This post is the fourth in our series of Nebraska FFA Officers where you get to know the 2013-14 team. This month, let’s meet State Vice President Trey Mogensen from the Cedar Rapids FFA Chapter.
I was active in range judging, land judging, parliamentary procedure, agricultural demonstration, creed speaking, natural resource speaking, job interview, livestock management, livestock judging, nursery and landscaping and farm management contests. I also entered a proficiency every year and was very involved in chapter events.
In high school who did you look up to as a role model and why?
I grew up in a very small town and was blessed to have graduated from Cedar Rapids Public Schools. In school, I had many great teachers who truly had time for me. Mr. Rick Tank was one teacher who helped me understand what it meant to truly invest in others. He was willing to give everything he had to help you succeed. If you were willing to work, you can bet that Mr. Tank was going to stand up for you.
Another teacher with a tremendous impact on me was Mrs. MaKayla Coufal, my ag teacher. She was willing to give me so many opportunities and let me truly have a say in what happened and how I was going to succeed.
Mrs. Erin VanDeWalle, my English teacher, also helped push me to where I am today. She saw what I could be and challenged me to think deeper and go beyond just the words. Even though at the time it drove me nuts, Mrs. VanDeWalle had a reason for it. She was going to get all she could for me, and looking back I am so grateful for that.
The other real role model was the principal Mr. Chris Kuncl. He encouraged us to not accept no as an answer. I still remember the quote he had on his door: “Hard work beats Talent when Talent doesn’t Work Hard.” This helped to drive me to succeed and achieve. It helps me see that people will always push you and it’s your job to push back. He let the students set the environment and gave us the power to have our voices actually heard.
What do you do for fun?
I love to hunt and fish and be outdoors. I like spending time with family and friends and enjoy a good Husker football game every once in a while.
What were your Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs) and how did you become involved in them?
I had two major SAE’s in high school. For one of them, I worked on my family farm raising corn, soybeans, and alfalfa along with 300 cow/calf pairs. I also started my own scrap metal company that helped to clean up estates of old farmers after they passed away.
Where are you attending college and what are you majoring in?
I am attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and majoring in Agricultural Education in the teaching option.
What activities are you becoming involved with as a college student?
I am a member of Alpha Gamma Sigma Fraternity and I am involved in many different clubs. I am in Block & Bridle, Ag Ed Club, Collegiate Farm Bureau, Husker Food Connection and the Wildlife Club.
What are your future career goals?
I am an Agricultural Education major and I am looking to become a high school Ag teacher and FFA Advisor. From there, I may look to Extension or becoming a college professor.
What inspired you to run for a state officer position?
I was inspired to run for a state office after seeing everything that FFA offered to me and I saw this as a way that I could give back to the organization that has given me so much confidence and knowledge.
What has been the best part of your officer year so far?
The best part has been the NPower workshop for me. As a student, I had never heard of this particular workshop, but looking at it now it was such a great opportunity to work with students on a more personal basis. I think this helped me grow as a person more than I ever expected. The students truly made the experience and you could just feel how much that they wanted to be there. It was an amazing experience.
What words of advice do you have for FFA members across the state?
I just want the members to understand anything is possible. I never thought I would be where I am today, and it all happened because I decided I was going to put all that I had into everything that I do. I have had some very tough times with legal disputes over the family farm putting stress on my family, but the brightest people come out of the darkest times. If you put your heart in and are truly passionate about everything that you do, good things are going to happen.