Loges keeps busy showing livestock
For Taylor Loges, of rural Sweet Springs, joining FFA her freshman year seemed like a natural step.
"I was always very involved with 4-H in showing livestock and all that and I knew the next step would be FFA," she said. "I also saw the opportunities that older kids got and all the fun activities that they did and I really wanted to be a part of that."
Taylor, the daughter of Doug Loges and Diana Ernst, graduated in 2011 from Sweet Springs High School. She was one of the four Sweet Springs FFA members who received the State FFA Degree in April at the Missouri FFA Convention in Columbia.
Her SAE (Supervised Agriculture Experience) has been raising and exhibiting show cattle and show pigs, as well as working part time for Murphy Cattle Company. She works up to 20 hours a week at her Murphy's, where she helps prepare sale and show calves, as well as helping with the cow herd. She also spends several hours a day working on her show animals.
Her SAE has taught her "time management skills."
"It's also given me an opportunity to take on more responsibility and have a lot of fun," she said.
As a member of FFA she has been able to meet a lot of new people.
"I meet alot of people with the same hobbies and personality that I have," she said. "It's also helped me focus with what I want to do with the rest of my life with my career choices."
One of her best experiences as an FFA member was attending the Washington Leadership Conference two years ago. She was picked by the Friends of the Sweet Springs FFA to go, along with one other person, after applying for the award and competing in a speech contest.
"I'm still in contact with a girl from Wisconsin and a girl from Iowa that were my roommates," she said.
Because of the things she has been able to experience, Taylor said she would definitely recommend joining FFA to freshmen.
"I believe FFA gives you tons of opportunities," Taylor added. "It allows you to step out of your comfort zone and really be involved in agriculture in your school and community and really be active."
She served as an officer of the chapter for three straight years, as reporter her sophomore year, secretary as a junior and president, as a senior.
Her FFA awards include being named Star Greenhand and winning Equine Science proficiency in Area 6. She has won local proficiency awards in Diversified Livestock Production and Outdoor Recreation. She also has competed in several speech contests.
She was on several CDE (Career Development Event) teams including Soils, Livestock, Ag Issues, Ag Sales and Floriculture. All of her teams qualified for state competition.
She is also active in several other school activities, including the volleyball and softball teams. She served as president of S-Club, vice-president of FBLA, secretary of the National Honor Society and also was member of the FCA.
She is also a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church and the youth group.
With her busy schedule she doesn't have much time for hobbies.
"About my only hobby is showing my pigs and cattle," she said, adding she still occasionally does Team Penning.
This fall she is going to attend Missouri State University to major in Ag Business.
"I hope to acquire a job in advertising and marketing within the agriculture industry," she said.