Love of agriculture leads senior to new school

By Craig Kelly

May 4, 2014

ST. MARYS — It can be a hard transition moving from one school to another, especially for senior year. For Spencerville’s Marissa Engle, her involvement with Future Farmers of America prompted the move from St. Marys.

“Last May, a levy at St. Marys failed and they dropped ag and FFA, so I decided to transfer to Spencerville because I live between St. Marys and Spencerville, so it’s just as easy for me to go to Spencerville as it was to St. Marys,” she said. “I started doing everything I could to help with banquets and FFA Week and things like that, getting as involved as I could, and that led me to transferring to Spencerville for my senior year.”

It was difficult for her to leave familiar faces at her previous school, but she has been able to stay in touch with some of her friends from St. Marys.

“I still try to keep in touch with some of them,” she said. “There were four of us who always hung out together and we were called the ‘Ag Girls.’”

While there was a period of transition moving to a new school, Engle has enjoyed her senior year at Spencerville.

“It’s a lot smaller than St. Marys, and everyone is very accepting,” she said.

She quickly enrolled in the Spencerville FFA club, a strong program in the community.

“The class I’m in is Ag Business, and I’m the only girl in there,” she said. “I’m in with seven other guys and a male ag teacher, so they give me a rough time. I was kind of scared to jump in and start helping out with field trips and competitions. But they all said that they wanted my help and input.”

Throughout high school, Engle sampled a variety of clubs and organizations before settling into FFA.

“Outside of school, I’m in 4-H and I’m on the Auglaize County Junior Fair Board. I’ve also been involved in student council, Friends of Rachel, Relay for Life and Spanish Club,” she said. “Over the years, I tested out different things, and the only thing I really stuck with was FFA.”

Working in agriculture has a special place in Engle’s heart.

“I’ve always had an interest for it,” she said. “I live out in the country and I grew up working on my grandpa’s farm.”

Engle plans to continue working in agriculture after high school.

“I’ve been accepted to the Ohio State University ATI in Wooster,” she said. “I’ll take my first two years there before finishing in Columbus. I originally had my heart set on agribusiness, but after doing some job shadowing, I’ve also thought about agronomy. I’ve had a lot of advice to stick with agribusiness, though, so I might do a double major.”

Engle is not sure whether she’ll remain in Ohio after school or work outside of the state.

“I’ve thought about going to Illinois, Iowa or Kansas where there is a large agriculture base,” she said. “I know there are some farms that want to have an agronomist working and living on site.”

Engle is looking forward to contributing to an essential part of America’s economy.

“Without agriculture, we wouldn’t have clothes to wear or food to eat,” she said. “I want to help feed and clothe America.”