FFA involvement leads to leadership focus

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
“Leadership is something I’m interested in,” said Scott Nuss, a senior at Hillsboro High School.

“I just enjoy meeting new people and taking a leadership position.”

Nuss is honing his leadership skills through the FFA program at Hillsboro High School.

In his fourth year of FFA, Nuss said you don’t have to be from a farm to benefit from the FFA experience.

“I grew up on a farm and moved to town in the sixth grade,” he said. “You don’t have to live on a farm or like ag to be in it, but it helps.”

His parents are Dale and Becky Nuss, who are FFA alumni themselves.

“FFA differs now from then in the fact that FFA dealt more with farm items, and now it’s for anybody,” Scott said.

Last year’s FFA chapter president, he serves as the student adviser this year.

“I joined FFA because I heard it was quite a bit of fun,” Scott said. “I decided to give it a try, and I ended up loving it.

“We have chapter meetings once a month, plus the officers meet more often,” he said. “But you don’t miss any classes, because it meets during Learning Support time.”

Nuss maintains a harried schedule during the school year. He’s the manager for the basketball team, the cross country team, and the baseball team.

He also is a member of the high school band, and lists his favorite elective classes as journalism and yearbook.

“If I had to choose a favorite required class, it would be government,” Nuss said.

Outside of school, Nuss participates in his church youth group and has been a 4-H member for 10 years.

It’s on the leadership component of FFA that Nuss focuses.

“I go to a lot of the leadership activities and events,” he said. “I’ve been to a leader lab in McPherson, and been to the Washington (D.C.) leadership conference, and also attended the Farmland Youth Leadership conference.”

The highlight of Nuss’s FFA career has been attending the national convention in Louisville, Ky., for the last four years.

“It gets better every year,” he said. “The technology gets better, so the convention just keeps getting better and you learn something new every time.”

Nuss’s accomplishments and dedication haven’t gone unnoticed by his FFA instructor, Tim Kilgore.

“Scott brings a lot to the class,” Kilgore said. “He’s very level headed, and is a very good leader.

“Scott’s an example for other students, the way he presents himself and the way he acts.”

Nuss plans to attend Pratt Community College this fall and major in physical education. Ever the worker, Scott has accepted a basketball-manager scholarship at Pratt.

With his college choice set, Nuss is already looking further into the future.

“I would like to eventually be an athletic director,” he said. “But we’ll see.”

Summertime offers no respite for Nuss.

“I umpire baseball in the summer, mainly 10-and-under, and 12-and-under,” he said. “I’ve also worked at the co-op in the past, and I help out on our farm. We have some pasture out by Marion.

“I’m really hoping to work for the city recreation commission this summer,” he added.

Nuss has one younger brother, Alex, who plans to join FFA as a freshman at Hillsboro High School next year.

Nuss is quick to commend Kilgore, his FFA instructor, for his contributions.

“Mr. Kilgore is awesome,” Nuss said. “He tries to do a lot of hands-on stuff. He wants us to do well, and he wants to do the best job he can, too.

“He lets you have fun, but he also lets you know when you cross the line,” Nuss added with a smile.

Nuss said sports, in general, is his hobby.

“Sports really keeps me tied up,” he said. “I have basketball tournaments, cross-country meets, and baseball tournaments that keep me on the go.

“I’m really sorry I only got to be with Scott for one year,” Kilgore said. “I would have loved to have had him for four years.

“In everything Scott does, he’s an exemplary example for what students should be-not only in what he says, but in the way he acts.”

While Nuss eyes the end of his high school career and looks to the future, he’s also looks back fondly on his years with FFA.

“If you want to get some leadership skills and become a more complete and better-rounded person, join FFA,” he said. “It’s a great organization.”

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