Ok Ag Credit 1125

By John Tranchina

There’s a lot more to the FFA (Future Farmers of America) than showing animals, and Henry Auer has participated in just about every other FFA competition. The senior at Oklahoma Union High School, who serves as his FFA chapter’s treasurer, has competed in several of the lesser-known aspects of FFA and has enjoyed them all.

“There’s a lot of contests and we have several contests that our chapter participates in,” Auer said.  “I practiced on the range team for a while but I never competed and I was also on the meats-judging team, and we went to a couple of contests. And I was on the Opening Ceremonies team my freshman and sophomore years.”

What happens on the range team, you may ask.

“You just judge distances without using equipment,” he said. “It’s actually pasture and range, so you also have to memorize a lot of different grass types and that sort of thing.”

Then, there’s a competition called Parliamentary Procedure.

“That is a team contest,” Auer explained. “There’s six of us, and they give us a topic and we don’t know what the topic is going in, and then we have to debate about it, so it kind of requires us to think on our feet and public speak a little bit.”

Of course, Auer also showed steer during his eighth grade and freshman years, but gave it up because it was proving to be a little too expensive to take care of the animals. But the other contests, particularly Parliamentary Procedure, have helped Auer a lot with his public speaking ability.

“The Parley Pro contests really have enhanced my skills to think on my feet without having something written up already and just being comfortable speaking in front of people I don’t know,” he said.

As the treasurer, Auer is a key member of Oklahoma Union’s leadership group and that has provided some interesting opportunities.

“We organize events for our chapter,” he said, “just to learn more about FFA or sometimes we’ll just organize our Back-to-School bash or we have like a Christmas party sort of thing. And we go to leadership conferences as an officer team. We went to Colt Conference in Tulsa not too long ago, and that’s a leadership conference where they have people speak and that was just a thing for our officer team.”

In addition to his FFA participation, Auer is also one of the captains of the Oklahoma Union football team (playing wide receiver on offense and cornerback on defense). He also plays basketball in the winter and runs track in the spring. He is also involved with the National Honor Society and the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes).

That is a lot of commitments vying for Auer’s attention and it can sometimes be a challenge making sure he devotes enough to everything he wants to.

“I stay pretty busy. I don’t like not having anything to do, so it’s good for me,” he said. “There’s some times I can’t go to every event that’s going on, I just have to pick and choose between sporting events and FFA, and that’s something my coaches know and I tell them beforehand. Just as long as I let my coaches and my FFA ag teachers know what the plan is before I compete and what contest I’m going to, then they’re okay with it.”

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