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Youth News

Weatherford's Reagan Stephens Advances to Semi-Finals Talking Horse Sense About Stem Cells

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 12:30:16 CDT

Weatherford's Reagan Stephens Advances to Semi-Finals Talking Horse Sense About Stem Cells Oklahoma's Reagan Stephens, member of the Weatherford FFA Chapter, just received welcomed news, Wednesday, during the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, that she would be advancing from the preliminary round of the national prepared public speaking contest to the semi-finals. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays is on location and had the chance to speak with Stephens about her speech. You can listen to her complete conversation with Hays, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.

"My speech is about stem cell therapy in the equine industry," Stephens explained. "The equine industry is one of the most advanced places for stem cell therapy."

She recounts how she first became interested in the topic, when her neighbor's horse was treated with stem cell therapy after being injured. Today, she says the horse is 100 percent rehabilitated and has continued racing competitively. In preparation for her speech, Stephens left no stone unturned, attempting to acquire as much knowledge and information she could about the subject.

"I did as much research as I could. I interviewed vets in the field, some stem cell researchers, horse owners and also found reliable articles," she said. "Once I compiled all that information, I typed it up in speech form. It took me about a week to memorize and then every week after that has just been polishing, hand gestures, movement and such."

Her favorite part of participating in FFA's public speaking contest, though, is the Q&A portion.

"I love getting to tell people about stuff that I'm passionate about. I kind of see it as a challenge to learn as much as I can on my topic. I think it's important, too, people know that stem cells aren't always what the media makes them out to be," Stephens contends. "A lot of people think it's embryotic stem cell research - we're killing people - when, really, there's a totally different side of it that's ethical and has quite a bit of success that they don't hear about."

Thanks to the sheer number of speaking opportunities, be it either to deliver or to listen and learn, Stephens says the FFA has played a significant role in her development as a public speaker. Looking ahead at potential future career plans, she says she has not quite decided yet. But, she insists that whatever occupation she does find herself in, it will most certainly be immersive in the equine industry.

Check back in online or on-air this week for more updates on Stephens progress. She is scheduled to compete in the semi-finals round of the National FFA Prepared Public Speaking contest, Thursday.

We are taking pictures related to our 2017 National FFA Convention- click here to check out the Convention Album on FLICKR.

Our exclusive coverage of the 2017 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis October 24-28 is a service of ITC Great Plains, Your Energy Superhighway- learn more about this high voltage, transmission only utility and their commitment to the communities they serve which is the cornerstone of their business - click here. We also appreciate the support of the Oklahoma FFA Association and the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association. Click here for more information about one of the top states in the US in the FFA- the Oklahoma FFA Association. Oklahoma FFA impacts the lives of over 27,000 members in 359 chapters across the state.



Listen to Stephens and Hays discuss the development of her speech over stem cell therapy in equine
right-click to download mp3


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