Learning Competition

          Today, I helped my adviser with the Southwest Missouri district judging contest. These are some of the busiest and most rewarding times for agriculture teachers all over the state. There is so much time that is put in by both the advisers and students. Between countless hours in the classroom and practice contest these students gain a new and more enhanced look at their perspective contest.  There are twenty five contests that students can compete in, in Missouri.
25 Contests:
Parliamentary Procedure
Agriculture sales
Agriculture issues
Job interviewing
FFA knowledge contest
Sophomore speaking
Creed Speaking
Extemporaneous
Public speaking
Freshmen speaking
Agronomy
Floriculture
Agri-Business
Livestock
Soils
Dairy foods
Poultry
Horse
Meats
Agriculture Mechanics
Forestry
Dairy cattle
Dairy showmen
Nursery and landscaping
Entomology
Judging Dairy Cattle          My time as a high school FFA student I only participated in two contests but I made it to state level in both. The first contest that I participated in was dairy cattle judging. This was an eye opening experience because I had only been around our beef cattle herd. There was a whole new way of looking at livestock that I had never thought about. My dad as the adviser gave me all the pointers and knowledge he could but my team did not qualify until my junior year.
          The next team he set me up on was dairy food judging. My team and I took to this contest like cows to cud. (pun intended) As we attended the practice contest we got the hang of it, and took second in the central district. This was not a huge deal because the year before my dad coached the team to first.DF16
          But since I had only been a part of those two I thought it would be a good idea to get familiar with a few more contests since one day I hope to advise my students to winning as well. So this year I volunteered for helping with the agriculture mechanics contests. This was another good experience; it reminded me of everything we covered in my constructions and agriculture science 2 classes in high school.
          Overall, I believe these contest help students learn about different subject areas and then apply that knowledge to compete against other students on a higher level. The contests help bring a competitive vibe to learning, which will help some students excel.
          Let me know what you think about contest, or if you competed in any in high school or college.

Making a Statement

Over the past few years farmers and agriculture, in general have had much scrutiny from environmentalists, nutrition as well as, animal welfare activists, bio-fuels critics and congressional budget-cutters.  But Chrysler Group LLC’s Dodge Ram tried to put a different view of the “farmer” in the eyes of America during a two minute Super Bowl commercial.

This was a commercial that displayed a plethora of still shots taken on farms across America. These pictures came from the present and past. They showed the “farmer”: plowing, combining, feeding, selling produce, praying, and sitting down with his family for supper. These were not just the older framers either; it showed younger generations on the farm.

They added the famous speech from Paul Harvey, ‘So God Made a Farmer’ as a voice over. Paul Harvey was a big radio name in agriculture and was a favorite of agvocators everywhere. He first gave this speech at the Future Farmers of America 1978 convention. This was a voice over that gave a more friendly look at the “farmer”. It portrayed the “farmer” as a gentle yet strong individual. This voice over also shows them as an individual that care for their career and are compassionate for what they do.

This video made many farmers happy at the way they were portrayed on national television. As compared to being attacked by other groups. This video was accepted so well that it went viral. It collected over 4 million views on youtube. But some farmers disliked the ending of the commercial because it had a dodge truck sitting in front of a confinement facility.  Overall I feel that it did justice to putting the true “farmer” back in the American eye.

Chrysler Group LLC’s Dodge Ram stepped up in portraying the framer this year not only by displaying this commercial to 108.4 million television viewers. They have also agreed to donate up to a million dollars to the FFA. They are donating based on the number of shares the commercial receives on social media.  SO GET OUT THERE AND SHARE IT!

Share it: http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/keepplowing/

Resources

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/02/04/chrysler-farmer-ad-resonates/1891603/

http://nation.foxnews.com/paul-harvey/2013/02/04/full-audio-and-text-paul-harveys-original-so-god-made-farmer-speech

About Me

My name is Kevin Kephart. I come from the small rural town of Holden, MO. I grew up there my entire life; it’s was all I knew. I played football, wrestled, and was an active member in my high school FFA chapter. I feel that these three programs have had a huge role in making me the man I am today.

Football

Football was a huge building block in my life. Through my experiences in football I have learned how to work with others. This truly was a team sport and Coach Johnson made sure we knew how to work as a unit; making it to the Class 3 playoffs, 3 of my 4 years. This experience also lead to me having a greater knowledge of what it means to lead at a young age. Because when you come into a rural high school as a 5’11″ 230 pound kid, you find your self on the varsity playing field and fast. I started all four years of my high school career; and was a team captain for two of them. This sport had a great deal in molding me into what I am today.

 

wrestling

Wrestling was another sport that has taught me many lessons and has catapulted me forward in my life. Like I said, coming into my rural high school at 230 pounds was not normal. In wrestling this made me the varsity heavyweight starting out. This was a challenge because I was soft mentally and physically compared to the junior and senior heavyweights that I would wrestle. I was not accustom to losing at anything in my life yet. I never did get accustom to it either. Will Smith once said “You have to hate losing more than you love winning.” I believe this is true because I found a way to be successful. I had to lose the 15 pounds of “baby fat”. So that I could wrestle in the 215 pound weight class. This was a test mentally and physically to me. It was mostly the test of self-determination and will power. But like Will Smith said, I hated losing more than I loved to win. This instilled in me the lesson of self discipline. Freshman year was turning point in my life and helped me realize I needed to do whatever it took to succeed.

Then there are the experiences I gained from my FFA and Agriculture department. These experiences were truly life changing and molded me into the person I am today. My father was my adviser; just like his father was his adviser. He taught me that preparation ‘equals success’. The meaning came to me through experiences such as making a plan to build a grill and carrying it out, and waking up at 4 o’clock in the morning to attend spring contest. I found that all that preparation brought success to myself and my chapter. And this was the true key to shaping me into the man I am.

FFA

Then there was the next chapter of my life; college. I had to figure out what I wanted to pursue as a career. There I was trying to make life decisions at the ripe age of 17. I had always had the idea of being a History teacher and coaching. But then the more I thought about, it I began to realize how much agriculture and the FFA has done to mold me. And then my mind was set I would be the 3rd generation Mr. Kephart.