Recker excels in Hay & Grain Show in just second year

Marissa Recker, a sophomore at MHS, won first place overall in the FFA Hay & Grain Show in November. From left are outgoing FFA Chapter President Breanna Adams; Gabriell Gadient, fifth place; Adam Schmitt, fourth place; Gavin Cooper, third place; Lacob Lorenzen, second place; and Recker, first place. (Express file photos)

Recker competed in 10 different categories out of many that are offered in the Gay & Grain Show, including best ear of corn, longest ear of corn, best shelled corn, and best soybeans. She said she walked her family’s fields with her dad to find the best product to show.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Marissa Recker of Monticello is only a sophomore, but she is certainly risen to the ranks of a leader within the Monticello High School FFA Chapter.

     In her second year in FFA, Recker competed for a second time in the FFA Hay & Grain Show. As a first-year competitor, she remained low-key and only entered three out of a total of 20 classes. This year, however, she had entries in 10 different classes, the most one can take part in. And, Recker came away a first-place finisher out of 25 Monticello FFA participants.

     “All exhibitors had good entries,” praised Recker. “It was pretty awesome to get first place.”

     Recker explained in the weeks leading up to the November Hay & Grain Show, she and her father walked their fields, looking for the best ears of corn.

     “I actually learned a lot about what makes good crops and what cropland is best,” she said.

     Recker entered such categories as: five best ears of corn, best ear of corn, best shelled corn, best soybeans, best painted pumpkin, best photo, and longest ear of corn. This year’s theme for the photo contest was landscape. For the painted pumpkin, Recker used a large pumpkin with smaller gourds to turn them into a teddy bear. As for the longest ear of corn, Recker said, “I beat most others by quite a lot.” Funny enough, her longest ear of corn came from the Reckers’ worst farm ground.

     “I was pretty confident in what I showed,” she said.

     Recker said despite this being her second year competing in the Hay & Grain Show, she’s learned a little something about which classes to take part in: those that have the lowest number of participants.

     “It helps your chances to enter the classes that don’t have many exhibits,” she offered. (Looks like Recker spilled the beans.)

     Aside from her excellence in Hay & Grain, Recker was also elected secretary of the Monticello FFA Chapter. This role involves taking notes during the meetings, putting together the agendas, and taking roll call at the start of meetings.

     “I also talk to other (FFA) clubs and get ideas on what they do differently and how we can apply it to our club,” explained Recker.

     She said being active in FFA is just another step after 4-H, something else for students to get involved in in high school.

     “You gain leadership skills,” Recker said, “and apply it to the real world.”

     One skill Recker offered she’s been able to perfect is public speaking.

     “I’m really not afraid to speak in front of people,” she said.

     Other FFA honors Recker has secured include her Grain Hand Degree and her Chapter Degree. She’s also taken part in the FFA district, state and national conventions.

     “You meet a lot of other FFA members,” she said of the experience.

     Now that she’s quite active in FFA, Recker has taken a step down from her 4-H club, the Scotch Grove Challengers. She’s been in 4-H since fourth grade, yet has three younger siblings who remain in the club.

     “As a leader in FFA, I tell them (her sisters) that they can be leaders in 4-H.”

     Recker said they all work together at home preparing their cattle for show at the Great Jones County and Iowa State fairs.

     “They’ve watched me show over the years,” she said.

     Recker plans to continue showing beef cattle in the local and State Fair. She is the daughter of Cory and Emily Recker.


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