Raegan Pendleton: POWER of Youth
Raegan Pendleton is the first-ever high school junior to serve as the president of the Mt. Vernon FFA Chapter. Raegan lives near Stotts City in Agri-Ready Designated Lawrence County on her family’s turkey farm where she walks the barns each morning checking flock health. Raegan’s FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project includes her own herd of five cattle and a unique baking business. She often bakes cakes for showers, birthdays, and has even made a couple of wedding cakes. “I love making free hand designs with my air brushing kit. I enjoy being creative with the icing and decorations, but I really don’t like to eat cake,” Raegan said.
Raegan Pendleton lives near Stotts City in Agri-Ready Designated Lawrence County on her family’s turkey farm. She walks the length of each barn every morning. By regularly moving the birds, they stay healthier and become conditioned to move when the turkey pens need to be maintained. The turkeys grow on the Pendleton farm for fifteen weeks, then Raegan helps to clean and sanitize the barns before the arrival of a new flock.
Raegan is the first-ever high school junior to serve as the president of the Mt. Vernon FFA Chapter. She is excited that her experience in public speaking gave her a competitive edge during the chapter interviews. Building on her leadership experience, she will serve as the Area 11 vice-president this year. Reagan is proof of the POWER of youth in Missouri agriculture.
Raegan inquired about the Missouri Agribusiness Academy (MAbA) when she noticed ‘Academy Applications Due’ on her agriculture classroom’s calendar of events. “I had a lot of fun during the interview process, even though I was sick that day and had to make it to a spring speech contest that evening,” Raegan said. Her interest in agribusiness made her an excellent candidate for the Missouri Agribusiness Academy. Raegan earned a seat as one of only five youth to represent her district of the state. Members of the class spent a week in June touring a variety of agribusinesses, will reunite during the Missouri State Fair, and graduate during the Missouri State FFA Convention the following April.
Raegan experienced the entire MAbA tour from an agribusiness perspective. She most enjoyed hearing from an agricultural finance professional that spoke to the group because she was able to relate that to her interests. “I appreciated seeing the diversity of Missouri agriculture on the tour and I have always wanted to have a career in agriculture, but I’m not interested in betting on a crop. I would like to be an agricultural lawyer. When we visited the poultry farm and learned about the regulations they have to follow, I began thinking about how as an agricultural lawyer, I could help solve problems,” Raegan said.
While the Academy aims to exhibit paths to career success, it also serves as an unforgettable experience that bonds thirty young, excited agriculturists from across Missouri. “MAbA was a great experience, maybe the best week of my life so far. It takes more than just a few of us to feed the world. More people should consider agriculture because we need more people in this industry,” Raegan said.
Raegan is the youngest child of Jeremy and Rachel Pendleton. Mr. Prewitt, Mr. Shepherd, and Mrs. Berheim are her FFA Advisors. The Pendleton family are members of Missouri Farm Bureau and FCS Financial, partners of Missouri Farmers Care.