Submitted by Dustin Lambertsen

Sixty-six FFA members from across the state participated in the Missouri FFA Public Speaking Academy held June 5-7, 2018, on the University of Central Missouri campus. The Missouri FFA, along with Case IH, made it possible for FFA members to benefit from the professional staff at University of Central Missouri.
Tarkio FFA member Ella Rolf, daughter of Mike and Cindy Rolf of rural Westboro, Missouri, took part in the event. Ella’s speech topic was “Technology in Agriculture.”
During the three-day event, FFA members used the Internet and other communication technology to develop and refine an effective speech. Dr. Terry Cunconan, Dr. Wendy Geiger, Dr. Sam Cox, and Dr. Nikki Freeman from the University’s Speech Communication Department conducted the three days of intense learning. The academy was designed to help FFA members increase their confidence, develop organizational skills, use language effectively, analyze audiences and improve speaking skills by judging themselves honestly and critically — while keeping a positive attitude. Each student presented his or her speech in competition at the conclusion of the academy.
Awards were presented at a banquet held at the Ozark Room of the University Conference Center on Thursday, June 7, 2018. The banquet included the presentation of certificates of completion to each of the participants and recognition of the winners in each division. The finalists in each division (Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced) were presented plaques and a State Public Speaking Pin from the Missouri FFA Association. Case IH was the primary sponsor for this year’s academy. The academy was also sponsored by Seitz Fundraising, Harmison’s Hometown Fundraising, University of Central Missouri Communications Department and UCM’s Ag Club, and the Missouri FFA Association.
The Missouri FFA has 25,375 members representing 343 chapters. The National FFA Organization has more than 653,000 members representing 8,568 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.