Sprigg enjoys participating in ag contests

Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Alex Sprigg of rural Nelson has worked at the Stuckey's Dairy Queen since her freshman year in high school. She recently earned the State FFA Degree.

Alex Sprigg, a Marshall High School senior from rural Nelson, said her favorite activity in her four years as an FFA member has been the Career Development (CDE) contests.

"I really enjoy ag contests. It seems hard just to study and always cram for those ag contests and lots of them are hard. But when you go to districts it's always fun," she said, speaking of all the other FFA members she is able to meet at area, district and state contests. "Last year was a good time for me because we actually got called up on stage for Ag Issues. We got fourth (overall in state) and that was just fun going up on stage in front of all those people."

Through the years, Alex, the daughter of John and Rhonda Sprigg, has been on several CDE teams, including Meat Evaluation, Agronomy, Ag issues and Farm Management. The first three teams all made it to state contests and, this year, her individual record book took first place in area and qualified for state competition.

During the Missouri State FFA convention on April 15 in Columbia, she was one of five Marshall FFA members who received the State FFA Degree.

She has worked at Stuckey's Dairy Queen since she was a 15 year old freshman, as part of her Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE).

"I have gone from being a cashier to a cook and then just helping out in several projects around the DQ now that I've been there for four years," she said. Depending on how many other activities she has, she works up to 20 hours a week during the school year and usually 35-40 hours or more in the summer months.

The job, along with her busy schedule, has helped her learn responsibility and especially organization skills.

"Because I am pretty busy with the FFA and organizations at school, l really need to get organized and put in what days I need to have off," she explained.

Alex joined FFA as a freshman after watching her older sister enjoy FFA activities.

"She had a lot of fun activities with FFA, so I decided to take Intro to Agriculture with Mrs. Dobbins in the 8th grade," she said. "We got to go on the ski trip as 8th graders and that was when I realized I wanted to be in that organization and that I wanted to get involved in it."

As an FFA member, Alex said she has learned about a lot of different career fields in agriculture and has also helped sharpen her own public speaking skills.

"Before high school I wasn't that outgoing with new groups and now I can actually talk to people," she said, adding she has used some of those skills to let freshman know about all the opportunities they can have in FFA.

In fact, she said she recommends freshman join FFA because of all the opportunities that await them, even if they are not involved in agriculture.

"It really did help me," she said. "There are a lot of hands-on opportunities, and any kid would enjoy what we do."

Alex has served as a chapter officer, holding the office of reporter, as a junior, and junior reporter as a sophomore. She has also earned several FFA awards including a Dairy Production proficiency award for her work at Dairy Queen. She has also taken part in many chapter and fall speaking contests.

In other school activities, she has been a member of the Lady Owl softball team for four years, as well as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Future Teachers of America and DECA. She has qualified for the Missouri state DECA competition for the past two years, taking third last year at districts and fourth this year.

She is a member of St. Peter Catholic Church and is involved in the youth group. She is also a member of Blackwater's Willing Workers 4-H club.

Next fall she is planning on attending the University of Nebraska- Kearney to major in business administration, with an emphasis in entrepreneurship.

"4-H is one thing that got me involved in photography, so I've always wanted to be a photographer and own my own studio," said Alex, adding that her plan is to first get a job in the business field, before saving up enough money to buy her own studio, preferably in a rural community.

In her spare time, Alex enjoys photography, softball, music and watching baseball games.