FFA president Unrau shines in ag, mechanical work

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Goessel FFA president Jared Unrau isn’t afraid of hard work. In fact, the inquisitive junior leader thrives on it.

“I like to do physical work and I like to have fun but my main goal is to get things done,” Unrau said. “I think I have a really good work ethic.”

Goessel FFA adviser Justin Schrag agreed.

“Jared’s hard-work ethic and his desire to do the job right sets him apart from others,” he said. “He lends a responsibility and desire to succeed and sets examples both ethically and morally.”

Jared is the second in his family to be president of the Goessel chapter. Older brother Zane held the position two years ago.

“The fact that Zane was in FFA and was also the president influenced me some,” Unrau said. “I wanted to follow in his footsteps to a certain degree, but I don’t want to do everything he did either.

“It was cool to see how he progressed through FFA,” he added. “He wasn’t a great athlete or anything, but FFA was an area he really shined.”

Jared Unrau is shining these days, too. As the president, Unrau said his people skills have improved dramatically.

“By being an officer in FFA, I’ve learned some outstanding leadership skill that I wouldn’t otherwise have,” Unrau said. “Over the last year, I’ve progressed a lot.

“Early in the year, Mr. Schrag had to help us with our meetings but now we can pretty much run them on our own.”

In this third year in the Goessel program, Unrau said his goal of being an officer was fulfilled last year when he served as treasurer.

“I really wanted to be president at some point and now that I am, I’d love to be president again next year,” he said. “I’d like us to keep building on what we’ve accomplished this year.”

Unrau seems to accomplish most of his goals.

“I won a state proficiency award this year,” Unrau said. “It’s your Supervised Agricultural Experience, or SAE, and it’s where you learn about certain areas of agriculture.

“Mine was in agricultural mechanics repair,” he added. “I repaired damaged farm equipment and performed preventive maintenance on farm machinery.”

Unrau said the SAE is a positive avenue for students to experience hands-on situations under the supervision of an adult mentor.

“It shows you how things are supposed to work,” he said. “I have shop classes here in school and I also work on our family farm with my dad and uncle.”

While work takes up a good part of his time, Unrau an honor-roll student, is involved in other activities at GHS, including basketball, track and band.

He isn’t sure what his future holds but knows the general direction it’s headed.

“I’m pretty sure I want to do something in agriculture,” he said. “I like working on engines and doing mechanical work, but that could easily change in the next year. I’ll probably go to a two-year or a technical school, though.”

Whatever path Unrau follows, he knows he will blaze it himself.

“I’d like to come back to the family farm after I go off to school, but I’d also like to find a place I can say is my own rather than working with someone or inheriting something.

“Rather than adopting someone else’s identity, I’d like to make a name for myself,” he added. “I’d rather be Jared Unrau than just DeAllan Unrau’s son.”

Unrau said in his spare time he likes to tear down and rebuild objects around the family farm. He took his mechanical curiosity to a higher level recently when he overhauled an engine.

“I rebuilt an engine from a 1951 Willey Jeep,” he said. “When I finished, it ran good but I didn’t have any oil pressure.

“It was really time-consuming and frustrating, but it was all worth it when it was completed,” he said. “When I finally got oil pressure, that was the best moment for me.”

As FFA president, Unrau said his job is to get people involved in chapter activities.

“We do fruit sales as a fund-raiser and we also do a work auction where we sell the FFA members for four hours of labor,” he said. “We also did a community project of collecting items for the hurricane victims in the south. We had a pretty good-sized trailer load of food and clothes.”

Unrau said FFA offers a place for everyone.

“Some students don’t fit into any other groups, but FFA is one where anyone is welcome and can have a great time,” he said. “It gives students that don’t have many other friends a place to belong.”

Unrau praised the foresight of his FFA adviser.

“He’s an awesome teacher,” Unrau said of Schrag. “He likes to move forward and teach the newest possible technology.

“If you want to learn about things like GPS (global positioning satellites), then he’s the teacher to talk to.”

Conventions are Unrau’s favorite part of FFA for meeting people and comparing ideas.

“I also love our career development events, where you get to compete against other chapters,” he added. “It’s kind of like taking tests and you get to see where you stack up against others.”

Schrag said Unrau thrives on competition.

“The fact that he’s a perfectionist just means he really tries hard,” Schrag said. “He’s dedicated and hard working and very involved. He’s not afraid to put his time in.”

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