For Milaca FFA officers Laura Stobb, Kat Reneccius, Josh Boman, Jessie Hipsag, Leah Bergantzel and Mindy Rinkel, the organization offers education, fun and friendships.
In observance of National FFA week, the officers shared their reasons for joining the program and for taking leadership positions within its ranks.
Mindy Rinkel, president
Mindy Rinkel’s most memorable moment in the organization was when FFA participated in the Coon Rapids based event Feed My Starving children.
“It was really fun because you race other groups,” Rinkel said.
FFA has helped shape her choices. Rinkel has been accepted to the University of Minnesota and plans to pursue degrees in animal science and large animal veterinarian.
“I grew up on a farm,” the high school senior said of the family’s dairy operation. “I was always the one who had to take care of them.”
The program has also improved some of the soft skills Rinkel may need in her chosen profession.
“Being in FFA probably helped a lot with my speaking abilities,” she said.
Laura Stobb, vice president
The most memorable moment for Laura Stobb was the team-building exercise last year.
“Our officer retreat was really fun this summer,” Stobb said, adding that she also enjoyed the Clearwater, Minn. rodeo and the “mutt busting” event in which small children ride sheep.
Being in FFA has also steered Stobb in the agricultural direction.
“I’m leaning toward becoming a large animal vet,” she said. “Either way, I know I’ll have a herd of beef cattle. I already have a herd started, so I’m just adding to it. It’s fun. You’re working toward breeding the best cattle you can, and it makes you feel important feeding the world.”
Stobb said working on her supervised agricultural experience — an after school learning project all officers must complete — helped her in several ways.
“I think that it has helped with my leadership and responsibility,” she said. “It was a ton of work, but it paid off in the end. I received first place in the region. I think FFA has also helped me with my confidence. Being an officer — people are counting on you.”
For the full story, see the Thursday, Feb. 21 print edition of the Times.