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Galm challenges new FFA members to volunteer as much as possible

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 04/04/2013 7:42 PM

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For National FFA Week, which was Feb. 16 to Feb. 23, Agri News talked to state FFA officers from northern Iowa. This week we are featuring Cassie Galm, State Reporter.

Q: Tell us about yourself.

My parents are Paul and Brenda, and I graduated from Spencer High School in 2012. I attend Iowa Lakes Community College in the ag transfer program in Emmetsburg and plan to move on to Iowa State University and major in agricultural education.

Q: What are some of the things you've been doing as a state FFA officer?

As the State Reporter, a lot of my responsibilities have had to do with Social Media such as Twitter, Facebook, the Iowa FFA Today magazine and more recently the (s)TALK, which is a bi-weekly newsletter that we send out. Otherwise from the summer to now the team and I have gone on Partnership Visits to companies around the state, hosted and presented leadership conferences, chapter visits, and talked with statesmen about agricultural and educational issues. Currently we are preparing for the biggest event of the year, the State Leadership Conference.

Q: What are your future plans for school and career?

I want to graduate from Iowa State with an agriculturaleducationdegree. I have a few options, the obvious one being an ag teacher. The other is working with an ag-based company. I'm not sure which path I want to take. I know I would never be able to handle a cubicle job. I love working with the members and the agricultural community. I know that is where I want to stay.

Q: What are your future FFA goals?

Collegiate FFA as well as the alumni both look promising. I'm hoping that Spencer, my home chapter, will be starting up an alumni program soon.

Q: Who are your mentors?

One might seem a little obvious and that would be Steven Brockshus. He is the state president this year and is from the Sibley Ocheyedan FFA Chapter. He was also the vice president last year who was in charge of the district officer team that I was a part of. Over the last two years, we have become close as both teammates and friends; he is always pushing for not only me but the team to do our best, reminding us that everything we do affects the now over 13,000 members in our state.

Q: Tell us about your Supervised Agricultural Experience Project.

My Supervised Agricultural Experience, at times, feels like a bigger bite than what I bargained for, but on the same note, I wouldn't give any part of it up. I raise market hogs, meat goats, and broilers for show, which makes up the entrepreneurship side of my SAE. The ag placement portion of my SAE has been working as a farm hand for my dad and uncles during harvest and planting. Through raising livestock, I have gained many skills such as time management, understanding feed rations, medical applications, and the ways to spot differences in the livestock from day to day; all aspects of good animal husbandry. I've learned how to operate large farm machinery, make minor repairs, grasped an understanding of soil types, hybrid placement, safe chemical application, and developed a superior work ethic.

Q: How has FFA helped shape who you are?

I wrote a radio spot for FFA Week that explains what this great organization can do for a person: "Iowa FFA, we aren't just sows, cows, and plows. We are more than 13,000 high school students. We are conquering Americas No. 1 fear, public speaking. We are learning about biotechnology, science, math, record keeping, teamwork and responsibility. We are developing today's leaders for tomorrow's jobs." FFA has helped to open my eyes to so much more that is going on in the world today.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time (if you have any)?

A lot of my spare time is when I'm on the road. It is normally spent making phone calls, jamming out to the radio or playing with the duck call that is hanging from my review mirror. Otherwise I go bowling or have a relaxing movie night with friends.

Q: What advice would you give to young people starting out in FFA?

There is so much that FFA has to offer! But if you don't ask your teacher, build up the courage to go on a trip or join a contest, it will be really hard to see that. My challenge for incoming members is to volunteer as much as possible. On the same note, I challenge upperclassmen to encourage the younger members.