FFA Gives Cortney Cowley Confidence to 'Go on and do Great Things'Thu, 25 Apr 2013 17:26:49 CDT
The theme of the 2013 Oklahoma FFA Convention to be held April 30th through May 1, 2013 is "FFA, Grow Like That!" There are thousands of former FFA members that serve as role models for current and future FFA students- and the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and OklahomaFarmReport.Com is pleased to be working with the Oklahoma FFA Association to spotlight some of the tremendously successful men and women who wore the Blue and Gold Jacket of the FFA during their high school days- and have used that experience as a springboard to success in later life.
During April and May, the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network is producing a series of radio announcements spotlighting a half dozen of these high achievers. These announcements, sponsored by SandRidge Energy, will be heard on radio stations statewide and will also be available to listen to on our Radio Oklahoma Ag Network YouTube channel. The content from each announcement comes from an in depth interview that Farm Director Ron Hays has conducted with each of the highlighted achievers.
The spotlight now shines on Cortney Timmins Cowley. She is a former member of the FFA from the Bing Chapter in southeastern Oklahoma. She served as a state officer in 2004-2005. She was the national FFA agriscience student of the year. She is known as the most-decorated student in OSU history: a Truman Scholar, a Udall Scholar, a Wentz Scholar, and a National Agriscience Award Winner.
Cowley said becoming an FFA member was a natural progression for her. She was in 4-H in grade school and jumped at the chance to join the FFA when she entered high school. She followed in the footsteps of family members who were deeply involved in agriculture.
"In ag education, what I mostly focused on was my grandpa was a cowboy on a cattle ranch and so I definitely wanted to be involved in the livestock portion. I had a few heifers and steers and I got a very broad base in ag. I wanted to do a little bit of everything, the horticulture, the animal agriculture, animal science. One of my favorites was probably the natural resources portion of ag education.
"Where I really found my niche and where I really excelled was my supervised agriculture experience project which was agriscience fair. I was very lucky because at Bing we have our ag education building but we also have a really nice horticulture department that has a really big greenhouse and a few small greenhouses so with my ag teacher in horticulture, I was actually given full control over one of the smaller but still pretty substantial greenhouses. And I was kind of able to be a young Norman Borlaug.
"I ran experiments on geraniums, bean plants, these really neat plants called fast plants. They grow really fast so they're good to do experiments with. And I just had a lot of fun doing that and that ended up being my favorite part of FFA. That was able to help me achieve the American FFA Degree and I thought that was just so cool that I could do something I really enjoyed which was agriscience."
Cowley competed every year at the state level in agriscience from eighth grade through her high school career. She also competed every year except for one at the national level. Twice she won the environmental science division at the national competition. As a freshman in college, she again competed in the National Agriscience Fair and was selected to represent the FFA in Japan.
Cowley said she owes a great deal to the FFA for her success thus far in her life.
"I think the FFA, especially as a female, gave me this really great confidence and sense of self that I can really go on and do great things."
She says she looks forward to being able to give back to FFA and FFA members in the years to come.
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