TAHS sophomore takes 1st at FFA Region Contest with her unique speech
By Per Peterson
Cocoa. Who would’ve thought?
Tracy Area High School sophomore Marissa Johnson last week took home first place at the Region FFA contest in Windom in the Prepared Public Speaking category to qualify for state. The guidelines for the speech are pretty straightforward: Students have to give a six- to eight-minute speech about any topic in the world of agriculture. But instead of taking the easy way out and talking about corn and soybeans — crops that Johnson is surround by, this aspiring teenager chose cocoa — anything but a staple crop in southwest Minnesota.
So, why cocoa?
“That’s a question the judges asked me,” said Johnson, an accomplished speech student at TAHS. “I’ve always had a list on my phone of topics to write for — a list of topics that interest me. I read about it a long time ago and was just re-looking through it. The more I looked into it, the more I realized how important it is today.”
In that respect, Johnson realizes that she isn’t your average high school sophomore.
“In today’s society, a normal kid my age wouldn’t think about this, how by 2050 we might have no chocolate, or it might be five times the price it is now,” she said. “I like to think I’m not your average teen, and this is something I enjoy doing.”
See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.