RHAME, N.D. - Dedicated to youth and agriculture, Misty Steeke is everything a true country woman stands for, and she is one of six finalists for Farm & Ranch Guide's 2012 Country Woman of the Year.
A deserving candidate, Steeke is humble and hard-working. That's evident by the many hats she wears, including that of a full-time agricultural education teacher and advisor for FFA youth at Scranton High School, a rancher at the family's diverse farm/ranch operation near Rhame, a person who has a passion for the sheep and cattle industry and serves on several ag boards. She's also a devoted mother and wife.
Her dedication to youth and agriculture is obvious to all who meet her. In fact, last week, Steeke was in Washington, D.C., with some of her FFA students at the national FFA Washington Leadership Conference.
Steeke said her kids are among about 450 FFA youth from across the U.S., creating a community service project to bring back to their communities.
"The FFA youth are learning to be leaders in their community and the community service project is part of that," Misty said.
The Leadership Conference is a five-day event where youth learn how to become effective leaders by teaching them to know their purpose, value people, take action, and serve others.
The group went to the Capitol where they met and discussed issues of importance to them with their Congressmen.
"I love working with the FFA and 4-H kids, teaching them about agriculture and helping them with their projects," she said.
The FFA kids believe in and admire their advisor so much - they advocated for her to be nominated for the Country Woman of the Year award.
Misty's husband, Trevor, nominated her, but said the FFA kids are the ones who asked him to do it
"They wanted me to nominate her and helped me write the nomination letter, along with a friend of hers who is a farmer/wife in Scranton, Katie Dilse," Trevor said.
In his nomination letter, Trevor said, "Misty is always giving or helping somebody with something. She is the ideal picture of a Country Woman of the Year. She pushes tomorrow's youth into agriculture ... steering them toward the endless opportunities in agriculture."
Trevor said he and Misty have traded roles as agricultural education teachers/full-time farmers/ranchers. For the past four years, she has been the full-time agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor at Scranton and works on the family operation when she is home. A few years ago, Trevor had been a full-time ag teacher, and Misty had been the full-time farmer/rancher.
"Misty and I visit about agriculture every night. She is agriculture. Misty dives into teaching new plant sciences and trying new rations on cattle and grass management - not afraid to learn or try something new, but yet sticks to the old basics and uses her common sense to work through challenges in agriculture," Trevor said.
Reached by phone in Washington, D.C., last week,...