Elson excels in Marshall FFA

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Abby Elson of rural Miami, will be awarded her State FFA degree during the Missouri FFA convention set for April 16-17. Her Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) has included renting 14 acres of ground from her father Mendell on their family farm. Above, she combines her 14 acres of soybeans during the 2009 harvest, while her father sits beside her. (Contributed photo)

Abby Elson daughter of Anita and Mendell Elson of rural Miami joined Marshall FFA as a high school freshman to continue a family tradition.

"I joined FFA because our family had an agricultural background already and most of my family has been in FFA," she said, adding that wasn't the only reason however. "But also because a lot of my friends have had good experiences and I wanted to have those kind experiences as well."

Now as just a junior at Marshall High School, Elson is one of seven Marshall FFA members who will receive their State FFA degree at the Missouri State FFA convention in Columbia, April 16-17.

Elson, who was also just elected the FFA Area VI president for 2010-11 has been very active in FFA. This year she serves as president of the chapter, after serving as junior secretary her sophomore year. Last year, she served as Area VI reporter.

She also recently won first place in the local advanced speaking contest and was first in the fall speaking contest, going on to win at Area VI and become an alternate for state competition.

In other FFA activities, Elson was selected Star Greenhand as a freshman, and has won efficiency awards in emerging agriculture technologies and floriculture entrepreneurship, as well as scholarship and leadership pins.

As a member of the horse evaluation, floriculture, forestry and agriculture issues teams she has advanced to state competition.

Elson's Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) includes serving as assistant farm manager of Elson Farms and cash renting 14 acres of soybean ground from her father. This year she will be expanding to 100 acres of soybeans and corn. She is also in charge of all the farm's bookkeeping and landscaping, including mowing. She said she learns something different each year from her SAE including knowing the "best time to plant, harvest and sell crops" and the "decision making process of being a farmer."

Her favorite part of FFA has been the travel opportunities.

"You get to go to lots and lots of places all over the country, so it's always something new and exciting," she said.

Traveling to the National FFA convention in Indianapolis was her favorite trip.

"It's just really life changing to see over 50,000 blue jackets," she said. "You just meet people from all over the country and it is such a good time."

Elson said she would definitely recommend FFA to an incoming freshman.

"It really helps to brings out their true potential for anything and everything," she said. "It shows them career opportunities they don't get anywhere else, has hands on activities in the classroom unlike the classes in the high school, so it is really a good leadership builder for them."

Besides FFA, Elson is also active in MHS Dance Force and Future Teachers of America (FTA).

She also serves as vice-president of the Friends of Miami, is a volunteer for Miami Lions club and is a member of the Gilliam Baptist Church,

Her hobbies include being outdoors, horseback riding, dancing and reading.

Contact Marcia Gorrell at marshallag@socket.net