Missouri FFA and Agriculture Education | Blog
Latest news and reflections by Missouri FFA officers.
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Will You Achieve Your Goals?

Hannah Viets

Hannah Viets – VP

“Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there” – Bo Jackson

 

Many of us set goals at the beginning of the year to help ourselves succeed. Some of our goals might have been to make it to state in a contest, run for an officer position, or even get good grades. As the year has flown by, I cannot help but look back on my year as a state officer and think about what my goal was when I was elected.

 

My number one goal when I was elected was to impact the life of at least one FFA member. At FFA camp, I met this wonderful young girl who was very shy and didn’t really want to talk all that much and feared public speaking. As I kept talking with her, I realized that we had so much in common, and we became good friends. After that week, she messaged me over social media and thanked me for believing in her. Four months later, she messaged me and we talked about how she achieved her own goal, competing in and public speaking event and winning.

 

That was the moment I realized I had changed that young girl’s life. I had reached my goal as a state officer. I realized, then, I could push my goal farther. FFA members, as we near the end of our high school days for the year, let us keep in mind our goals that we set for ourselves when the school year began just a few months ago. Whether big or small, let us keeping pushing to achieve those goals. I achieved my goal for the year, will you?

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Power Throw

Ryan Siegel

Ryan Siegel – VP

It was the 2016 Summer Olympics, and I was sitting on my couch watching the snippets of the throwing events. As the shot-putters and discus throwers threw unfathomable distances, I was determined to try track and field, more emphasis on field, during my junior year of high school.

 

Fast forward to spring 2017. The first day of practice came around, and I found myself running laps around our school. “What is this,” I thought. I signed up to throw shot put and discus, not run the mile. As the season progressed, I slowly realized the importance of running was to bring up my agility and speed when throwing.

 

At my first track meet, my coach told me I was going to do a half spin when throwing discus and glide when I was throwing shot put. And let me tell you, I did awful — 20 feet worse on discus than in practice and 5 feet worse on shot put! This was due to one thing — the technique. You see, I wasn’t comfortable with it. It didn’t fit the way I threw, and I had little practice with the techniques I used. Although I wasn’t doing the greatest, I didn’t want to just power throw. I didn’t want to be different from everyone else. I wanted so badly to be successful with the technique. However, during my senior year I realized it didn’t matter. If I didn’t use technique and just threw, I was successful.

 

FFA members, throughout our FFA careers we must be willing to try new techniques, ideas, contests and opportunities. Still, we won’t always be the best. Sometimes by realizing where we fall in technique we can realize what needs work and build on our skills. Try something new, push yourself, grow from your failures, but never be afraid to just throw.

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Stand Up and Speak Out

Whether you are interested in strengthening your speaking skills or simply meeting new friends, the Missouri Public Speaking Academy (PSA) might be right for you.

Missouri State FFA Vice President Dillon Reinitz is a past PSA attendee. He says the experience helped him sharpen his presentations, hook the audience and develop a topic meaningful to the audience.

“I personally was the shy kid who was frightened of talking to others,” Reinitz says. “After attending the Missouri Public Speaking Academy my freshman year of high school, I felt as though I could effectively and confidently present a speech to anyone.”

Reinitz tried his hand at public speaking the following spring. “I did really well because of the skills I learned at PSA and even attended two more times,” he says. “I highly recommend all FFA members attend PSA at least once.”

This year’s PSA will be held June 4-6 on the University of Central Missouri campus in Warrensburg.  Sixty spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Deadline to apply is May 15. Registration application is available online HERE.

—from our staff.

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Cultivate Tomorrow Today: Missouri State FFA Convention

Who doesn’t find value in an American hero? Dave Roever is a Vietnam veteran backed by solid character, and he’s slated to headline this year’s state FFA Convention, April 25-26 in Columbia. Roever will inspire and challenge FFA members across the state through his engaging humor.

A Purple Heart recipient, Roever joined the U.S.  Navy at the height of the Vietnam War. He served as a river boat gunner in the elite Brown Water Black Beret, until tragedy occurred. His survival and ensuing life with his faithful wife Brenda at his side are miraculous. Now a multi-generational communicator, Roever travels the globe to share his gripping story, imparting hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Themed “Cultivate Tomorrow Today,” this year’s state convention also features award presentations, career development events, workshops and the ever-popular FFA Career Show.

Missouri also welcomes National FFA Western Region Vice President Shea Booster of Bend, Oregon, to the convention. Booster hopes to encourage members and ag education students to appreciate themselves as individuals.

“Every member has been crafted through years of experiences that have led them to where they are today, allowing them to find comfort in their uniqueness, one member, one day at a time,” Booster said.

While attending Mountain View High School, Booster’s supervised agricultural experience (SAE) was swine production. Majoring in agricultural business management, Booster is a sophomore at Oregon State University. He served as the 2016-17 Oregon FFA state president.

“I hope to intentionally seek out moments to build confidence in other young people who share my passion for leadership in agriculture,” Booster says.

Booster hopes to eventually work for an agriculture company in the areas of leadership development, talent recruitment or communications before taking over his father’s leadership consultation company.

In addition to these guest speakers, the 91st Annual Missouri FFA Convention will feature leadership workshops for members. The FFA Career Show also gives students and guests insight and the chance to learn about agricultural businesses, organizations, colleges and universities and more. Additionally, Missouri FFA will recognize the State Star Farmer, State Star in Agribusiness and State Star in Placement as well as present more than 750 State FFA Degrees to deserving members statewide. More than 8,000 people are expected to be in Columbia at the University of Missouri Hearnes Center for the state’s largest FFA event.

—from our staff.

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Be a Donut

Audrey Martin

Audrey Martin – VP

Doughnuts. No, I am not referring to the pastries, but rather to the spare tire that comes with your car — the one that looks like it belongs on a bicycle. I recently had a flat tire and had to get it fixed. To get my tire repaired, I had to put the doughnut on my car so that I could get to the tire shop. When I say, “I had to change my tire,”I really mean supervise while a couple of the other state officers actually changed it. After the doughnut was on, we headed to the tire shop. Keep in mind, though, that you can’t drive more than 50 miles per hour with the spare. Therefore, I carefully drove to the shop and eventually got my new tire.

 

While most people would look at the doughnut and think that it’s useless, ultimately, that doughnut is what gets you from having a stationary car to one that can hit the road. Many of you are participating on Career Development or Leadership Development Event teams right now. Some of you have been dreaming of being on the team you are on right now, while some of you feel the exact opposite. You might be the youngest one on your team, you might have needed to switch teams last minute, or maybe you are repeatedly the drop score for your team, but that’s okay. We all feel like doughnuts sometimes. Often, you are the one that makes a difference for your team. You are the one who will work hard, keep your head down and at the end of the day be the one who pushes your team to advance to state, break a record or place one rank higher than last week. Without you, your team would be stationary. With you, though, your team can transform into something you never imagined.

 

When a car has a flat, the doughnut becomes the most important tire. And when your teams face obstacles, you can be the most influential member.

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Letting Competition Get The Best of Us

Chloe Momphard

Chloe Momphard – VP

With Career Development Events and Leadership Development events well under way, it is easy to focus on what went well or what we could have done better this season. While self-reflection is a good technique for improving and working to better ourselves, we should also take a step back to understand that the goal of contests is growth.

Don’t get me wrong. I like winning, but it’s not always in moments of success that we develop or grow. During my sophomore year of high school, I was competing on the agricultural issues team. Our team placed first at area and then as alternate at districts. Needless to say, I was heartbroken because our goal of competing at state had come to an abrupt end. I quickly began exploring other options and landed on submitting a research project (in partnership with one of my Ag Issues teammates) within Agriscience Research – Animal Systems examining different types of filler feeds.  With our agri-science project, we placed first at state, applied to go to nationals and placed second overall!

It would have been very easy to take the loss and end my contest season.  Instead, I used it as a chance to learn, and then move forward to seek additional opportunities. During this project, I learned that I enjoyed and respected research so much that I am looking to pursue it in college. Sometimes, it is the less-than-stellar moments that help us most in the long run!

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Commit To The Pour

Hattie Grisham – VP

Filling a petri dish wouldn’t seem to be the hardest task. However, with no prior information on how to properly fill them, you are more than likely to make a mess. This is a lesson I learned the hard way.

One afternoon while filling practice petri dishes for an end-of-the-year chemistry project, I created a giant mess. The substance you pour in, agar mixture, has a very runny substance but also sets up very quickly, requiring speedy pouring. I had prepped my mixture, petri dishes and was ready to go! I began the process.

Plate one — a little full, but okay.

Plate two — not enough mixture, but these were just practice plates.

Plate three — only the slightest bit of mixture made it in, and the rest went all over the table.

I quickly scrambled to move the empty dishes and begin cleaning up the mess. After helping me, Mrs. O’Donnell, my chemistry teacher, told me, “You have to commit to the pour!” As a result of being hesitant to mess up the pouring, scared to commit and be confident in my abilities, I created the mess I hoped to avoid.

As my friends and I continued throughout the rest of senior year, we often joked about “committing to the pour” in various situations. However, I believe this simple science lesson can apply to us all. As we enter the grind of contest season, it is easy to not want to step outside of our comfort zone, doubt our abilities, or not give our all due to other involvements. In these instances though, our true character is revealed. In all you do, commit to the pour.

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Celebrate the Failures

McKenzie Loftis

McKenzie Loftis – VP

“Every failurebrings with it the seedof an equivalent success.”
– Napolean Hill

During my time in the blue jacket, I have had the pleasure of competing in many Career Development  and Leadership Development Events. Every year I learned a new key component of agriculture, traveled to some really awesome places, and learned some very intense lessons about myself. It’s interesting in that looking back, I remember the wins, the insane celebrations and joy they brought. In reflection, the losses seem more vivid than the wins, though. I can still tell you the primary reason for not winning state my freshman year in poultry; it was because of a missing breast meat in a carcass class that I didn’t see. Although that failure hurt, it wasn’t final. I had many more opportunities to succeed and used it as a seed. As you enter the spring season of competing, I hope that you learn as much as possible about the area you choose to pursue. Still, do not forget along the way that this is teaching you more than just knowledge and skill. This season of your life is showing you how much dedication, heart and drive you possess. Enjoy the early mornings and the relationships you build with your teammates. Take chances, learn from failures and mistakes, and celebrate the joys of successes. Best of luck this spring!

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Missouri and Kansas FFA Students Collect 3,100 Items in 2019 Western Farm Show Food Drive

Kansas City, Mo. (March 5, 2019) – FFA students from Missouri and Kansas collected and delivered  3,111 non-perishable food items for the annual “Border War Food Drive” at the 2019 Western Farm Show at the American Royal in Kansas City.

 

More than 3,500 students from the two states attended the show on FFA Day, Friday, Feb. 22, where they also had the opportunity to participate in educational seminars and learn about career opportunities in the ag industry.

 

About 70 chapters from Missouri participated, collecting 2,143 food items. The top chapters were Lone Jack (504), St. Joseph (233) and Gilman City (217).  Lone Jack once again had the highest total of all chapters from both states, a feat they have accomplished in seven of the last eight annual Western Farm Show food drives. The chapter will receive a $500 prize for their accomplishment.

Nearly 20 participating Kansas chapters brought 968 items to the show, with the highest totals from Louisburg (304) and Tonganoxie (280).  That ranked them second and third overall from both states, just behind Lone Jack.

 

The food was donated to the Harvesters – The Community Food Network, a Kansas City-based regional food bank that serves a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas. In the eight years the Western Farm Show food drive has been conducted, more than nearly 34,000 pounds of food have been delivered to Harvester’s which provided more than 28,000 meals for those facing food insecurity.

 

“We’re so grateful to these FFA students and the Western Farm Show, and appreciative of their continuing commitment,” said Gene Hallinan, communications manager for Harvesters.

 

“FFA Day is always one of the highlights of the Western Farm Show,” said show manager Ken Dean. “All the participating students are to be commended for the great leadership and commitment they demonstrated to help in the fight against hunger.”

 

Produced by the Western Equipment Dealers Association, the annual Western Farm Show features over 500 exhibitors and more than 400,000 square feet of floor space showcasing one of the largest indoor displays of farm equipment and other agricultural products in the Midwest. Other attractions include the Low-Stress Livestock Handling Demonstration, the Health & Safety Roundup and Family Living Center.

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Priming Pigs for Productivity

Imagine it. Improved conception rates and litter sizes for your hog operation. Through their animal systems agriscience experiment, Troy FFA members Dylan Sparks and Izabella Hutton Kidwell, aimed to provide commercial, show pig and seedstock farms valuable information to improve productivity.

Their experiment earned Dylan and Izabella first place honors in the animal systems, division 4 category, of the National Agriscience Fair.

The duo analyzed the type of artificial insemination (AI) rod used and how it affected conception rates and litter sizes. Their interest spawned from pork being the most widely consumed meat in the world, emphasizing the importance of increasing conception rates and litter sizes on hog operations.

Dylan and Izabella found that intrauterine or transcervical rods provide the best conception rates and litter sizes in the swine breed using artificial insemination. In fact, their data found almost twice the litter sizes and conception rates in the swine breed with the intrauterine rod.

Plans are already underway for this year’s Missouri Agriscience Fair. Registration and papers are due May 7, with the event set for May 14 at Memorial Union on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. Get additional details online through this link: Missouri Agriscience Fair.

—from our staff.

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More Than Mowing Grass

Students in the agriculture program at State Technical College of Missouri are landing internships and full-time jobs at many high-profile companies in the turf and landscape fields. Just this year, State Tech had students on the athletic fields during the U.S. Open, World Series, Super Bowl and 100th PGA Championship. Their students are developing practical skills through multiple hands-on opportunities to prepare them for their careers.

 

Ryan Klatt, agriculture department chair and instructor, and Nick Rackers, instructor, make up the two-man teaching staff within agriculture at State Tech. Students pursing the commercial turf and grounds management degree take courses for two years with a required six-month internship between the first and second year.

 

“They stay on internship the whole time from the first week in March until August of the next [school] year when school starts back up,” Klatt said. “The reason we do that is because that’s when most landscape companies, golf courses, ball fields–they’re all looking for help. The students get out there, and they are able to see an extra season.”

 

The opportunity to work an extra season, as opposed to just the summer, provides students an opportunity to get more out of their internship experience by seeing how companies operate in two peak seasons of the year, spring and summer.

 

IN-DEPTH COURSE WORK

While the students are in classes, they are maintaining the landscape of the State Tech campus. Students are responsible for mowing, designing the landscaping, growing and planting flowers and even pruning trees and shrubs. Rackers has focused on creating a diverse, botanical garden feel over the campus by labeling each plant with its scientific name.

 

“I can’t teach tree and shrub identification in the middle of Osage County if I don’t have a concentration of trees and shrubs to go look at,” Rackers said. “I’m trying to create diversity on campus.”

 

One of the first courses students will take in the agriculture program is equipment operations, where they learn how to run a variety of mowers, mini excavators, skid loaders and multiple other pieces of equipment.

 

“We would rather them learn to do it here, so they know how to run that piece of equipment when they get on their internship–before we send them out in the field,” Klatt said. “The employers or the people who hire them really like that because when they are out [on internship], they are ready to hit the ground running when they get there.”

 

SUPERIOR INTERNSHIPS

Students are receiving internships with landscape companies, golf courses and on athletic fields. Klatt and Rackers are able to direct students toward a company, which fits their interests. They use industry connections to guide students in the right direction, but they also encourage students to become student members of certain associations, that often provide job boards where applications for some of the high-profile internships can be found.

 

“Out in our shop, we have what’s called our Wall of Fame,” Klatt said. “Any student who has worked for a professional team or at a high-profile golf course gets a flag on the wall. So that’s kind of our professional claim to fame.”

 

Over the past several years, students have worked for a variety of teams, including the Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox among others. Additionally, students have worked at the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open. In 2018 alone, State Tech had students representing the program during the U.S. Open, World Series and Super Bowl.

 

OUTSIDE OPPORTUNITIES

In addition to the hands-on experience during internships and through coursework, State Tech students in agriculture can be members of and participate in PAS (Professional Agricultural Student Organization).

 

“It [PAS] is kind of like FFA, but for college students,” Rackers said. “They have professional development type contests called CPAs. There’s floriculture, landscape, turf grass, dairy and equine, just like FFA has their CDEs. But there’s also a professional career building component.”

 

The professional career-building component of PAS provides students with the opportunity to expand their professional development skills through a practical application. This past year, State Tech brought home multiple awards from the state conference.

 

Additionally, students who are landscape-focused can attend the trade show at the Western Nursery and Landscape Association (WNLA). Currently, two State Tech students have been nominated to sit on the WNLA advisory board for the next two years.

 

MORE THAN MOWING GRASS

Klatt and Rackers are helping students develop the skills and resume necessary to be successful in the turf and landscape fields. However, both said it is a lot more than just learning how to mow grass.

 

“A lot of people come in and see all of our equipment sitting in our shop and they think, ‘I can go to school to learn how to mow grass’,” Klatt said. “It’s a lot more than just mowing grass by the time you get the fertility and the pest problems and how to manage all those things. There’s a lot more to it than just mowing.”

 

For more information about the State Tech Commercial Turf and Grounds Management program, please visit www.statetechmo.edu or follow them on Facebook @statetechctg.

—by Julie Choate

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New Kids on the Block

In just its first year, Oak Ridge FFA is already making huge strides by having 50 percent of high school students enrolled in the chapter.

 

Oak Ridge began building the framework for its agricultural education program a few years ago. With the passage of a bond issue in spring 2018, funds were available to construct a shop, employ an agricultural education teacher and begin the first FFA chapter in school history.

 

Oak Ridge FFA Advisor Nick Thiele said community support has been overwhelming and student interest has been high. Due to the hard work of a number of people, Oak Ridge has enjoyed a rich tradition of academic excellence and successful student activity programs.

 

“Our high school has been in existence since 1874, and we have always been a diversified agricultural area,” Thiele explained.

 

Oak Ridge FFA has already elected officers, established a Facebook page and held its first fundraiser, bringing in $1,100. Chapter members have attended local fairs and FFA Field Day at Barton Research Farm. Oak Ridge has also held a Greenhand initiation event, and the chapter is working to help build members’ SAEs.

 

A chapter chartering ceremony is also being planned, and members expect to participate in area, district and state contests this spring. Crop research plots on the school farm are in the works for Oak Ridge. And, the chapter hopes to complete both the interior and exterior of its new shop. Plus, the chapter has plans to work with area 4-H leaders, establish a farmers market and volunteer at a therapeutic horsemanship ranch.

 

Thiele explained that Oak Ridge also hopes to be actively involved in its community and school. The chapter’s goals include using a greenhouse to provide hydroponic vegetables to the school and collaborate with other student organizations to disperse and market their produce. Next year, members plan to volunteer at community clean up events.

 

The chapter hopes to recruit even more members through an Ag Exploration class offered to junior high students, teaching them about agriculture and FFA. Thiele said FFA members are keenly aware of their role on the school’s campus and in the community to make FFA visible.

 

“(Members) know their actions and enthusiasm will create some of the best recruiting opportunities,” he explained.

 

Students said offering FFA at the school is an honor. Chapter President Hayden Seyer and Vice President Dylan Muench are thankful FFA is now offered at their school.

 

“I think it will be a great benefit for the school because students will be involved in more outdoor activities and will understand the concept of FFA,” Muench said. “It will benefit the school because more students will be involved in many activities in the community.”

 

Muench wants to help educate others about how food is produced and the purpose of agriculture. He also hopes to focus on his SAE, which includes working on his family’s other local dairy farms, as well as showing dairy heifers.

 

Seyer said FFA is a great addition for their school and relevant to career goals. He also is proud to serve as the chapter’s first president, being an integral part in developing new chapter traditions.

 

“I want to ensure our FFA builds a solid foundation during our first year,” Seyer said.

 

In addition, Seyer knows that FFA opens opportunities for students to become involved. FFA has allowed him to build on skills he learned in 4-H. He also is able to showcase his role on his family’s row crop and beef cattle operation through his SAE.

 

“I’d like to thank my parents, and the parents of my fellow members, as well as our school administration and board of education for making our FFA chapter a priority, he said. “We are lucky to grow up in such a great community.”

—by Alison Bos Lovins

 

 

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Create Your Legacy

Madelyn Derks

Madelyn Derks – VP

Thomas Jefferson doubled the size of the United States with the purchase of Louisiana.

 

Abraham Lincoln freed slaves.

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower ended segregation in schools and the military.

 

All presidents of the United State of America, these American icons created a legacy for themselves and changed our nation in a way that is remembered and evident to this day.

 

In school I always dragged my feet on the way to history class. It was always my least favorite class due to all the dates, names and events that I had to memorize and pronounce. My history teacher, Mr. Jenkins, would always yell at me, “Smile a little more, Derks!” I would respond with a sassy half smile and an eye roll as I took my seat. But, what I quickly learned is that history doesn’t go away as we graduate high school or finish a class; in fact, it followed me all the way to my agricultural education class.

 

In 1928, the Future Farmers of America (FFA) was organized in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

In 1933, the blue corduroy jacket was adopted as the official dress for the FFA.

 

In 1969, women were allowed to be members of FFA.

 

History is a valuable part of who we are and where we come from. Whether in the form of a president’s legacy or the roots of the National FFA Organization, history is remembered for years to come.

 

So I want to ask you, what will your legacy be? How will you be remembered?

 

Do you want to be remembered as someone who sat on the sidelines, afraid to try something new?  Or, do you want to be remembered as the person who reached his or her goals? Opportunities abound for us in the next few months. From participating in a career development event or a leadership development event to applying for awards and academies and attending State FFA Convention, we have so many activities and opportunities to take part in through FFA. We have the ability to build our legacy into anything we want. Our legacies don’t have to be as grand as the forefathers of our country, but they can be just as powerful with simple acts like talking to the new kid at school, running for an officer position, or volunteering to stay after and help clean up the classroom. The decisions and choices that we make every single day affect our legacy. It affects how we are remembered.

 

So right now, let’s take out a piece a paper and write down three goals or things we want to accomplish. How can those words be turned into actions that will positively define our legacy?

 

FFA members, you are destined for greatness. Each one of us has a unique and powerful legacy that is just waiting for us to initiate. It is our jobs to shine a light on who we are and what we stand for. Don’t be afraid of yours, because even the smallest of actions turns into the greatest of impacts.

 

Missouri FFA members, you don’t have to wait to cultivate tomorrow. Make it happen today. Do it now, and grow your legacy!

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Enjoy the Blue Corduroy

Allie Lock – VP

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. As I sat in the middle of my geometry class my sophomore year of high school, the day seemed to be dragging on and on. That day in particular was smack dab in the middle of National FFA Week, and at my school we had themes for each day. It was Official Dress Day, so that morning after ripping two pairs of pantyhose, I finally got suited up in my full official dress. As my teacher stood in front of the class saying something about triangles, all I could think about was how I could not wait until I got out of my blue corduroy jacket.

 

Now, three years later, I would give almost anything to go back to my sophomore year and relive all of my blue corduroy jacket memories. We are at the point in the year where school starts seeming hectic. Between snow days and school days, you might feel the pressure to get things done as quickly as possible. With tests, career development events, trips and homework, I’m sure you can’t wait for time to fly by. I know I used to wish the exact same thing. But as you participate in this year’s National FFA Week, take a moment to let time stand still. Enjoy FFA week and everything it has to offer. Soak it in. Because one day, you’ll be taking off your blue corduroy jacket for the final time.

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Winter Becomes Spring

Shelby Davies

Shelby Davies – VP

I can still remember the excitement and anticipation that followed a significant snowfall during my years growing up in rural Missouri. As a child, my siblings and I would spend our snow days playing outside having snowball fights, building a family of snowmen, making forts and sledding. We stayed outside until our fingers were numb. Back then, the snow was an opportunity. As I grew up, snow became less of an opportunity and more of a nuisance. The cold and ice meant that chores were harder, I couldn’t see any of my friends as driving could be dangerous, plans that you had been making for months could be cancelled and going outside meant bundling up only to be cold after a few minutes in the elements.

 

Recently, my dislike of winter reached a new level. This winter has been the worst one I can remember.  I can’t count the number of plans that I’ve had to cancel this winter, the times I’ve slipped due to ice and I’ve been cold walking between destinations. The other day while complaining about how terrible winter is and how I was beginning to feel like winter would never end, I saw a quote that said, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” This struck me because it doesn’t apply only to weather.

 

In FFA there are things that we don’t always enjoy doing but can take us to bigger and better places. Filling out record books, proficiencies, or applications, or studying for Career Development or Leadership Development Events can be tedious and exhausting. However, they are important. Those record books can lead to recognition on all of the hard work that you have put into your SAE and allow you to get different degrees in FFA. Studying for your CDE can bring you new friends and the chance to exercise your competitive spirit. LDEs teach you to lead from where you are and give you experience that will prove invaluable throughout your life. Proficiencies allow you to share the hard work you have put into your SAE with others. Applications allow you the chance to travel with other budding agriculturalists to new and exciting places, where you will make memories and friends to last you a lifetime. If we only focus on the annoying things about winter, we will miss spring and its opportunities. Instead, let’s spend the rest of this winter working hard to prepare for spring and its bounty.

 

Join me in being adaptive to new ideas and projects, from a new career development event or even a little line dancing. When something enjoyable comes your way, why not try it? Anything is made possible with a little action and a positive attitude, even learning how to eat every meal with chopsticks. People are willing to help see you through, so take that journey.

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