Leimkuehler excels as a member of FFA
Saria Leimkuehler, a 2011 Slater High School graduate said she has learned "so much" as a four-year member of FFA.
"I used to be really shy and now I'm very outspoken and outgoing," said Saria, the daughter of Bill and Pam Leimkuehler of rural Gilliam, adding she has also learned to be a leader.
Saria is one of five Slater students who earned the State FFA Degree in 2011. They were recognized in April during the annual Missouri FFA Convention.
She first joined FFA as a freshman because she grew up around agriculture and was interested in FFA.
"All my family has been in it before and they were very successful with it, so I figured I'd try it out," she said.
Her SAE (Supervised Agriculture Experience) started out with cattle, before she added two horses.
"I do cattle production and I also work on the family farm," she said. Her jobs include "working with animals, fixing fence and whatever needs to be done," she said, adding she also helps in harvest. Depending on the time of year, her hours can range from 25-30 hours a week or more.
"Just depending on what time of the year it is," she said.
Her SAE taught her farming is definitely a "tough job."
"Farming isn't just one aspect, it has many different aspects of it," she said. "It's very hard work but it pays off in the end."
Her favorite FFA activity was traveling to the Washington Leadership Conference in Washington D.C.
"I went with 3 other people here. It was a great time," she said. "We got to see the whole city and learn a lot about FFA and meet a lot of new people."
Saria said she would definitely recommended joining FFA to incoming freshman. In fact, she already has, as her younger brother just finished his freshman year as an FFA member.
" I told him it is a great time," she said. "I've had a lot of good memories from it and learned a lot."
She served as historian of the club her sophomore year and was vice-president as both a junior and senior.
Her CDE (Career Development Event) contest teams included Meats, Livestock and Farm Management, qualifying for state competition each time.
Her school activities include being a member of the basketball and softball teams for four years. She also ran track for a few years. This past year, Saria served as president of National Honor Society and Student Council. She also was a member of S-Club, PepClub and A-plus.
She is very active in St. Joseph Catholic Church, an altar server there. She also still helps out at her junior high school in Gilliam.
"I work basketball game concession stands," she said. "I do that everytime I can."
Her hobbies include riding horses and hanging out with her friends -- "whatever I have time for."
This fall, Saria will be attending the University of Missouri-Columbia to major in the "medical field." Right now she is considering Anesthesiology, although she hasn't completely decided which part of medicine she wants to work in.
Contact Marcia Gorrell at firstname.lastname@example.org