ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JANET HAMOUS
Peabody-Burns FFA member Leann Spinden is on the fast track. Although just a sophomore this year, she is already a chapter officer.
Spinden, the chapter’s reporter, is working on a chapter scrapbook that will be submitted in the scrapbook competition at this year’s state FFA convention.
“I feel lucky to get to get an office my sophomore year,” she said.
Spinden joined FFA her freshman year.
“My brother was the chapter president last year, and he encouraged me to join,” she said.
Spinden has received a lot of support from her family. She lives on a farm near Burns, where her father has a cow-calf herd.
Having growing up on a farm, Spinden came into FFA with a lot of knowledge about agriculture. She has been active in 4-H, has shown steers at the county fair and has served as a livestock judge.
To expand her knowledge of agriculture, Spinden is taking “Introduction to Agriculture” this year and plans to continue with agriculture classes next year.
“I’ll probably take ag business management next year,” she said.
Highlights of her intro class have been learning about dairy judging and working on the FFA scrapbook.
“Right now I am working on a slide show for the chapter banquet,” she said.
Spinden was high scorer in the south central district on the “greenhand information” test, which tests knowledge of FFA.
“She competed against everyone within the area,” said FFA sponsor Sonya Roberts, who has been impressed with Spinden’s ability and determination.
Spinden doesn’t know what direction her future will take her but said, “It would be fun to be an FFA advisor like Mrs. Roberts.”
She has been surprised at how many different opportunities FFA offers.
“It’s not strictly for farm kids,” she said. “You get to meet a lot of people from other schools who have similar interests as you.
“Last year I got to go to the national convention. It was really cool,” she said.
Leadership education is an important aspect of the FFA experience, and Spinden has already been able to participate in some FFA leadership training. She attended a leadership school for the south central district and made a presentation on parliamentary procedures.
FFA can be fun as well as educational, Spinden said, particularly during FFA week.
In Peabody, FFA members drive implements to school during FFA week and also have a work auction where they are auctioned off to the highest bidder, she said.
“You stand up in front of everyone and they auction you off for eight hours of work,” said Spinden. “My dad bought me. He hasn’t decided yet what I’ll do for him, but I’m sure he is going to be pretty selective when my eight hours count.”