More than 400 high school students from across Missouri attended the 23rd Missouri Farm Bureau Youth Leadership Day Thursday, April 27.

More than 400 high school students from across Missouri attended the 23rd Missouri Farm Bureau Youth Leadership Day Thursday, April 27.

Along with their chaperones, the students met with legislators at the State Capitol and participated in an afternoon session at the MFB Center. Youth Leadership Day is sponsored by the Missouri Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Program.

With both chambers in session, students experienced the hectic nature of the Capitol. Some groups were invited to the side galleries by their legislators while others visited with them in the hallways outside the chambers.

Returning to the MFB Center for lunch, the group was welcomed by Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst. Farm Bureau Ambassadors Sydnee Mason of Marshall and Tony Morgan of Lamar talked about their experiences as spokespersons for Farm Bureau.

The featured speaker was Cody Jones. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri, Jones returned last June from Ghana, Africa, after serving with Agricorps. The company provides and promotes agricultural education in developing countries. While overseas, Jones was a 4-H advisor, teacher and extension agent for junior high students and their community.

In the village of 200 where he taught, Jones said all of the farming practices are done by hand and villagers raise enough food to feed their families.

“They are some of the most caring people you will meet and willing to learn. They are only limited by the financial investment required to improve how they farm,” he said.

Jones is now following his passion of farming on the family farm. He told students to follow their own passion in life. His experience in Africa was one he recommends to any new college graduate. “Agricorps is a great one-year agricultural training program,” he said. “The main thing in life is to show up. Make sure you are there to solve problems and be sure to thank those that help you.”

Costs for the school trip are underwritten by county Farm Bureaus and the MFB Foundation for Agriculture. Those attending from Marion County/ Monroe City were: Addi Hays, Nicole Goellner, Halli Karr and Micha Gottman. Chaperones were: Marion County Board Members: Megan Gottman and Lacey Miller.