For Smith, joining FFA was life-changing
Levi Smith credits his decision to join the Sweet Springs FFA with the desire to become a better person and a better leader.
"I joined FFA because I heard that FFA was going to be a life-changing organization and an organization I wanted to be a part of that," he said.
And for him that came true.
"When I first started my freshman year I was shy, but when I joined I became an outgoing individual," said Smith, a 2012 Sweet Springs graduate.
And for those reasons, today Smith would recommend joining FFA to incoming freshman.
In April, Smith, the son of Mark Smith and Lola Smith, earned the State FFA Degree at the Missouri FFA Convention in Columbia.
His favorite part of FFA has been the close ties between members.
"It feels just like my family away from home," he said.
His favorite activity was two years ago, when he won the Friends of FFA Scholarship to attend the Washington Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.
Through high school he has had two Supervised Agriculture Experiences. After school and during the summer he works at the local Piggly Wiggly grocery as a cashier. He also owns Angus cows and about 20 chickens, which he keeps on his father's farm outside of Sweet Springs.
Working 20 to 35 hours per week, depending on the time of year, has helped him learn about responsibility and hard work.
"Growing up at home I had to learn how to fend for myself and make my own money," he said. "Putting all that time and effort into working payed off, as far as paying for extra curricular activities."
Smith has been active in FFA, serving as assistant treasurer, treasurer and as junior advisor of the chapter. He has won local proficiency awards in Agriculture Services and Poultry Production. He was the camp reporter at state FFA camp and won two state leadership awards for his work there. At the recent FFA banquet he was awarded the DeKalb award. He also received the Friends of the FFA Scholarship, $250; Mrs. Ruth Hermerding Memorial FFA Scholarship, $250 and the Houston Mull Memorial Scholarship, $250.
He served as president of student council, FBLA and the senior class; vice-president of FCCLA, and was manager of the basketball and football teams. He was also a member of National Honor Society, FCA, S-Club, Art Club and participated on the Math and Academic teams. He is a member of the First Baptist Church in Sweet Springs.
Although very busy with activities and work, he enjoys spending his spare time with his family.
This spring he will attend the University of Missouri to major in Biology. He wants to eventually become a family and general physician.