GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Liz Miller
GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Liz Miller
Kingsland junior Liz Miller has grown up with the grazing Angus that dot the hillside of her family farm just outside Spring Valley.

“I love my work and take great pride in what we do. I have always loved working on the farm – it never really gets boring for me,” said the Spring Valley-Wykoff FFA member.

Living on a farm and being a member of FFA has given her a chance to further explore agriculture through her supervised agriculture experience (SAE), a project in which she is responsible for the maintenance of something ag-related and the records that accompany such a thing. A member of FFA for five years, she is currently working on her beef project in which she bottle feeds 160 calves every morning and night, consistently, and also does other work that needs to be done on the farm.

“I definitely have learned so much in the last year when we started this enterprise back in February 2015,” said Miller. “It has taught me how to talk to professionals, and I have learned how to handle my responsibilities.”

She joined FFA because she felt it would broaden her perspective of agriculture, and it has, both on and off the farm.

“I thought it would be a good way to get me involved in agriculture and meet new people. It gives me a sense of community, knowing we can work together to make something come together,” she said. “I have been introduced to many different career choices that have helped me to make an informed decision as to what field of work I will go into. I would like to become a nutritionist specializing in cows or calves – definitely something ag-related. I work with a nutritionist for our calves that we feed, and I have job-shadowed that profession. I found that it was fun and it’s involved with agriculture.”

Miller is currently the Spring Valley-Wykoff chapter’s treasurer, as well as a member of the chapter’s nursery and landscape career development event (CDE) with Brianna Hindt, Jocelyn Voeltz and Nicole Lee. She also helps head many committees.

“FFA has definitely helped me go outside my comfort zone and be a little more brave in pursuing what I like,” said Miller. “I’ve had more experience talking with people and interacting with them, and FFA definitely helps with punctuality and integrity, which will help me throughout the rest of my life – I definitely have learned better time management, problem solving and communication.”

Furthermore, being an FFAer has afforded Miller opportunities to tour various different businesses and farms. She was able to tour the John Deere plant in Waterloo, Iowa, and has toured a buffalo farm and the CHS plant south of the Twin Cities. FFA members have also been able to tour dairy farms and other ag settings.

FFA is rather high on her list of priorities.

“It’s very important…something that I look forward to,” she said. “I take great pride in the simple fact that I am an FFA member. I wouldn’t go back to the beginning if I could start over, but if I did, I would try to get more involved early on in my FFA career.”

Miller is certain that she’ll have been influenced by her choice to join FFA, even beyond her years as a high school student. While she most likely will not continue as a graduate member, she feels that it’s made a difference as she pursues college to become a nutritionist. Besides looking good on a college application, FFA has helped her make some good life choices, she noted. Miller hopes to attend the University of Minnesota or the University of Wisconsin.

She recommended joining FFA to anyone who might be interested in the prospect of membership.

“I would tell them that it is a great experience and it is a great opportunity to meet new people and put yourself out there,” said Miller. “It is a fun and loving organization that really teaches you a lot in life, and it helps you prepare for the future.”