Owens operates his own lawncare business
Ethan Owens, a 2011 Slater High School graduate said he would recommend joining FFA to anyone -- even someone without a farm background.
"It's more than just farming. You learn everything," he said. "It kind of gives you an opportunity to go places and to meet new people."
Ethan, the son of Steve and Donna Owens of Slater, said the trips were probably his favorite part of being a Slater FFA member. His favorite was traveling to the FFA Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.
"I met a lot of new friends and got to tour Washington D.C.," he said, adding they also participated in several group learning sessions. "A trip like that, I wouldn't have been able to go on, if it wouldn't have been for FFA."
In April, Owens earned the State FFA Degree at the Missouri FFA Convention in Columbia.
He first joined FFA as a freshman, because his family has always been involved in agriculture.
"My brother was in FFA and I thought it would be neat to take the classes," he said. "I thought it would be a good experience."
His SAE (Supervised Agriculture Experience) was owning and operating a lawn service business.
"I mow yards and weedeat -- all that fun stuff," he said. Although he doesn't have set hours, he tries to mow Monday through Friday during the summer, getting the weekend off.
"But it depends on if it rains or if you get behind," he said. "So it just kind of fluctuates."
Having his own business has helped him learn many things including, "Work ethic, responsibility, proper business care, money management," and how to work with customers.
As an FFA member he has also learned to be more "social."
"You do meet a lot of people, it opens you up," he said. "You learn quite a bit about public speaking and things like that too."
Ethan served as chaplain of the FFA chapter for two years, as a sophomore and as a senior. As a junior he was the chapter historian. He received a second place proficiency award in Area 6 for Turf Grass Management, and went to state. He also received several local awards including leadership and scholarship pins.
In school activities, Ethan played baseball, served as historian of the National Honor Society and was a member of the A-plus program. He is also a member of St. Joseph parish in Slater.
This fall he is attending Missouri State University in Springfield, where he plans on majoring in Agriculture.
Contact Marcia Gorrell at firstname.lastname@example.org