Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives
Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives

Kiera Leddy
Student, South Dakota State University

Stockholm, South Dakota
Farm Credit Affiliation
Farm Credit Services of America
Kiera's Perspective

College freshman Kiera Leddy exemplifies the vibrancy of youth leadership as she works to support her community and promote agriculture.

Kiera found her passion for agriculture when presenting her first 4-H speech to her 3rd grade class. Since then, she has earned multiple honors including the 2014 National FFA Prepared Public Speaking Champion and the 2015 Society for Range Management Youth Forum Technical Paper Winner. Currently, she shares the story of agriculture by writing articles for a regional livestock publication and blogging for Monsanto.

“Today, agriculture faces many challenges, but through utilizing science, technology, and engineering we can turn those challenges into accomplishments,” Kiera says. “By being an agriculturalist, I hope to achieve understanding and support for all advancements in agriculture.”

When in the fifth grade, Kiera volunteered at a soup kitchen in Sioux Falls, where she discovered another passion: helping her community. “It was there I learned the true meaning of service,” she says.

Having served as the Rural Food Drive Chair for the past five years, she was named a Sodexo Foundation STOP Hunger Regional Winner. She continues to find unique ways to provide nutritious meals to those around her - as part of an FFA project, she helped educate South Dakota schools about USDA’s Farm to School Program which supports increased use of local food in school lunches. In 2015, this project received national recognition. She continues the project today, looking for ways to connect rural markets with local schools.

“I lead these statewide food drives to ensure that food is on a plate for every person in my state. Seeing a smile of gratitude inspires me to continue to serve others,” she says.

Kiera also serves as an FFA State Officer, where she has facilitated more than 70 workshops, sponsored a district officer training, and visited with lawmakers and agribusinesses. These premier leadership development opportunities are helping prepare her for a future serving the agriculture industry and promoting opportunities in rural America.

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