FFA helps bring BHS senior out of her shell

Staff Writer

FFA and ag classes have opened up a whole new world to Blackfoot High School senior Charleston Heiner.
Heiner, 18, was quiet and shy when she joined FFA as a sophomore.
“I was just kinda thrown into it and didn’t become super active until my junior year when I was persuaded to run for secretary,” she said. “After that, I got really involved and I’ve been really active ever since. FFA broke me out of my shell.”
She is the 2017-18 FFA chapter president, competes in public speaking and will receive a state degree award this spring. She plans to major in ag education at Utah State University.
“I want to be an ag teacher,” she said. “Ag classes have helped develop my personality, interest and realize that I want to influence others in the same way that Mr. Flaming and Mrs. Bender have done for me.”
Recently, Heiner won first place locally in the Farm Bureau Federation-sponsored speech competition and second at districts. The theme was, “Agriculture, the engine that pulls Idaho’s economy.” She spoke about how agriculture established Idaho and how farming will continue to build and influence Idaho’s economy in the future, and about how her great-great-grandfather, James Sanderson, and others settled the Franklin area.
Heiner has competed in cow cutting since she was small, and she competes in it on the BHS rodeo team. She won districts her freshman and sophomore years and last year she won second in districts and sixth at state. She helps her parents, Nicole and Bob Pilster, of Blackfoot clean stalls and lope horses at their horse-training business. She helps her uncle Slim Clark brand and push cattle on his summer range on the Wyoming/Idaho border.