A FFA Members Success at State


Photo by Matt Crutcher

Brooke Heavin at her State competition

Bailey Richardson

Recently, Brooke Heavin competed in the State FFA Beef Speaking Contest and placed second overall. The speaking contest was held at the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association in Columbia, Missouri.

Brooke Heavin, a senior at Fair Grove High School, is a four year FFA member. She has held the office of Secretary, prior to President for the last two years at the chapter level, and Vice President at the area level. Heavin is very familiar with all the opportunities offered through FFA, as she has previously competed on the Dairy Cattle, Livestock, and Meats judging teams, along with Agronomy. She’s participated in Creed, Advanced Prepared and Fall Public Speaking. 

Heavin competed in the Area X Missouri Cattlemen’s Fall Public speaking contest on November 7th, 2019, where she placed first out of 10 participants. Advancing onto districts, where she was successful taking first place once again. Finally, Heavin competed at the state level against the winners of all six districts throughout the state. 

Heavin stated, “I believe that bettering my speech throughout this year, practicing saying it, and memorizing it has lead me to my success.” She continued, “…Having Mr. Crutcher and Mr. Johnston’s advice and support along the way improved my public speaking.” She worked months previous to the contests on her speech, saying it during class and always looking to better herself. Heavin specifically chose the beef cattle topic explaining, “I’ve grown up raising and showing cattle my whole life, therefore, it was something I was interested in and well educated.”

Mr. Cole Johnston, Heavin’s agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, believes that she used a combination of skills she’s been raised around and has learned. “…I think her biggest advantage in this category is the fact that Brooke has been raised basically on Pinegar farms and always been around cattle…Brooke has been around and a part of several conversations about the issues that producers face in the industry. As for Brooke’s skills for public speaking, she has the ability of remembrance which is vital to being a top public speaker. She is passionate about the topic area and was able to relate…this combined with a good presence and voice helped her excel and qualify for state..” Johnston stated in regards of what skills led Heavin to her success. The preparation of her speech did not go unnoticed by Johnston either, “She put in the effort and took guidance in where to find information…she found information that related to her topic in the case of questions from the judging panel and made sure her timing and low worked well in several different rooms.”

Heavin will soon be graduating this May, and hopes to leave the underclassmen with some advice to help them be successful. “My advice would be to participate! Many younger members are too scared or don’t want to, but they do not realize the advantages and all the skills you can learn from participating.” This applying to all extracurricular activities, as Heavin is also a member of DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), and NHS (National Honors Society).