FFA continues to inspire CAFNR student Sydnee Mason

Dedicated, inspiring, and goal-oriented are three words Sydnee Mason’s high school FFA adviser Tyler Burgin would use to describe her.

“She leads by example and never asks someone to do something that she is not willing to do herself,” Burgin said. “She is committed to making those around her feel better, doesn’t leave anyone behind and she does not settle for what she has already accomplished.”

Mason first learned about agriculture as a young girl through her parents who were rodeo coaches. The rodeo took her from coast to coast where she said she heard some great stories.

But, from her first Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) as a freshman at Marshall High School, which consisted of buying calves when they were small and selling them when they got bigger, FFA has been the catalyst in her agricultural career.  

Mason served as the 2017-2018 Missouri FFA Secretary, and she was the Missouri candidate for a National FFA officer in 2018 and 2019. Mason credits Burgin with sparking her drive to run for a national office.

“He lives by this phrase, every day and every way we’re getting better,” Mason said. “It’s what drives me to run for a national office and go through the grueling process again to have the opportunity to interact with FFA members and have the opportunity to have the influence on them that makes them better every single day and every single way.”

Mason said these words give her goosebumps every time she hears them. The advice she has for FFA members is to not let anyone invalidate your experiences or opinions; there is strength in difference.

Mason worked for Kari Asbury as the Missouri Farmers Care outreach specialist during a summer internship. In this role, she planned and delivered a six-week workshop about agriculture advocacy to 1,500 FFA members at the Missouri State FFA Camp.

“Sydnee’s intellect, outgoing personality and superior communication skills quickly made her a valuable asset to the team,” Asbury said. “She was also instrumental in expanding our Agri-Ready program.”

Mason was responsible for getting a third of the counties in Missouri involved in this five-year program. The program is designed to promote counties that support Missouri farmers and Missouri’s economic interest in agriculture.