Clinton’s Micah McAtee – FFA Spotlight Presented By Farm Credit Western OK

By John Tranchina

Micah McAtee considers her involvement in the FFA (Future Farmers of America) as a very important component of who she is and an association that has helped her learn a lot of lessons that she can apply in a lot of areas of her life.

The Clinton High School senior has been primarily dialed in to the public speaking portion of the FFA, but she also shows horses, and both activities have yielded benefits. “It’s really taught me confidence and how to work well with strangers and always being genuine and open to other people,” McAtee said. “It’s really widened my leadership skills for the most part. I did the personal speech division, which is, you write your own 6-8 minute speech, and then you go to different towns that host different speaking competitions and compete against other FFA kids. You’ll say your speech and then you get a round of questions that usually last around five minutes. You usually have around 3-4 judges in your room. (Answering the questions) definitely teaches you how to think fast, kind of move on the fly.”

McAtee also enjoys the camaraderie aspect of FFA, having the opportunity to build relationships with other students, including competitors from other schools. “I feel like that’s one of the biggest parts of the FFA, that it’s a very friendly community and they’re always open for new people,” she said. “It teaches you how to win and how to lose, but with grace. It’s really hard to find people that are heavily involved that aren’t excited for someone else that won the spot that the other person wanted. Complete strangers will cheer you on; it’s a really good, caring community.”

Perhaps the most valuable lesson that McAtee has gleaned from FFA, particularly while caring for her horses, is improved time management, which she has utilized to juggle, and succeed at, a lot of different activities. In addition to FFA, McAtee also plays softball at Clinton and is in advanced choir, the student council and is also an Ambassador Leader.

She is also an outstanding student, earning membership in the National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, as well as becoming one of two valedictorians of her graduating class. “Since a young age, I really took a liking to my academics and always really focused on it,” said McAtee, who will be attending Oklahoma State University next year, pursuing a pre-veterinary degree. “I always thought that was something that would get me to college, and I found my confidence in it. So growing up, I could tell if I threw myself into my academics, I could be at the top of my class. Then, when I got into high school, I always pushed for it, and I knew that I had the capability of doing it if I kept my head on straight, and thankfully, I did, and it just ended up working out for me.”