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In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Tyra Jonas

Posted by Rachael Dubinsky, Office of Communications in Conservation Initiatives
Sep 29, 2015
Tyra Jonas, Michigan State University
Tyra Jonas currently serves as the Michigan FFA State Reporter and is a freshman at Michigan State University.

Today in our Women’s Week blog series, we feature Tyra Jonas, a college freshman from the small town of Ravenna, Michigan where the smell of pickles and cheering from the football stadium isn’t uncommon. She is a freshman at Michigan State University studying agricultural communications. She currently serves as the Michigan FFA State Reporter and travels across Michigan to help members build their knowledge on agriculture and leadership qualities and tour many agriculture industries.

How do you start your day?

On a normal day, I typically start by going to breakfast and walking to class on Michigan State University’s beautiful campus to a dreaded 8am class.

How did you first become interested in agriculture?

I wasn’t born into an agricultural background like most people in my small town. It began my freshman year of high school in my plant science course. My teacher, Melanie Block, told the class how agriculture is an important factor in a rapid growing population and that really ignited my interest in agriculture.

Who are your role models in agriculture?

My role models in agriculture are my former ag teacher, Mrs. Block and Alan Green, a friend and past Michigan state officer. Mrs. Block is someone who is taking action and addressing today’s most challenging agricultural issues. As for Alan, he didn’t end his journey in agriculture at the end of his term as a state officer. He continues to be active in agriculture and show others how agriculture affects their lives. As an advocate for this particular field, I am able to look up to these are people when I doubt my ability to help in agriculture.

What has been your favorite experience as a state FFA office and what qualities do you look for in good mentors/leaders?

As someone who has been heavily involved in FFA, I look for leaders who have a positive attitude, value the opinion of others, and motivate others to succeed. At the National Leadership Conference for State Officers in Kentucky, I had the opportunity to work with past national officers and current facilitators who train State Officers. These people were some of the best leaders in the organization. Some of the things I noticed with them were that they didn't see themselves as someone who had a higher level of importance. They tried to relate to you and focus on helping the officers become better leaders. It was interesting because these facilitators were very genuine, wanted to hear your thoughts, and helped us reach our maximum potential. At that conference was when I realized what a leader truly was. It isn't someone who wants to be the face of the group, but someone who is willing to serve others and build them up too.

What are you watching, reading or listening to?

Currently I am keeping up with a blog called Modern Day Farm Chick. Not only does she educate people on agriculture, but brings a glimpse of her life into it which makes it really entertaining! She talks about her daily life as a dairy farmer and gives facts about certain agricultural products such as milk. Her posts are always a good laugh yet help me understand certain topics I may have not known a lot about.

In seven words or less, what is some advice you would offer your fellow women in agriculture?

Always be willing to learn and grow.

Category/Topic: Conservation Initiatives