This post is the sixth in a series. Each month up until State FFA Convention in April, you’ll get the opportunity to meet one of the Nebraska FFA’s State FFA Officers. Let’s get to know State President Alix Mashino today from the West Boyd FFA Chapter.
I competed in Junior and Senior Parliamentary Procedure, Cooperative Speaking, Livestock Judging, the Envirothon, and Range Judging. I also participated in many community service projects at the chapter level, and the Agricultural Issues Academy at State Convention.
What were your SAEs and how did you become involved in them?
I had multiple SAEs during high school. The first was pretty unique! It was a candy making business I started with two friends, so it fell under the area of Agricultural Sales-Entrepreneurship. I wanted to have an SAE that wasn’t what was thought of as “normal”, I wanted something unique! Our business, Sugar ‘n Spice Candy Company, got to be big enough and all three of us got busy enough where it was difficult to coordinate all of our schedules to get together to bake, sort, package, and deliver. Two of us ended up selling our shares to the third part of our partnership.
My other two SAEs dealt with working on my family’s farm/ranch. All four years of high school I helped my family with everything from fixing fence and treating cattle to combining wheat and baling hay, so it was a Diversified Agriculture-Placement SAE. My other SAE was Beef Production-Entrepreneurship. My family owns a custom cattle backgrounding operation, so my dad and I decided that I would take on a pen of cattle on my own. I made all the decisions when it came to the feed rations, what to vaccinate the cattle with, and what to charge for the feed, vaccine, etc. I was also in charge of all the billing. All three of my SAEs taught me a lot about many different aspects of agriculture!
Where are you attending college and what are you majoring in?
I am a freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in agricultural education with a minor in entrepreneurship and education. I am also a part of the Beef Scholars Program.
What activities are you becoming involved with as a college student?
I have become involved the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, Agricultural Educators Club, FFA Alumni, and as I said before, the Beef Scholars Program.
What are your future career goals?
I want to work in public relations for the agriculture industry then return to a rural community to teach agriculture education and be an FFA advisor. Or, maybe it will happen the other way around—teaching first, then the communications side of things. Or, maybe it will happen at the same time…who really knows?! I am just excited to have a career in the agricultural industry. There are so many options with an agricultural degree!
What inspired you to run for a state officer position?
Past state officers were my inspiration to run for a state officer position. My first COLT experience was the summer after my sophomore year of high school, and the state officers that year made a huge impact on my life. I remember how much I valued their opinion and looked up to them. I wanted to be to younger members now what those state officers were to me back then.
What has been the best part of your officer year so far?
There have been so many amazing experiences of my state officer year so far, and there are a ton more to come! Just recently, my favorite part of my officer year has been attending Leadership Skill Event competitions (LSEs). I am able to see the end product of everyone’s practicing and preparing for different contests. It is awesome to see everyone’s hard work paying off!
What words of advice do you have for FFA members across the state?
Two words: Be real. When each of us are being real, we are being the very best we can be. If we are real with ourselves in what we enjoy, we will give 100% in those areas. Being real also means sticking to the values and beliefs that we hold important in our own lives.
What has been your biggest moment of learning as a state officer?
The biggest moment of learning as a state officer was during Business and Industry Visits. We spent many hours training for these visits with our sponsors. Learning how to professionally open and close a business meeting and how to relay messages about Nebraska FFA to our sponsors was something that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my professional career. It was also so inspiring to learn about the great support that our sponsors give Nebraska FFA! Knowing that we have industry members that believe in us as Nebraska FFA members makes me want to strive to be the best I can be in all of my duties as a state officer!
What are your hobbies or what do you do for fun?
I love spending time with family and friends! Cooking meals and sitting down to eat with a group of people who I haven’t seen for a long time is a great way to catch up! (Ask the team about our Christmas party cooking experience…the Food Network better watch out, Nebraska FFA state officers will soon be taking over their jobs!) When I have time, I also love to play guitar and read.
Who do you consider your greatest role model?
I consider my greatest role model to be my mom. She is just short of superwoman~seriously! She is not only a mother to four girls, she also helps my dad outside with anything that needs to be done, and takes care of all the bookwork, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. inside. On top of all of this, she also homeschools my youngest sister and is an active member of our church and the community. I always knew I could count on Mom to be at almost all of my competitions and performances throughout elementary and high school. She is one of the most selfless individuals I know. I didn’t fully realize, until I left home, how much she truly does! Her support and guidance, especially over this last year, are more valuable than she will ever know!