Meet an Arizona FFA Member: Kailee Zimmerman
Having the opportunity to serve as the Arizona Junior Beef Ambassador has been an absolute thrill and privilege! I really do heart beef!! My family ranched in southern Arizona in a small settlement called Klondyke when Arizona was still a territory. This is in the Aravaipa Canyon near the Graham Mountains, which is about an hour outside of Safford. My great grandpa Neuel Weathersby started the family tradition of raising polled Herefords. Though my grandparents sold the 7K Bar Ranch, they moved north and ran cattle on other ranches throughout the state. I am so thankful to have been raised understanding the legacy of these amazing cattlemen as well as the example of my parents who are so very passionate about American agriculture. It is from them that I get my love for Herefords and passion for the beef industry as a whole. I have enjoyed carrying on their legacy by raising cattle of my own and being a member of the Arizona Cowpunchers Reunion Rodeo Association. I recently bred my first heifer this year, and I am so excited to start my own herd with her offspring as well as my younger cattle.
My family has been heavily involved in FFA for years. My dad, aunt, and uncle have served as state officers. My dad also was an ag teacher when I was little, and my friends and family members have grown because of the amazing leadership skills acquired through being an FFA member. I wanted to have this opportunity so badly! However, I have attended a small charter school, that I love, since fifth grade, but it did not have an FFA program. Thanks to my incredible parents and headmaster, we were able to get a chapter chartered! Being a member of Trivium FFA has been such an incredible blessing, not only for me but also for those in my chapter. Many people today are so far removed from where their food comes from and, even more so, from the incredible people who raise and grow it. Being a member of FFA has been yet another venue for me to share truths about the industry and community that I am so passionate about and proud to be a part of. I know that the skills and experiences I gain through the FFA are invaluable – from public speaking to budgeting, and from leadership skills to learning how to work as a team. I know that I will often turn back to these skills throughout my life to help me, and I will look back fondly at all the memories made with members of my chapter and the Arizona FFA Association.
I am elated to be able to attend my very first State Leadership Conference as an FFA member this week. Though I have had the privilege of attending a few sessions before, the feeling of sitting amongst the “sea of blue jackets” is indescribable. It has been incredible to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. At the opening session of the conference, Trivium FFA will be recognized as a newly chartered chapter, and it will symbolize the culmination of hard work and perseverance of so many people. How grateful I am for them. Because of their efforts, the members of Trivium FFA, as well as myself, can have a wealth of true knowledge and countless opportunities to learn and grow.
Happy State Leadership Conference week to all! I hope it is filled with tons of laughs and memories made! May your herds be healthy and let’s all pray for rain!
Arizona Jr. Beef Ambassador