Malta Bend student named state FFA officer
One of the things Kelsey Forqueran is looking forward to as the 2011-2012 Missouri FFA secretary, is getting to inspire younger FFA members, just like former state officers once inspired her.
"As a freshman some of my fondest memories are being at district or state activities where the state officers were there and they got to interact with us," she said. " I have always have been inspired by them to do well and really strive to reach my goals."
That is just what she wants to now do for other members.
"They really made such a big impact on my experience in FFA that I wanted to be able to make that same impact on another FFA member's life," she said. " I felt like running for state office would be the best way for me to get to work with FFA members from throughout the state and inspire them to be all that they can be."
The Malta Bend senior, daughter of Jamie and Doreena Forqueran of Malta Bend, first made becoming a state officer a goal when she was a freshman and attended a district "Greenhand" conference, where she and the other first year members were asked to write down three goals they had in FFA.
"The first one I wrote down was actually that I wanted to be a state officer," she said, in an interview before the Missouri FFA Convention, held April 14-15 in Columbia. She had learned after Area 6 interviews in March, that she had been selected as the one of 16 members of the 2011-2012 Missouri FFA officer team, representing 25,000 Missouri members.
Forqueran follows several other Saline County FFA members, who have been state officers in recent years, including Rachel Thornton of Sweet Springs FFA, one of the 2010-2011 retiring officers.
"Going to the state convention this year is really exciting for me because it is kind of like a dream come true," she said. "It's really nice to know that the hard work I put in is paying off and it is really going to be a reality and not a dream anymore."
However, the dream got even better at the convention on Thursday, April 14, when after all 16 officers were again interviewed she was selected to one of the state's top three posts, which also includes state president and first vice-president. The remaining 13 officers, will serve as state vice presidents.
The path to being selected as a state officer is not an easy one.
First, in order to be eligible to even interview for the job, Forqueran had to earn the State FFA Degree, something she accomplished this year. Then she had to interview at the area level, which includes approximately 30 schools.
She and the other six candidates went through three rounds of interviews, before she was selected as the officer to represent Area 6.
Then on Thursday, April 14, at the convention, all of the new officers from the state's 16 areas were again interviewed, to decide which three would hold the top offices.
"I got a chance to interact with the other candidates that (Thursday) morning and any of us would have been great. It was really surprising to be picked out of that many candidates," she said.
Forqueran and the rest of the new officer team will keep very busy this summer.
"We go to a lot of activities throughout the state." This summer they will spend time at FFA camp and also go to two different weeks of officer training. They will also be working at the Missouri State Fair, "pretty much everyday."
As state secretary, she will also have a few extra responsibilities, including going with the new Missouri president to Washington, D.C. this summer to attend the state's president conference.
Next fall, while she will be beginning her freshman year at Central Methodist University in Fayette to study communications, she will also attend several leadership conferences, as well as making chapter visits.
"Each officer is required to go to visit all of the chapters in their area sometime throughout the year," she said. They will also attend and be voting delegates at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis this fall.
"We also plan state convention for the following year, so we'll do the 2012 state convention," she said. "It will be a busy year."
Editor's note: Another story on Forqueran and her many accomplishments as a Malta Bend FFA member, will be featured in an upcoming story on the Agriculture page. It will be part of our continuing series highlighting the our area's 2011 Missouri State Degree recipients.