Reagan O’Farrell: POWER of Youth

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Reagan O’Farrell is a high schooler who loves public speaking, BBQ competitions, and 4-H who lives in Appleton City in Agri-Ready Designated St. Clair County. A conversation with Reagan reveals that she loves, well, everything about agriculture as she passionately describes the many activities she is involved in and her goals for the future. Regan’s favorite thing to do in FFA is public speaking and she always has a speech ready. Alongside her family, she takes her SAE and 4-H projects from pasture to plate. Recently selected for the Missouri Agribusiness Academy based on her achievements, leadership and communication, Reagan is proof of the POWER of youth investing in Missouri agriculture…

Reagan has already been a 4-H member for 10 years where she participates in livestock judging at the state and national levels, shows beef cattle and pigs, the public speaking team, and more. In 2022 Reagan won 2nd place at the state 4-H contest with her speech about the “Cattlemen’s Market”.  

She is a member of her school’s High School BBQ Association team that competes at state and national levels. Reagan’s SAE encompasses raising her own beef cattle and hogs and processing them at home for her family to eat. She is a 5th generation beef farmer and believes she is blessed to have family farming be a tradition on both sides of her family. She is excited that the family is expanding their dedicated butchering space into a ‘food science and butchering building’. “Our new facility will have a railing system! That will be great for me because at 5’3”, I can’t quite handle a whole side of beef,” Reagan shared.

Reagan’s vivacious personality and apparent love for everything agriculture made her an excellent candidate for the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Academy (MAbA). She heard about MAbA and worked hard over several days to complete her application, and enjoyed the challenge of the questions during her subsequent interview process. Reagan earned a seat as one of five to represent her district and one of only thirty Missouri sophomores chosen through a competitive process to become a member of the 2023 Academy. Members of the elite class spent a week during June touring a variety of agribusinesses in the St. Louis area, with a trip to the bootheel region.

Reagan was inspired by the amount of conservation and sustainability she saw during the rice farm tour. Regarding the shrimp farm tour she said, “It blew my mind! Did you know we can grow shrimp in Missouri?” She learned about new advancements at the Purina Research Farm that will make it easier for farmers to keep their animals fed during droughts, like the conditions Reagan is experiencing on her family’s farm. Reagan’s favorite tour stop was Bayer Crop Science. Her dream job is to work for Bayer as a Human Rights Lawyer.

“I am a loud person. When I arrived at MAbA, I thought ‘These people are just like me and this is going to be so fun!’ I was surrounded by people who would lift you up, challenge you, and ask you questions. When my Advisor came to pick me up, I did not want to leave. I loved taking the personality test and our karaoke during the bus rides was on fire. Live, Breathe, Learn Agriculture,” Reagan concluded.

Reagan is the oldest child of Adam and Jamie O’Farrell. Her mom is her 4-H club leader and Ms. Sarah Leiber is her FFA Advisor. Reagan will serve as her FFA co-vice president and the Area 7 vice president this year. At school, Reagan is involved in Student Council and National Honor Society. Reagan is a member of the Missouri Pork Association, a partner of Missouri Farmers Care.