Kayla Mulhern
Kayla Mulhern

FFA has paved the way to the future for Kayla Mulhern as her involvement in the activity has given her leadership skills and a direction after high school.

“FFA has had a great influence on my life. It has helped me grow and helped my leadership skills a ton,” said the Kingsland senior who has been a member of the Spring Valley-Wykoff FFA chapter since eighth grade and has certainly reaped the benefits of being a part of the organization.

“I joined since my older brother was in it, and also coming from an agriculture background, it just seemed like a club that I would like,” she said.

And apparently, she was right. 

“I like all the opportunities you get. There are ag-based aspects, but there are also leadership opportunities, which makes it a versatile club that anyone could be in.  I have been in many projects and programs. I helped with the urban ag in the classroom event in Rochester — which has probably been my favorite so far.” 

She has also participated in the corn drive, FFA Week activities such as the barnyard, pancake breakfast and the Ag Olympics. She has also been in general livestock judging, nursery and landscape and meats career development events (CDE).

FFA has widened her horizons greatly, from growing her leadership and presentation skills to affording her travel opportunities and educational credits. 

“It has helped me gain knowledge that I may not have gotten before. It has also helped me give presentation skills to help me in other classes and has helped me be able to work in groups a lot better. I also have learned speaking skills which I may not have had otherwise,” she said.  “In FFA, I have had the opportunity to show animals like cattle and sheep, which I have always enjoyed. It also has helped me gain more knowledge about agriculture.

“I have been able to go to state convention many times, which is always fun. I also have been able to go to leadership events and Greenhand Camp, which helped me grow as a leader.  I just finished working on my state degree and hope to be getting it in April at state convention.  I have also been studying for meats and hope our team can make it to the state competition.”

Given the chance to rewind her high school years and start all over again, she would still be in FFA, although she noted she may have tried harder at general livestock judging since she has such a high interest. 

“If I could tell others about FFA, I would tell them to join and give it a try, even if they do not think they would fit in,” said Mulhern. “I would like them to know it is a great organization and that they should try it out.”

Ultimately, Mulhern’s FFA experiences have shown her that agriculture will be in her future, always the scale on which she measures her life’s accomplishments.  At the urban ag event, seeing how much the kids were actually interested in the subject, she started to realize that she wanted to stay in agriculture. 

She would like to become an agricultural loan officer or an animal pharmaceutical rep because both careers revolve around agriculture.  She plans on attending college at either the University of Wisconsin-River Falls or the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“FFA has helped me decide I want to take agriculture classes,” she said. “FFA has helped me get into college by showing the colleges my leadership skills.  I plan on staying in FFA and continuing to show and stay part of a great organization.”