“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”
For the past two semesters, I was in a scholars program for sophomore standing students at the University of Missouri. This program honors the memory of the late Jerry Litton. Litton was a congressman from Chillicothe, Mo. who attended MU and like me, was an agricultural journalism major.
Jerry Litton was nationally known Charolais cattle breeder and worked tirelessly to make the breed more prominent in the United States. He was a brilliant public speaker for the National FFA Organization and influenced countless lives through his speeches and Code for Impactful Living. He was a driven and hardworking man who fulfilled one of his lifelong goals to become a US Congressman by the age of 35.
On August 3, 1976, an airplane accident took Jerry’s life. With him were his wife, Sharon, and their two children, Linda and Scott.
He dies on the night he had won the primary race for a U.S. Senate seat, and was flying to Kansas City, Mo., to celebrate. He was only 39 years old.
Jerry has managed to remain in the hearts and minds of countless people, through the efforts of the Jerry Litton Family Memorial Foundation. This foundation has helped build an education center in Chillicothe, Mo., as well as a football stadium for the Chillicothe High School. They established and continued scholarship funding, and recently created the Jerry Litton Leadership Scholars program and the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Jerry was a brilliant communicator, storyteller and agriculturalist. I hope to model my career after him someday.
Last night, our group of scholars traveled to Chillicothe, Mo. to join with the members of the Jerry Litton Memorial Board of Directors. At this meeting, they showed the video that I have attached to this post, which I produced. I believe the best way to share your passion for anything is to share it. This was our idea as a group, as we could make a video of us telling our story about our futures in the agriculture industry.
The video is called “I am Agriculture.”
Hopefully our futures in agriculture will pay a strong tribute to Jerry Litton and his Board. The scholars program is in it’s first year and was started to help set a good foundation for students to be leaders in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
Digital storytelling is one of journalism and agriculture’s strongest tools. As future leaders in the industry we we anxious to share our passions.
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