Abbey Stock, a William Woods University sophomore from Hermann, Mo., was a national finalist at the National FFA Convention, where she won a trip to Costa Rica.
She competed in the National Agricultural Sales Placement Proficiency.
“Overall it was amazing—a great opportunity and a learning experience,” Stock said of her recent trip to Indianapolis, Ind.
Stock was chosen as a finalist based on her Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program in high school. As part of her project at Creekside Nursery, she took care of plants and helped customers choose landscape materials. She also worked with retail sales, marketing and merchandising and learned what it takes to be a good sales representative.
The road to nationals was a long process. She first won the area-level FFA competition in her category. Following that, she beat 16 individuals at the state competition.
To apply for the national competition, she completed a 20-page application based on her experience and her plans to relate her major in exercise science and physical education to agriculture.
Stock’s family raises soybeans. She plans to market soy products, using the knowledge of nutrition that’s she’s gained in her WWU classes.
“I’m benefiting the well-being of American society—and I’m supporting my family and what they do by promoting products that we produce ourselves,” said Stock.
Out of 50 applicants, one per state, Stock was chosen as one of four finalists to compete in her proficiency the national competition in Indiana.
While there, she interviewed and was chosen to represent the Agriculture Sales Placement Proficiency on a 10-day expense-paid trip to Costa Rica in June 2008.
During the trip, she will experience a variety of accommodations, staying with a host family, on a college campus and at a resort. She will see a rainforest and tour a volcano and the Costa Rican capital. She’ll visit organic coffee bean farms and banana farms, and work on a Costa Rican farm for a few days.
“This is something I know I’d never get to do ever again in my life,” Stock said. “To get the opportunity to travel outside the country is awesome.”
Stock credits FFA for helping her develop leadership skills. She was involved in FFA all four years of high school, serving as assistant sentinel, parliamentarian and vice president, and has competing in local, state and national events.