Your browser is not supported. While we have made efforts to ensure you can still browse the website, please consider upgrading to a more recent version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome.

Youth Advisory Council Leads AFR Into the Future

(From left) Madi Baughman, Grant Wilber, Macee Hammack, Guess Leonard and Ashley Tucker.

The American Farmers & Ranchers Youth Advisory Council was started more than 30 years ago and has produced numerous outstanding young leaders.  The legacy continues at Senior Leadership Summit, July 24-30, when a new council of five high school juniors and seniors is elected to a one-year term.

The youth advisory council members for 2015-2016 are Ashley Tucker, Grant Wilber, Guess Leonard, Macee Hammack, and Madi Baughman. 

Go After It!

The council offers close relationships with other members, serving younger students, the opportunity to mature, and learn how to work with others strengths and weaknesses. They all get to share their love and passion while meeting so many people and being the person others can come to in their time of need.

            The members of the council say their advice to students interested in running for council is “Go after it!” “This is a leadership door to go through to learn” “Dive in head first because you never know until you try” “Give it everything you’ve got and show your personality” and finally “Get past your fear and doubt of not doing it, reach out for your goals.”

These students work with a servant’s heart to be role models to young students across the state. They look for any and every opportunity to help someone in need and are great examples for what the agriculture youth in our state have to offer. 

A leader is someone who always does the right thing and puts others before themselves.

Ashley Tucker

Ashley grew up in Fairview doing just about anything she could get herself involved in. A few of these activities were HOSA, BPA, FCCLA, and FFA. She believes in “getting the full experience.” In FFA she competed in agricultural communications, sheep showing, opening ceremonies and meat judging. She has competed at a national level in job interview contests with BPA, HOSA, and FCCLA. Ashley will be attending the University of Oklahoma in the fall as a broadcast journalism major on an academic and presidential leadership scholarship. She has always been a cowboy at heart but knew as soon as she visited with the professors at OU that would be her home. As a council member her leadership skills have been sharpened by communicating with people from around the state.  She has been attending leadership summit since the 7th grade and believes AFR youth council has broadened her perspectives to think outside of the box. “A leader is someone who always does the right thing and puts others before themselves.”

A leader is someone who does something with actions without recognition and stepping on the edge for everyone else.

Grant Wilber

Grant is a 3rd generation producer in Cherokee, in northwest Oklahoma. They run a few hundred cattle and have used a no-till system the past 13 years. He is passionate about show pigs and farming, and would love to have his own large scale show pig production. In high school Grant was an active FFA member showing pigs, prepared public speaking, livestock judging, alumni camp, and having several state FFA proficiencies. In AFR he has attended leadership summit and judging contests. Starting in the fall he will be attending Oklahoma State University majoring in Animal Science hoping to pursue a doctorate in large animal nutrition specializing in swine. Being on the council has helped Grant meet other council members and build relationships that will last a lifetime. He has made connections with adults who share the same mindset and goals. Being on the council has taught him how influential he has been as a high school student, allowing him to grow and mature. He said one thing he learned as a council member is “little actions are more influential now than ever. A leader is someone who does something with actions without recognition and stepping on the edge for everyone else.”

A leader knows how to be a role model to accomplish a task but knows when to step back and allow someone else to fill the position if they are better suited.

Guess Leonard

Guess grew up near Chelsea, attending Sequoyah High School as an active basketball player, cross country runner, and team roper with his dad and brother. He and his brother started their own small cattle herd. In FFA he served as the VP for his chapter, showed sheep and cattle, and competed in prepared public speaking. He attended leadership summit where he fell in love with the organization and was very intrigued by the youth council. He plans on attending Rogers State College to obtain an associate’s degree in biology and will transfer to University of Central Oklahoma to earn a bachelor’s degree in funeral services. He believes this major would be an opportunity to serve and comfort those in need. Being on the council has given him the opportunity to serve as a leader outside of FFA and to be a role model for younger students. This has allowed him to get to know many more students and create personal and long lasting relationships. Guess believes “A leader knows how to be a role model to accomplish a task but knows when to step back and allow someone else to fill the position if they are better suited.”

A leader is someone who is looked up to not because of their words but how they make the people around them feel.

Madi Baughman

Madi grew up in a small town in Texas but moved to Lone Grove when she was in the 8th grade.  In high school she was involved in softball (traveling and school teams), NHS, and FCA. In FFA she showed pigs, gave prepared public speeches, judged livestock, was an officer, and competed in the agricultural communications contest. She was the Salutatorian of her class and plans to go to Northern Oklahoma College on a softball and presidential leadership scholarship majoring in agricultural communications. Prior to joining the council, Madi was shy, but being a part of the council has brought her out of her comfort zone by meeting new people. She has made connections all over the state and has become good friends with the entire council. Meeting so many people has influenced her leadership by learning how different types of leaders help people every day. She believes “A leader is someone who is looked up to not because of their words but how they make the people around them feel.” Being a part of the council has helped Madi develop into the person she is today.

A leader doesn’t worry about themselves and maintains their character.

Macee Hammack

Macee grew up in Leedey, showing lambs and cattle on her family’s farm, where they also own the grain elevator and local feed store. In FFA she was involved with many leadership activities and through the AFR youth program gave speeches and competed in the agricultural achievement contest. She will attend Oklahoma State University in the fall. Being on the council has expanded her networking abilities and making new connections. She loves leadership summit and is excited to work with the younger students. Working with a team has been the biggest blessing and has allowed her to create lifelong friends that she might not have had the opportunity to work with otherwise. She says “A leader doesn’t worry about themselves and maintains their character.”

This is How it Works

Youth Council students can be from anywhere in Oklahoma with a few guidelines. Either the student or an immediate family member are an AFR policy holder and have attended senior Summit the year before running. At Senior Summit there will be applications available and students who fill those out will complete an interview with a panel of three interviewers. One evening each candidate will present a three minute speech to the students explaining their desire to be a member of the council. Allowing the students to vote on their future council gives them an opportunity to be involved in the selection process.

            The last night of leadership summit, a banquet is held to honor the outgoing and the incoming council members. After summit is over the council quickly digs into events throughout the year. These students represent the youth and American Farmers & Ranchers. They travel around the state help with events such as Septemberfest, the state AFR Speech contests, livestock judging and cattle grading contests. Every year at the state AFR Convention the council will help with the youth program session as well as any set up and tear down necessary. Their last event as council members is to plan both teen and senior sessions of leadership summit. They will help with all of the activities and will be at camp to engage students.

View the full issue of AFR Today

Summer 2016

The History of Cooperation, Toby Keith Foundation, Scholarships, Youth Advisory Council, More