February 24, 2021

Orient-Macksburg welcomes new FFA advisor

ORIENT — Promise City native Riley Brown was announced as Orient-Macksburg’s new FFA advisor recently and will first go to work leading the school’s chapter through National FFA Week, which is Feb. 20-27.

Brown is a December graduate of Northwest Missouri State University and was grateful to secure a position so soon after graduation, due to the mid-term retirement of Bill Umbaugh.

Brown grew up living on a farm where they raised cattle and Boer goats and her early involvement in FFA at the middle school level inspired her to become an ag sciences instructor someday.

“I had the opportunity to join in seventh grade at my school. I didn’t participate in any contests really until I was a freshman, but I decided to participate in the Creed, and that was big for me because I was a very shy kid and didn’t want to get up in front of the room and talk to anybody, but my ag teacher pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me do it,” Brown said. “After that, speaking hasn’t been a problem since and I have obviously become a teacher now.”

Participating in many contests through FFA in her high school career, Brown eventually attained an American Degree, the highest degree an FFA member in America can achieve, and it shows the recipient has gone above and beyond to reach that pinnacle of the organization.

“About my junior year, I went to the National FFA Convention, and it was there I decided I wanted to be an ag teacher too and wanted to give those same experiences my ag teacher gave to me back to other students, to help them step out of their comfort zone and try new things,” Brown explained.

Brown said her goals for Orient-Macksburg FFA include increasing participation in all ways and pushing students out of their comfort zone to try new things, realizing that FFA doesn’t just have to be for students who live on a farm.

“There are a lot of different opportunities here and things I have planned for the kids over the next several years. I think it will be an exciting time for them and for me,” Brown said. “I would like to add some more shop specific classes on the education side of things. We have a hydroponics system and greenhouse which haven’t been used in a while, so I’d like to get those up and running to give more opportunities for our kids.”