I was in FFA for 4 years throughout high school and am still an out of high school member today.   FFA taught me a lot and I credit much of my leadership experience to the beneficial program.  I also feel FFA helped me learn more about my passion for agriculture.  My agriculture teachers and FFA advisors were Brian Lantz and Matt Carlson.  I was lucky enough to go back to my high school agriculture classroom and talk with my two favorite FFA advisors!

Q: What is your opinion on getting involved in FFA?

B.L. Answer: When getting involved in FFA, students have an opportunity to perform.  That can range from shop class or participating in a contest.  I believe FFA is able to show a student what they are capable of doing.  I also believe that students that participate in FFA are head and shoulders above other students that do not buy into the program. All in all, there are an abundance of opportunities that allows students to advance to the next level.  I have a real joy seeing kids get excited about agriculture. 

M.C. Answer: I think participating in FFA will allow you to learn things that you will remember for the rest of your life.  FFA allows you to participate in things “outside of the classroom”, a lot of real life situations.  I also think FFA is a huge team working together that all have an interest in agriculture.  

Q: What is the favorite thing about your job?

B.L. Answer: The favorite thing about my job is helping kids be successful.  When I do that, I know I have done my job. I also enjoy seeing students participate in SAE’s or supervised agricultural experiences, because it increases responsibility for later in life.

M.C. Answer: Being able to work with students and taking part in the new advances in agriculture is some of the favorite things I enjoy in my job.

Left to right: Matt Carlson (FFA Advisor), Brian Lantz (FFA Advisor), Dennis Degner, Kayla Degner, Julie Degner, Jeff Kruse (Superintendent) and Earl Trachsel (High School Principal).  This photo was taken at the 2012 State FFA Leadership Conference in Ames, IA where Kayla received her Iowa Degree and STAR Over Iowa Award.


Throughout my FFA experience, I participated in many contests, classes and events. My career development events included Conduct of Meetings, Parliamentary Procedure, and Public Speaking.  My senior year I applied for my Iowa Degree and was also awarded a Star Over Iowa Award in agricultural production.  In 2012, 24 individuals were selected out of about 600 applicants for having outstanding Iowa Degree applications, also known as the Stars Over Iowa. My SAE for this award included raising cattle and sheep.  I was an FFA chapter officer for two years, secretary my junior year and president my senior year of 136 members.  I thoroughly enjoyed everything I did and cannot express how important this organization can be for students!

Even after high school, there are numerous scholarships available and organizations in college that are much like FFA.  I think the greatest thing I took away from this experience, was my ability to do what I set my mind to.  I was able to meet a lot of people while growing closer to the people I shared the love of FFA with. If you are given this opportunity, make sure and try it out. 



Kayla Degner was born and raised in rural Lytton, IA on a diversified grain and livestock family farm. She graduated from Rockwell City-Lytton in May 2012 and currently attends Iowa State University studying Agricultural Communications. Her past involved many agriculture venues. Kayla has a strong interest in advocating to the youth involved in agriculture.

Contact her at [email protected].