State degree: Gorrell excels at FFA contests

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Dawn Gorrell has worked several years at Springwater Greenhouse in Marshall.

As a four-year Malta Bend FFA member, Dawn Gorrell has had an opportunity to learn new things and travel new places.

One of her favorite parts of FFA has been "going to national convention and meeting people from all over the place."

The daughter of Brent and Ann Gorrell of Malta Bend, she will be receiving the State FFA Degree this month at the Missouri FFA Convention in Columbia.

Now a senior, Gorrell joined the organization as a freshman.

"Everybody else in my family was in it," she said. "I thought it sounded fun, so I joined."

Since then she has found several favorite activities.

"Contest teams are fun, and shotgun was fun too," she said.

She recently won third place at area as a trapshooting team member.

She has also excelled in Career Development Event teams. This year, she and fellow Poultry team members captured first place in the Central Missouri District contest and will participate in state.

Last year, she was a member of the Horse Evaluation team which won district and placed fourth at state. Individually, Gorrell placed third at district and eighth at state.

As a freshman, Gorrell owned cows as part of her Supervised Agriculture Experience. The next year, she started working at Springwater Greenhouse and Landscaping in Marshall. She waters plants, waits on customers and helps pot flowers, working 35-40 hours during the summer and up to 20 hours a week during the school year.

She has learned to drive tractors and help on the farm with another part of her SAE.

"I also rent a small field from my grandpa," she said. So far, she has planted and harvested soybeans, and "this year it will be corn."

In general, joining FFA has taught her new skills.

"I'm better at speaking in front of people, and I'm also more responsible," she said. "You really have to know how to manage your time."

Gorrell won Chapter Greenhand as a freshman and Chapter Farmer as a sophomore. She has served as the chapter's reporter and currently serves as treasurer.

In addition to FFA, she plays basketball and volleyball. She is president of the MHS National Honor Society and belongs to Student Council.

She is a long-time member of Work to Win 4-H, currently serving as vice-president. She also participates in 4-H shooting sports. In 2009, as a member of the Pellet Rifle team, she and her teammates earned a trip to nationals in Grand Island, Neb. Her hobbies include shooting sports and riding horses. In the fall, Gorrell will attend the University of Missouri to major in Agriculture Business.