Meadow heights FFA student turns project into business

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PATTON, Mo. (KFVS) – Future Farmers of America members are known for being knowledgeable about agriculture, but they also learn life skills and how to be leaders.

One student leader at Meadow Heights is making her dreams come true.

“It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do,” Lydia Whaley said.

Lydia Whaley dreamed of being in FFA most of her life.

“My parents have been in FFA and so have my cousins,” Whaley said.

Whaley grew up on a farm where she learned all about agriculture. She said she’s passionate about multiple kinds of farming.

“I grow pumpkins during the summer and different things like that, we have about 45 acres of pumpkins that I grow every year and then I also help with our cattle farm as well, feeding in the mornings and the afternoons,” she said.

Growing these pumpkins is more than a school project, it’s also a business.

“We have record books and we put the money and stuff that we distribute in there but with my pumpkins, I’m putting it back and I’m saving it for college and to help pay for my college degree,” she said.

At college, she plans to get an agribusiness degree, but until then, she’s focused on becoming chapter president and winning more awards.

She said she enjoys public speaking the most.

“My freshman year I was very scared, I did not like to talk to a lot of people. But my advisor she always pushed me, she supported me,” she said.

Her table of awards show how much she’s grown over the years.

“It was just an absolute amazing experience, I met so many new people, so many nice people and I met other advisors, people who gave me great advice,” she said.

She said she’s thankful FFA gave her more confidence and the tools to succeed.

Now, she’s setting an example for her younger brothers to continue the FFA family tradition.

“My team, my chapter, my community, everybody supports me and its absolutely amazing,” she said.

Whaley plans to grow and sell pumpkins even after high school.

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