Kassandra “Kassi” Simpson — New Mexico
I was born and raised in southern New Mexico. My family owns a small farm, that has been home to a variety of 4-H and FFA livestock through the years. Though I live outside of a large city, I actually grew up in White Sands Missile Range, a small military instillation, where my parents worked as civilians. Through White Sands, I got to experience a “small town” where everyone knew and supported one another. I was also able to gain a deep appreciation and insight into the life of military families. It was here that I developed a true passion for youth development. My passion for agriculture comes from my family’s long tradition of farming and living a simple, wholesome and sustainable lifestyle. I was an active member and leader in my local 4-H and FFA organizations, which helped expand my experiences and interests in the field of agriculture, leadership and public speaking.
After high school, I got married and began working towards my Agriculture and Extension Education degree at New Mexico State University. I returned to my roots, and worked in the youth center at White Sands throughout college. There, I was able to establish youth leadership, fitness, and 4-H programs. I taught in a high school agriculture classroom, where I was able to help youth explore animal science, welding, and leadership. Upon graduation, I began teaching 6th grade science at a local middle school.
I am happy to still live in my hometown, where my children will be able to enjoy the same fields of crops, and orchards of pecans as I did growing up. My husband, son and I enjoy the blessings of a simple life on our homestead.