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Future Farmers Friday: Cobden FFA member takes dog hunting

In this week's Future Farmers Friday, Brooke Buckner catches up with one Cobden, Illinois girl who couldn't do it without her four-legged friend by her side.
Updated: Feb. 25, 2022 at 4:45 PM CST
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COBDEN, Ill. (KFVS) - Members of the National FFA Organization do lots of projects outside of school.

Sometimes it involves growing crops on the family farm or caring for cattle.

For one Cobden, Illinois girl, it’s spending time with her dogs.

Callie McGee and her dog Nemo do a lot of exploring.

“Normally, I keep about 10 to 12 dogs at our house at a time, they hunt bears and mountain lions,” McGee said.

Mcgee uses Nemo for her Supervised Agricultural Experience project, and as a travel companion.

“We go to the mountains a few times a year to go hunt,” McGee said.

“It’s like a 23-hour car ride. New Mexico, there’s different areas all around. Angel fire is one of our favorites, it’s really beautiful and there’s lots of bears there,” she said.

She said it’s more than a project.

“It’s almost like a business for me. I do train the dogs, we sell dogs, and we also just have our own for pleasure to hunt with,” she said.

Not only is she passionate about hunting with her dogs; she said she loves FFA and serving as chapter president for Cobden High School.

“I just kind of like being in charge and having things really organized, so I kind of just stepped into that position, so I made sure everything was correctly done,” she said.

She also coordinates events for other southern Illinois FFA chapters.

“It’s kind of a way to just get further in FFA and meet new people as well,” she said.

Lindsey LeFever teaches agricultural science. She said it’s rewarding to watch Callie’s growth over the years.

“When I got Callie as a freshman, she was a quieter student, she was involved in a lot of clubs and activities, but just didn’t take the leadership role and as I’ve seen her grow through her senior year, she is now the person who is the leader,” LeFever said.

She’s a leader who’s determined to reach her goals.

She’s working to get her FFA State Degree and has college on her mind.

“I’m going to SIUE in Edwardsville to receive my degree as a doctor of pharmacy and I’m also doubling with a master’s in business administration,” she said.

“I have no doubts Callie will succeed. She’s very driven, she’s very organized, she does have a passion for pharmacy so even though it’s not an agricultural based profession, I know she loves it and she’s just going to do great and serve her community well through that,” LeFever said.

Even though she’ll be far from home, she said she won’t forget where she came from.

“I do want to stay true to my roots in ag,” McGee said.

Nemo will be there waiting.

McGee expects to receive her state degree in the next few months.

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