Missouri FFA and Agriculture Education | Abby Bertz – Past President
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Abby Bertz – Past President

Be Better

Abby Bertz, casual

Abby Bertz – President

2018 has arrived. Hopefully 2017 brought you much love, sacrifice and success. With 2018 we find new beginnings and the opportunity for better than we might have had last year.

 

As most of us find ourselves doing, I was recently scrolling through my Facebook feed. On this social media platform, I have friends from my hometown, around the state, nation and even world. Every day, the app provides me with opinions, pictures and memories from each of these people from all kinds of places. Yesterday, however, this app provided me with a special kind of motivation, motivation from a very special lady right from my hometown.

 

This favorite history teacher of mine pledged a word for 2018, something many have begun to do in place of a New Year’s Resolution. This word is meant to be a constant reminder, a solid aspiration, and a theme for the year. Her word? “Better.”

 

Ms. Stever pledges to be better. Not better than anyone, she says, but a better her—a better her for everyone. Every day, she will strive to “eat better, get better, think better, and love better, on and on.”

 

Just like Ms. Stever, we can embody “better” by thinking about how we can better ourselves, get better at being ourselves, and hold ourselves to a standard of better. We can be better friends, FFA members, siblings and students. There is, and always will be, room for better.

 

Better is progress. And, our starting points and progress will differ from every single person around us. That, friends, is the beauty part of “better.”

 

This year, let’s find what makes us better and what makes us want to be better. I know the organization we call home is a stepping-stone in this adventure. Allow it to by helping a friend with his or her upcoming Career Development Event, signing up for your first public speaking contest, going to FFA Camp, or even encouraging others to do the things that you found benefit from.

 

A better you for a better us, and ultimately a better organization, industry and world.

 

Like Ms. Stever, I pledge myself to be better. Will you?

 

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Celebrating Summer’s Activities

Abby Bertz

Abby Bertz, President

Our summer together has come to an end, but it was absolutely a blast while it lasted! We enjoyed a week of FFA Leadership Camp, AOI, HYMAX and HYPE. It could not have been more fun!

August was a month to remember for sure. I know that so many of you worked tirelessly with your fair exhibits all summer long to get them looking their best for the one, the only, the best time there is —THE MISSOURI STATE FAIR. Whether this preparation was catering to livestock, fertilizing your garden treats, restoring a prize tractor, or perfecting your ag mechanic projects, I know first-hand the time and effort that it took to get your projects to fair quality. So congratulations, fairgoers and friends!

At the fair, you might have heard of a super cool event that took place on Tuesday, the 15th — Food Insecurity Service Day. Approximately 400 of our absolutely awesome FFA members gathered together at the state fair to pack 50,000 meals for hungry tummies across rural Missouri. Way to embody the “living to serve” portion of the FFA motto, my friends! If you didn’t make it to the fair this year, I hope next year’s fair is calling your name.

This year’s Missouri State Fair brought FFA members countless opportunities and memories, and this school year will, too! This is a new school year full of exciting, unique things. Take advantage of each one. Trust me, you will not regret it.

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Summer Excitement

Abby Bertz

Abby Bertz, President

Whew, another great school year has come and gone—in a hurry I might add! With the 89th Missouri State FFA Convention, spring contests and our final 2016-2017 classes behind us, we can start getting excited and thinking about all the summer FFA activities awaiting us! While you may not be in the agriculture classroom everyday this summer, FFA can still be at the forefront and bring just as much excitement as it did throughout the school year.

 

As an incoming freshman, I remember being SO excited for my first real FFA activity—FFA Camp. I will never forget the camaraderie formed on the bus all the way to Camp Rising Sun. My chapter sang our hearts out the whole time and a few of us might have lost our voices by the time the two and half hour drive came to an end. Whether you’re attending your first FFA Camp or your last, I hope you not only meet many of new people and are inspired and motivated for another year in FFA, but also you cherish those fresh donuts in the dining hall too—my personal favorite.

 

Whatever you do this summer, whether it be working with your SAE, attending HYPE, MAbA, camp, or the various other FFA conferences and academies, I hope you do it with your all. Unlock your potential and you create memories to hold onto throughout your FFA career and the life ahead.

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