Seniors reflect on being with MCHS FFA chapter

By Theo Tate
Posted 2/29/24

Life has been good for Presley Schluss as a member of the Montgomery County FFA chapter.

During her four years with the chapter, the MCHS senior received a state degree at the Missouri FFA state …

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Seniors reflect on being with MCHS FFA chapter


Life has been good for Presley Schluss as a member of the Montgomery County FFA chapter.

During her four years with the chapter, the MCHS senior received a state degree at the Missouri FFA state convention, was an area proficiency winner in agricultural communications, earned a spot on the Missouri FFA Area V officer team, had a top-five finish at an Area V public speaking and delegates event and was voted Top Area V female shooter.

“I think it really impacted more than just my high school life,” Schluss said. “It set me up pretty well for college and other experiences.”

But in about three months, Schluss will be disappointed that her time with the MCHS FFA will be over.

“As soon as I went to my last mud volleyball (event), I knew that hanging up my jacket will be tough for me because I’m leaving this chapter,” Schluss said.

Many other seniors such as Derrick Cobb, Hannah Davis, Jace Ellis, Aleida Eldringhoff, Destani Eversmeyer, George Kolling, Alexa Groeber, Ray Poston, El Reagan, Robby Rodgers, Brayden Rose, Shea Stille, Levi Thurman, Lexy Veach and Jaylynn Zerr are also seeing their time with the MCHS FFA coming to an end. In the 2020-2021 school year, they were part of a group of 35 freshmen in the chapter.

“It will be weird because I’ve grown up with these people since kindergarten,” said Stille, who is the chapter’s president. “Not seeing them everyday is going to be interesting.”

The seniors spent their final FFA Week from Feb. 18-23. Members did many activities such as visiting St. Louis, driving their tractors and farm trucks to school, helping out with the annual Supporter and Teacher Appreciation BBQ and going to Top Golf.

Schluss, who shares vice-president duties with Poston and is a Missouri FFA Area V reporter, said bringing her 1972 Chevy farm truck to school on Feb. 21 was a big highlight for her during FFA Week.

“It’s the first time I have ever driven a farm truck and I’m glad that I got to bring it out and showcase it a little bit,” Schluss said.

The seniors posed for a picture with other chapter members before the Supporter and Teacher Appreciation BBQ began on Feb. 22. Schluss said she is thrilled to be part of a group that has members learning about agriculture.

“Being in that big group is really fun to get that many people excited and motivated to do something,” Schluss said. “We all share the same passions and values and it’s fun to see all of those people come together and have conversations about changing things, what we love doing, sharing our opinions and our voices and our experiences together. We’re all kind of similar. We all get along really well. It’s like a big ole family of all 90 of us.”

Eight FFA members qualified for state in area proficiency, six of them are seniors. They are Eldringhoff (ag services), Cobb (diversified crops), Ellis (diversified horticulture), Schluss (equine placement), Groeber (outdoor recreation) and Zerr (goat production).

“Being one of the kids who get to go up there on stage and sit on the floor with a bunch of random people you never met is always fun,” said Schluss, who plans to attend Northwest Missouri State University next year. “It’s a great way to make connections. Everyone who I met down on the floor and interacted on the stage was very professional. They’re well-rounded people who love what they’re in.”

Also, Cobb, Stille, Poston, Groeber, Rose, Eldringhoff, Ellis, Eversmeyer, Zerr and Veach were named candidates for receiving their state FFA degree like Schluss did last year. An announcement of the state FFA degree recipients will be made in March.

Stille is also having a successful career with FFA. When she was a freshman, she was part of an agronomy group that finished seventh in state. The group included her older sister, Heather, who is now attending Northwest Missouri State.

“It’s been really great,” said Stille, who plans to attend the University of Missouri in Columbia next year. “I plan to stay in FFA. I think you can keep doing it until 21. I’ll be in it and hopefully, I’ll get my American degree in a few years. The opportunities I had in FFA are unmatched.”

Also during the school year, Poston was named Barnwarming Queen and Groeber was named a recipient for the Missouri Cattlemen’s Foundation Scholarship.


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