Andrew Kientzy

Pushing Through The Drifts

Drew Kientzy

Drew Kientzy – VP

I vividly remember the winter of 2012, and more specifically, the monster snowstorm that hit northeast Missouri the second week of January. Two full days of near whiteout conditions, subzero temperatures and winds in excess of 40 miles per hour with gusts approaching 70.

 

After the snow stopped falling, my dad and I traveled to our farm in 11 inches of fresh powder the to retrieve a tractor to plow our way through the snow to the highway. Although the deep snow might have made travel difficult, the inconvenience paled in comparison to the drifts. In places, the snow exceeded five feet deep, making already difficult travel that much harder. There were many spots on the road where the drifted snow blocked our path, and we had to ram our way back and forth in the truck to break through the drifts and continue on our way. Although the journey was long, tedious and treacherous, we had soon cleared a path to our house.

 

At times, our lives might seem much like that Missouri snowstorm. Life goes poorly for us and just when we think it can’t be much worse, we run into a snow drift of additional difficulty that stops us in our tracks. However, even though this inconvenience might seem like it is too much to handle, snow drifts are thin and can be broken through, and if we keep our goals in mind, we can overcome our problems like that old Chevy overcame the snow. Luckily, no drift can be infinite so our challenges must become easier on the other side of the peak, and with perseverance all of our problems will melt away just as the snow does in the March sun.

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The Curse of the Photo Album

Drew Kientzy - VP

Drew Kientzy – VP

While spending Labor Day weekend at home, my Saturday morning began just as any other would — eating breakfast at my Grandma Janie’s house with my entire family. After the meal was over and the dishes were put away, one of my younger cousins came strolling into the kitchen with an old photo album. In just seconds, the book was sprawled across the table and everyone’s noses were buried into the faded pages.

 

About halfway through the album, my Grandpa stopped flipping pages and pulled out a picture of him on a tractor in 1973. After a few minutes of admiration and talk about the picture, Grandpa muttered “Yeah, those were the good old days, I only wish that I could go back for a while.” Following his declaration, we continued looking at the photos until my cousin that brought the album to the table spoke up and quietly asked, “Pop, why do you say that you wish that you could go back when you know you can’t. All that you can do is try to make next year be better and more like that one.”

 

At that statement, the whole room was taken aback. My eight-year-old cousin had just uttered some of the wisest words that any of us had ever heard, and though the idea in his statement might have not been a popular one, it was all too true. Now, I try to think of the past as merely a memory, good or bad, and only compare the present to what can be done better in the future.

 

As we move through our years in FFA, we must always remember to keep looking forward. Although there have been good times in the past, there is no way to re-enter that day. So instead of dwelling on the past and making the present and future less meaningful, let’s pin our eyes on the horizon of future opportunities, because we can never know when the most beautiful sunrise of opportunity might occur.

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Moving Out of the Clouds into the Sunshine

As many of you have probably noticed, it has been raining quite a bit this spring, especially in my hometown of Silex. With that being said, several Missouri farmers have not had many opportunities to get into the fields. As of May 8, I had not spent a single hour in the tractor seat yet this spring, instead of the dozens of hours and hundreds of acres that would have normally been covered by that time.  However, as summer comes into full swing and the weather begins to clear, the opportunity to plant looks much brighter and brings hope for an immensely successful summer for agriculture in Missouri.

 

Many Missouri FFA members may have also had a nasty, unproductive spring. It might have been that your career development event or leadership development event did not go as well as planned, or you didn’t get that proficiency award or officer position. These unfortunate events serve as the rain on the parade of FFA members. They are all hard as they’re happening, but they provide positive learning experiences for the future, just like the rain provides the nourishment for plants throughout the summer.

 

As farmers across the state are looking to the summer sun to grow their corn to the next level, FFA members should also look into the sun to create a brighter future by learning from the unfortunate storms of our pasts. Some of these sunny days include the great opportunities that can be had at events like FFA Camp, Helping Youth Maximize their Agricultural eXperience (HYMAX), Public Speaking Academy (PSA) and Helping Youth Prepare for Excellence (HYPE).

 

Just like the corn all across Missouri will soak up the rays of sun this summer, I encourage all of you to soak up the new skills that can be learned and use them to build a successful year.

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