Brenden Kleiboeker

Reflecting on Home

Brenden Kleiboeker

Brenden Kleiboeker, President

“Home is not where we are in life, but what we make of where we are in life.”

 

This line was the basis of my speech for this year’s sGreenhand Motivational Conferences. However, I think it is important for each of us to reflect upon. “Home is not where we are in life, but what we make of where we are in life.” Many of us face different challenges in life. For myself, it was basketball in third grade. I enjoyed playing basketball for Upward during elementary school and was ecstatic to play on my school team for the first time. I practiced at home in my driveway and didn’t even think I was too bad in practice at school. However, once I got to the game, the same thing happened time after time. The ball was stolen from me. I shot- thump off the floor, clank off the rim- or the worst- no sound as I shot an airball. By the time we got to our first tournament, my coach didn’t even play me. In fact, he played members of the girls team on the boys team before myself. How embarrassing! I stuck it out for the season but knew that basketball was not the right place for me. That is when my parents enrolled me in 4-H, and I made some of my very best friends that I still have today. I started showing pigs, a passion I continue today. Luckily for me, my parents realized there was a problem, and helped me. We all have different problems in our lives, and different people to help us. Maybe it’s a coach, teacher, advisor or counselor. It is vital that we listen to other people’s advice, and even swallow our pride sometimes.

 

FFA members, none of us are in a place we cannot get out of. We are each provided with new opportunities and people to help us. As we go throughout our lives, let us remember, “Home is not where we are in life, but what we make of where we are in life.”

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Stay in Practice – And Wash Your Hands!

Brenden Kleiboeker

FFA members, as I write this blog to you, I am preparing for a New Year, however I am laying in bed sick. Being sick over Christmas Vacation is no fun, and has led me to question many reasons why I am sick. However, being sick has helped me put together some thoughtful insight for the New Year for you.

I spent most of last week on the road doing chapter visits, I had a great time visiting FFA members across the state, however one thing I did not do enough is wash my hands. After a visit, I would swing through a drive through for a meal, and even think to myself that I should wash up, but decide I did not have time and go ahead and eat my meal. Just like in our everyday life, we often think doing the little things will take too much time. However, when it comes down to it, taking a single minute to wash my hands could have kept me from getting sick and spending multiple days in bed.

Whenever I came home from Columbia, I realized that I had forgotten my Vitamin C tablets in my dorm room. “No biggie” I thought to myself. I did not realize how big of an effect this could have on my immune system. A cold and a respiratory virus later, I wish I would have stayed in practice with my vitamins. Just like practicing for an LDE or CDE, if it works for you, do not quit doing it, or you will see the negative feedback later.

FFA members, learn from my mistakes in the coming year: do not overlook the little things, and stay in practice and I am sure that you will be successful!

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Being Content in the Simple Things

Brenden Kleiboeker - President

Brenden Kleiboeker – President

“It’s a beautiful day in the Ozarks.”
“We’re just making memories.”

Two quotes from my agriculture advisor, that I did not understand until recently. Yesterday was National Teach Ag day, and I learned so much from my agriculture teacher that I would like to share. My agriculture teacher is Mr. Duane Kaiser, and to fully understand these quotes, you must first understand his life. Mr. Kaiser grew up with a single mom in the 1960’s, and it was tough to make ends meet. Though his mom did not go to high school, she earned enough that her son was able to obtain an associate’s, bachelors, and master’s degrees in agriculture education. Mr. Kaiser built a dairy farm from scratch in the 1980s battling 19 and 20 percent interest, still he persevered. Just recently, when he started to think that the dairy market was getting good, here we are. 2019. The dairy market has slipped, and with every load of milk, Mr. Kaiser also sends his hard-earned cash to town, never to return. Still, he perseveres.

 

It is obvious that Mr. Kaiser has never had much in the way of material things, however he finds happiness without them. The beauty of a cool crisp morning, with the bobwhite singing on Stones Prairie brings joy to his heart. Funny experiences with students, and watching these students grow are memories that he stores in his heart forever. These things bring joy to Mr. Kaiser. Too often, we all get caught up in life. Who has the coolest truck, newest shoes, or the highest grades. However, someday, these things too shall pass. Years from now, all we will have is the beauty of the earth, and the memories we made. Learn from Mr. Kaiser and be content in the simple things. Missouri FFA, find the beauty in life.

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The Fall at Pinnacle Park

Brenden Kleiboeker - President

Brenden Kleiboeker – President

One Friday afternoon, I went to the Pinnacle Youth Park, north of Columbia. On the wall of a rocky canyon, many people venture to test their hiking and rock-climbing skills. I had descended from the parking lot down a rocky trail, had ventured across the creek, climbed up the canyon wall and ascended to the second highest point in the park. After taking in the beautiful view, my friends and I decided to climb back down, so that we could go to the highest point – the pinnacle. After watching my one friend easily climb down, I knew that I could safely do the same. However, when placing my second foot on the boulder —slip. I fell nearly 12 feet off the rock, hitting my feet onto the solid ground below. Needless to say, I was rather sore after falling, but we decided to trek ahead. Finally, we came to the branch of the trail which goes to the pinnacle. At this point, I was weary. I did not want to fall again, so I convinced my friends not to go. We went back to the car that day, without achieving our goal.

 

FFA Members, on the trek to our goals or pinnacles, we often face falls which will scare us. We will have lingering pain that will tempt us that our goal is not worth it. When we decide not to persevere to our goal, we only cheat ourselves out of our potential. We cheat ourselves out of helping others. Luckily, I can drive back to the Pinnacle Park any day and achieve what I gave up on. However, we are not often this lucky. We have one chance to achieve our goal, and if we give up after a fall, the chance is gone. Though we will face falls in our FFA journey and in life, continue to persevere, because we only have one life to leave our mark. FFA members, reach your pinnacle this year!

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Humble and Kind

Missouri State FFA Convention is complete, chapter banquets are in full swing, and the school year is coming to a close. Across the state, FFA members are being recognized for their hard work and dedication. Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in the heat of it all, but let’s not forget what got us to this moment.

 

One of my all time favorite songs is “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw. This song is full of advice to keep in mind during our FFA careers. One line that rings true during this spring season is, “When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you, when the work you put in is realized, let yourself feel the pride but always stay humble and kind.”

 

Many of our dreams come true at state convention and chapter banquets as a result of our hard work. We all learn valuable life lessons putting us one step closer to our goals. However, every dream reached is the culmination of the hard work of multiple people: ourselves, advisors, parents, community members and many others. It is definitely our right to feel proud, but let’s not forget these other supporters. Dropping them a card of thanks or giving them a phone call is a simple gesture to show our gratitude and humbleness toward them.

 

Near the end of the song, McGraw sings this line, “When you get where you’re goin’, don’t forget to turn back around, help the next one in line, always stay humble and kind.” To me, this line is what FFA is all about. FFA is about having experiences of our own and using them to enrich the lives of others. While FFA gives us many life experiences and skills, they are useless unless we use them to help others. Past FFA members have given much to us. Let us continue to give to the next generation.

 

FFA members, we are part of an amazing organization. We have many outstanding supporters and influencers. As we go about life this year, let’s not forget our supporters or the FFA members coming behind us. Let us be thankful, humble and kind in all that we do!

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