people, and I want to have a career doing that.

What advice would you have for younger students?

Take a leap of faith, do things outside of your comfort zone, it’s almost always rewarding! And no matter what, stay true to yourself.

 

Kat Uthke

Albert Lea FFA Office: Vice President

Grade: 12

Parents: Kevin and Petie Uthke

What have been some things you have learned while being in FFA?

In FFA, I learned how to be a leader, the importance of communicating, and most importantly it has taught me how to give back to our community.

What does it mean for you to be involved with FFA?

Being involved in FFA means a lot to me. I have made a lot of new friends, and they have become like a second family.

What are your future plans?

My future plans are to go into nursing.

What advice would you have for younger students?

Don’t take anything for granted.

 

Isaac Shea

Albert Lea FFA Office: Secretary

Grade: 10

Parents: Ryan and Jolean Shea

What have been some things you have learned while being in FFA?

While in FFA, I’ve learned what it takes to be a leader, how to step up when we need it or even before. Also, I’ve grown in my agricultural knowledge, and gained interest in local farmers and how they operate on their farms or in/around the fields.

What does it mean for you to be involved with FFA?

For me to be involved in FFA, it means you have to show leadership and show interest in our chapter.

What are your future plans?

I’m not sure what my future may hold, but my FFA past and agriculture will have a strong impact on it. I’ve been considering going into the ag marketing field.

What advice would you have for younger students?

My advice is to be involved as much as you can. Getting to be involved in things such as FFA builds a strong character, and what you can learn from it will last forever.

 

Murnico Gomez

Albert Lea FFA Office: Treasurer

Grade: 11

Parents: Salvador Gomez and Tanya Gomez

What have been some things you have learned while being in FFA?

Learning about the animals, meeting new people, enjoying the time of FFA.

What does it mean for you to be involved with FFA?

FFA is a learning experience, and we learn things that can help us in the real world. We participate in activities and contests, such as job interviews or parliamentary procedure where we run a business meeting properly.

What are your future plans?

Go to the army to become a MP, and after moving out of state, become a cop or FBI agent.

What advice would you have for younger students?

Follow your dreams, don’t let know one else put you down, keep your head up.

 

Keygan Lundak

Albert Lea FFA Office: Reporter

Grade: 10

Parents: Shelly Wangen

What have been some things you have learned while being in FFA?

While in FFA, I have learned crucial leadership skills that will help me throughout life.

What does it mean for you to be involved with FFA?

Being involved in FFA to me means responsibility, being mainly student led, it is our responsibility to plan things as a chapter.

What are your future plans?

After graduation, I will hopefully enter seminary.

What advice would you have for younger students?

The best advice I can give to younger students is to constantly try new things. You never know where they might take you and try to find an older person/student that will help you in your new adventures!

 

Wesley Ohl

Albert Lea FFA office: Sentinel

Grade: 9

Parents: Darren and Sabrina Ohl

What have been some things you have learned while being in FFA?

I have learned a lot about leadership and doing what it takes to put things together or to coordinate something.

What does it mean for you to be involved with FFA?

Being in FFA means that I can support agriculture and help spread my love and passion for farming with others in this community.

What are your future plans?

I hope to one day take over the family farm, go to college and get a degree in criminal justice to become a fish and game warden.

What advice would you have for younger students?

My advice is to pay attention in school and to follow your dreams because only you can make them happen.

 

Kallie Smeby

Albert Lea FFA Office: Historian

Grade: 9

Parents: Kurt and Cindy Smeby

What have been some things you have learned while being in FFA?

FFA has taught me many things. It has helped me learn to work well with others to reach a common goal. It has also helped me with my leadership and responsibility. I can honestly say that FFA and 4-H have made me who I am today. 

What does it mean for you to be involved with FFA?

FFA is a year-long commitment that helps me to have goals to work towards. It helps me stay on track and work to better myself as well as my chapter. Throughout the summer, I help work the food plot and work at the FFA food stand at the fair. I also love to participate in CDE’s and be very involved in my SAE.

What are your future plans?

I am still pretty young, and life throws you a lot of curveballs; however, I do have a good idea of what I want to do with my life after high school. I plan on going to college for mechanical engineering and then implementing my degree in working at my family’s company, K & K Fabrication. In the meantime, I plan to continue to raise and show livestock for 4-H and FFA. 

What advice would you have for younger students?

If you are thinking of joining FFA, don’t wait! I know a lot of older members who didn’t join when they were younger that regret it.

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