State FFA Degree winner: Mizer's FFA career has been rewarding
Abrea Mizer had a very busy two days at the Missouri FFA Convention in Columbia on April 18-19. First she learned she would be serving as the state FFA president for 2013-2014, then she found out she was a member of the state's second place Ag Issues team. Lastly, Mizer, the daughter of Paul and Brenda Mizer of rural Marshall was one of six MHS students to be presented the State FFA Degree.
After she joined FFA as a freshman, she realized how much she enjoyed the organization, and started to see the opportunities it could present.
"I initially joined because my grandpa had been in FFA, and so had my dad, aunts and uncles, so it just seemed like a good fit for me," she said. "Then, when I really got into it, I realized I enjoyed it a lot. I just wanted to see how far I could go and have those opportunities to develop my leadership skills and abilities."
Being in FFA has helped Mizer develop many skills she will need in a future career, including how to speak in front of people, how to give presentations, how to interact with people and how to prepare for interviews. For that reason and many others, she encourages others to join.
"I would absolutely tell anybody who even has any interest in being in FFA to join. I would tell them its not just for ag kids or people who live on a farm," she said. "It's for anyone who really has that interest to be a part of an organization that is really going to help them prepare for a future career. It's an opportunity to meet tons of people from across the nation."
Mizer's favorite activity has been the Washington Leadership conference in Washington, D.C.
"It was a good opportunity for me to really realize what my purpose is and what direction I want to take and how I want to meet the goals I'm going to set," she said.
Her Supervised Agriculture Experience has been varied. As a freshman she had four black Angus heifer calves. Later she raised and sold sweet corn and babysat. She has continued to own cattle, but recently started a partnership with her brother, Drew, to rent land from their grandfather. They raise seven acres of corn and eight acres of soybeans.
She takes care mostly of the management side, while her brother helps with the production.
"I've learned a lot about how to manage my own business. It's hard starting out," she said. "I had the support of my family who can help me through that, but I really learned a lot just about medicine, how much to feed, when to feed, when to wean the calves, and buying and selling."
She also learned a lot about the right times to sell livestock and crops.
"Through my farm management class I learned a lot about prices and yields and a lot about marketing," she said. "It's allowed me to apply those skills into the business setting."
She has served as secretary, vice-president and president of Marshall's FFA. She also served as Area 6 treasurer.
She has won several FFA awards, including earning three hours of credit from the University of Missouri for Farm Management, one of four state teams she was on. She also has participated in a variety of other contests including Meats, Soils, Parliamentary Procedure and Ag Issues. She has participated in several speaking contests including Creed, Division 2 and Advanced Public Speaking.
She won second place in Area 6 in Ag Education proficiency and Diversified Horticulture,
She won FFA Member of the Year for the past two years, and numerous FFA scholarships.
She also served as a Saline County Career Center ambassador, was the National Honor Society historian, a member of Birdcage, Academic Team, Student Council, Forensics, band, academic team, MHS tennis and MHS golf.
She is a member of St. Peter Catholic Church and youth group and was a long-time member and officer of Bizy Beavers 4-H club.
In her spare time, Mizer likes to spend time with her family and friends, hanging out at home and playing on the trampoline.
Next year, she plans to attend the University of Missouri, to double major in Ag Journalism and Ag Education and get a masters in Education Administration.