Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal is pleased to introduce our 2019 Ohio FFA Student Reporters. Over the next two days, these young people will be helping our team report the latest happenings from State Convention. Here’s a bit about them:
Hello everyone! My name is Mackenzie Hoog, I’m 17 years old, and a junior at Valley View High School. I belong to the Valley View MVCTC FFA Chapter and am currently the 2018-19 Vice President, but will soon be the 2019-20 President. In high school, I participate in other activities such as varsity cheer, Interact Club, NHS, FCA, and student government. I am currently the President of my class and am planning prom, which is a daunting task but with the help of my team, I’m sure everything will run smoothly. Outside of school, I am a competitive cheerleader, in 4-H, President of the Montgomery County Junior Fair Board and member of our fair’s court as well. Then, this year I have been selected to be on the Ohio State Junior Fair Board. Though it sounds like a lot, I try to keep myself on my toes and make as many memories and friends possible. I was an Ohio Ag Net Student Reporter last year, and have been graced with this opportunity again. Working with the team last year was so much fun, I couldn’t resist doing one more year. It made my convention experience so much last year, and I know it will be the same if not better this year. At State Convention, I will be receiving my State Degree along with representing my chapter for being recognized as a Gold Rated Chapter. I am very excited and cannot wait for this year’s memories and fun!
My name is Carlie Cluxton and I am a junior at Peebles High School. In addition to being Co-Vice President of the Peebles FFA Chapter I am involved in other clubs and activities including: Cheerleading, Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS), Spanish Club, Beta Club, and National Honor Society (NHS). I am also a member of The Cannon Hill Kids 4-H Club, and through 4-H a involved in the following: Secretary of Adams County Junior Fair Board, Adams County 4-H Junior Leaders, 2018 Adams County Fair Queen, and most recently a member of the Adams County Tech Changemakers. Last year I had the opportunities of being a HOBY representative for my school, and I got to participate in the Ohio Youth Capital Challenge (OYCC) where my team and I won first place for our policy proposal. I live on a beef and grain farm on the outskirts of Peebles, my family owns and/or operates 1400 acres of land. On our farm we raise hay, corn, and soybeans along with commercial beef cattle, and purebred Limousin cattle. My siblings and I each own a small herd of registered Limousin cattle, which we show at the Ohio State Fair, and we also show market beef at our county fair. Agriculture is very much installed in me as I am the 5th generation to live and work on the Cluxton farm, which was not always beef. As a kid, my dad and his family raised sheep on our family farm and then Holstein dairy cattle after that which we sold in 2010. Additionally, on my mothers side of the family, the Smiley’s, have also made huge contributions to Ohio agriculture, as it is the oldest consecutive family owned and operated farm in Ohio being bought in 1772. My grandfather, John Smiley owns and runs this farm with my uncle James Smiley, where they raise Charolais cattle. My whole life I have gotten to grow up and learn to understand agriculture and the value it has in our country, something I feel this day in age many people have a hard time doing. That is why I want to go into Agriculture Communications, to education and make people aware about controversial issues in agriculture, and to become an advocate to be the voice of farmers and producers all across the country.
Halle A. Miller is a 10th grader and a member of the Norwayne FFA. She has enjoyed competing in many CDE events at the District and State level including Food Science, Parliamentary Procedure, Job Interview, Ag Sales, Meat Judging, Creed Speaking and Beginning Prepared Speaking CDEs. Halle breeds Bordoodle puppies, crossing a border collie and a poodle creating an extremely intelligent low shed breed. The puppies are bred and sold to families across the country as her Supervised Agricultural Experience.
As a member of the Norwayne FFA, Halle lives out the FFA motto “living to serve” as a part of their annual FFA Community Benefit Dinner and Auction. The FFA members come together to choose a local family facing serious medical expenses. The chapter organizes a pulled pork dinner and benefit auction to support the chosen family. Last year the event was attended by hundreds of people and raised $28,000 for an elementary school student who received a liver transplant. Halle finds it rewarding to be able to serve others with such a special event in her community.
Halle is also very active in 4-H and holds a variety of leadership positions in her club and county groups. She breeds and shows Southdown Lambs in addition to other cooking and sewing 4-H projects.
A highlight of the past year was the opportunity for Halle to provide to former OSU and NFL football player, Anthony Gonzalez, a personal tour of the Wayne County Fair. Halle enjoyed promoting Wayne County’s agriculture to Mr. Gonzalez, who is now a U.S. Congressman. The tour was filmed by the NFL, and a portion of it was featured on the “Life After the NFL” segment which was televised prior to the Colts and Patriots Thursday night football game.
Halle is excited about the opportunity to serve as a Student FFA Ag Reporter with the Ohio Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net at this year’s State FFA Convention!
Lindsey Okuley is currently a senior at Botkins High School. Throughout her four years in the ag. program, she has remained very involved in her FFA chapter. Last year, she served as Vice President and is currently serving as President. She is also involved in various CDEs such as parliamentary procedure, pubic speaking, and general livestock judging. Outside of FFA, Lindsey has been in 4-H, showing poultry, for seven years. She has also been a member of her county’s junior fair board for four years. In school, she’s involved in National Honor Society, Student Council, soccer, swim, musical, band, musical, and other activities. This upcoming fall, Lindsey will be attending The Ohio State University majoring in agricultural communication.
Mallory is a junior at Wapakoneta High School and newly elected President of her FFA chapter. Through FFA, Mallory has competed in various state contests like Public Speaking and Job Interview. She also loves to show pigs and travel to national shows with her brother. Mallory has a passion for agriculture and hopes to find a career within the industry some day.