Kingfisher FFA's Madelyn Gerken in the Hunt for a National FFA Office This WeekMon, 19 Oct 2020 13:32:57 CDT
FFA has always been in Madelyn Gerken's blood. Her dad served as an Ag teacher for four years, and her mom served as a state FFA officer for the State of Kansas, so growing up in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, Madelyn knew at an early age that FFA would be something she loved. The 2018 Kingfisher High School graduate was recently nominated by the Oklahoma FFA Association to represent the State in the national competition, and that selection process is now underway vairtually this week- with the annoucnement of the new national FFA officer team set for October 29th during the 2020 National FFA Convention that will be held virtually. Director of Farm Programming Ron Hays sat down and talked with Madelyn ahead of the process about her hopes to become one of thos six new national officers.
At age seven, she attended her first FFA convention, "That's where my first goal to be a state FFA officer came from. I knew when it was my time to get involved in FFA, that was something that I wanted to do."
Growing up, Madelyn had the opportunity to watch her older sister put on the blue and gold jacket, and she knew that her time would come eventually. Gerken has taken part in speech contests, livestock judging, public speaking, and many other leadership opportunities throughout her FFA career. For her Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE), Gerken said she chose Diversified agriculture, "For my SAE, I included my pure-bred Angus herd. I've got about 30 cows and calves, marketing and selling, but also working on embryo transfer and having a herd of my own."
Gerken started her quest for state office her Senior year in high school as she felt like the FFA organization had poured into her, and she wanted the opportunity to do that for others, "Getting to serve as a state officer, and being face to face with 27,000 Oklahoma FFA members was absolutely incredible."
With Oklahoma considered a relatively small state, Gerken said she loves that we are 4th in the nation for membership, "That shows how good our Ag teachers are and how good and dedicated our students are within our state association."
With the convention being virtual this year, Gerken said she has been getting ready to represent the State back in June, "From June to October, I spent a large amount of time preparing." Preparing consists of reading up on articles, talking to legislators, talking to educators, farmers and ranchers, and people who are willing to share their knowledge of the agriculture industry, "I'm not trying to know everything, but I am trying to know a little bit about everything,"
Gerken said she wants to be a National officer because she realized she missed being involved and representing the FFA and working with FFA students. "When we talk about the future of agriculture, it's so exciting what we are doing in our classrooms and organizations. As a National officer, I want to be able to ask students to embrace their roles as FFA members and spread the word about our industry."
Click or Tap below to hear Ron Hays Talk with Madelyn about her FFA journey.
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