DeKALB — Kelsey Faivre was recognized as one of the top four extemporaneous speakers in the country among FFA competitors at the national convention, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Louisville, Ky.
Sarah Peterson, FFA adviser at DeKalb High School, called from the convention with the news that Faivre finished in fourth place.
“I don’t know that DeKalb has ever had a student go this far,” said Peterson, in her second year as DeKalb’s adviser.
Faivre graduated from DHS in May and is a freshman at Iowa State University.
Faivre grew up on a grain farm and raised her own cattle from sixth grade on. She said she was in forensics and FFA all four years of high school. Peterson suggested Faivre try extemporaneous speaking as a senior. Last year, she won at the section, district and state levels before continuing to the national level this year.
She explained the national field started with 46 speakers and was cut to 16 and finally four. Each time, the topic was different.
She said her final topic was how agritourism can improve relationships between producers and consumers.
“Basically, I think agritourism is positive for the agriculture industry. It gives farms and those involved in the industry an opportunity to give people from the city a firsthand look at where their food comes from. It can be positive when producers take the opportunity to represent their industry accurately and responsibly,” Faivre said.
She speaks highly of her FFA experience, saying that it taught her to work toward a common goal with people she probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
“I learned to work with people and that, as a leader, sometimes you have to get out of the way to give others a chance to step up,” Faivre said.
An animal science major, she said she’s not really sure what she wants to do after college. She said she sees a need to educate consumers on how their food is raised, and hopes to work as an advocate for the agriculture industry.