On January 23, 2021, Jaron VanHouden won fourth place in the fall FFA public speaking contest hosted by the Missouri Quarter Horse Association.
Jaron first competed at area and district competitions, and after placing first at both, he advanced to State. His speech, which was delivered over a Zoom call, discussed the impact of horses on his life.
Jaron is also president of the Chadwick FFA and says the organization has been a big part of his success, helping foster both his leadership and public speaking skills.
He said, “FFA provides so many opportunities. Whether you would like to learn about plants or animals, there’s an opportunity for you…Whether you come from a farm or a city, there’s a place for you in the FFA.”
For incoming FFA members, Jaron recommends being bold. “At first, getting involved can seem really challenging and intimidating,” he said, “but it is one of the most rewarding decisions you will make in your lifetime.”
After graduation, Jaron plans to attend University of Missouri in Columbia, where he will pursue a degree in animal science and study to become a veterinarian.