COLUMBIA, Mo — Alyssa Francis, representing the Paris FFA chapter, was named the winner of the 2019 Missouri Cattle Industry FFA Public Speaking Contest. The final round of the competition was held Saturday, Jan. 5, during the 51st Annual Missouri Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in Columbia. Francis was recognized at the convention banquet honoring youth.

“This contest is truly a highlight of our convention,” said Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) Executive Vice President Mike Deering. “We are committed to empowering the next generation and this contest puts the talents of our future leaders on full display. These young leaders leave us with absolute confidence that the future of Missouri agriculture is in good hands.”

Six finalists competed in the state competition. These FFA members qualified for the state level by advancing through area and district competition. Lauren Gilbert, Chadwick FFA, placed second in the contest and Olivia Dooley, Norborne FFA,  placed third. The three other finalists included Whitney Evans, Dora FFA, Cole Murphy, Sweet Springs FFA, and Audra Pendergrass, Doniphan FFA.

Each finalist received $100 and the top three places were awarded additional money. Third placed received $200, second place received $300 and first placed received $500. The competition was hosted by MCA and the Missouri CattleWomen’s Association. The contest was sponsored by the Missouri Beef Industry Council; Missouri CattleWomen’s Association; Kent and Linda Blades; Apex Financial; Graham Insurance; Jimmie Long; and Duckworth Farms.
Contributed by the Missouri Cattleman’s Association