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Madi McClure Places 5th at FFA State Contest in Senior Creed Speaking

                For the second consecutive year, Madi McClure’s public speaking skills advanced her to the state level in FFA leadership development competition.

                The Cleburne High School sophomore competed at Sam Houston State University as one of 23 contestants in the Senior Creed Speaking category, where she placed fifth. McClure brought lot of experience to the table as a 2021 state competitor in Greenhand Creed Speaking, open to freshmen and first year FFA members, in which she placed third.

                 McClure is the sole member of Cleburne FFA who has advanced to the state level of competition in leadership development events. She entered last Friday’s opening round with second place finishes at the Chisholm Trail District and Area 8 contests.

                “We are super excited for Madi in representing Cleburne FFA at the state LDE contest again this year,” CHS agriscience teacher and FFA sponsor Wacey Newmen said. “She did very well as a first-year member, and we have seen a lot of growth in her speaking skills and confidence.”

                “Now that she’s in the advanced division of Creed Speaking, there’s a good chance she will be competing with seniors who have been doing this all four years,” Newman said. “She is a chapter officer this year, has taken on leadership roles and bettered herself as a public speaker—and it’s paid off.”

                McClure was challenged with memorizing the five paragraphs of the Future Farmers of America National Creed, then presenting it before judges—with expression and feeling.

                “She has four minutes to present the Creed,” Newman said. “One missed word can knock off points, as can a bobble or stumble. She will then have some interview time with judges in which she will answer a series of questions which can range from the history of FFA to what being a member means to her.”

                “Competitors don’t receive a list to use in preparing,” Newman said. “We’ve given her ten pages of prospective questions. We know Madi is ready for this level of competition. Advancing to this point has some pressure that comes with it. It’s about performing—with enthusiasm and speaking with engagement.”

                Newman likens the recitation of the FFA Creed, adopted by the national organization more than 90 years ago, to telling a story.

                “I believe those who compete in this leadership event aren’t just saying the Creed, they are telling a story,” Newman said. “You are telling your personal story as a member of FFA and how that, and your involvement in agriculture, is impacting your life.”

                McClure’s FFA story goes back two generations, with her grandfather, retired CHS agriculture teacher Barney McClure, and father, Mark, CHS director of career and technical education, both members of Cleburne FFA.

                “Madi’s roots in FFA are deep,” Newman said. “FFA is in her blood, no doubt, but she’s creating her own story. I’ve enjoyed seeing her grow and become a leader in FFA. She’s a very hard worker—anything she wants to achieve she backs with hard work to make it happen.”