Madison Reiland with her calf at the Mower County Fair.
SUBMITTED PHOTO Madison Reiland with her calf at the Mower County Fair.
“FFA helped me realize how many jobs there are in agriculture and helped me realize what career I would like to pursue…I would like to become an agricultural engineer because I have always wanted to design something that is more efficient for all farmers to use. I am in dairy foods career development event (CDE) because I want to design products for the dairy industry,” explained Kingsland ninth grader Madison Reiland, a member of the Spring Valley-Wykoff FFA chapter advised by Kristal Brogan.

Reiland has been in FFA for three years now. She joined FFA because she comes from a farm family.

“I like being in FFA because you get to teach so many people about agriculture, and you get to do a lot of fun activities that have to do with ag,” she said. “In seventh grade, I went to my first urban ag event where we teach Rochester elementary kids about agriculture. I have participated in many other urban ag programs and plan to this year also. I have also brought a calf to the FFA Week barnyard since seventh grade, and I got to go to the John Deere plant in Iowa with some other members of my chapter. It was amazing to see a tractor that we would use on my family’s farm being made.”

Reiland works on her family’s dairy farm for her supervised agriculture experience (SAE) and she takes care of the calves.

“Taking care of calves has taught me to keep calm when everything around you really isn’t,” she said.

She elaborated that while she’s always known what it’s like to be on a dairy farm, FFA provides a wider perspective of agriculture.

“FFA makes my education better by opening my eyes to see that kids in my area know very little about agriculture,” she explained. “FFA is important to me because I met a lot of great people from my area and all over the state…I wouldn’t want to start over in FFA because you build your knowledge of FFA and what you can do from your earlier years in it.”

Reiland plans to attend college, though she hasn’t chosen one at this point in her education. FFA will help her get into college with all the skills she has learned, she noted.

“Being in FFA made me really think about my future and that I want to be in agriculture, so my college classes will be based around my love for agriculture,” said Reiland. “I plan on staying in FFA after high school because many of my friends and I strive to be state officer one day.”

She remarked that ultimately, her FFA membership has been very beneficial and enjoyable.

“Being in FFA gives you a lot of opportunities that you can’t get anywhere else, especially if you enjoy agriculture,” she said. “You will meet many lifelong friends in FFA if you get involved…FFA isn’t just about agriculture. It’s about meeting people that share the same interests as you and doing a lot of fun activities along the way.”