Abigail Miller

Feb 03 2022

Create Your Own Legacy

Legacy is a word that will be thrown around a lot over this next year as Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback in the history of the National Football League, mulls over retirement or coming back to play another season. Regardless of how I personally feel about Brady, there is no doubt that he is a phenomenal player and will leave a lasting legacy on all of football.


    But legacy does not have to come from the greatest player of all time; legacy can come from our parents, our chapters, or even ourselves. A legacy can be very uplifting, a goal that is within reach because it has been done before. However, legacy can also mean an unconquerable pressure that presses down until we manage to reach our goal.


    For me, legacy was always something that weighed me down in FFA. My father was an FFA advisor, and my chapter has had a lot of success throughout the years, so the pressure of living up to those standards was present the second that I stepped into Animal Science 1 my freshman year. I tried not to let it affect me, but I still felt that if I did not do well that I was letting everyone down around me. It took until my junior year to realize that I do not have to live up to the same legacy as those around me. It is my choice what sort of impact I want to leave, not anybody else’s. Once I made that connection, I was able to let go of the weight of the legacy that I was holding on to so tightly. I decided to try new contests and found a love for them over what I had been doing. Finding what made me love FFA for myself and not for others made all of the difference in how I went forward through senior year and while running for a state office. Legacy is what you leave behind, not what others put upon you.


    If legacy is something that you struggle with, I encourage you to remember that finding what makes you happy and doing that will free you of that weight. Leaving a legacy for yourself is so much sweeter than doing something just because it is expected of you.

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Oct 29 2021

Harvest Season

While I was growing up in production agriculture my dad would always tell me that the work that he made me and my brother do would create a great work ethic in the future, and our potential bosses would want that. This is true; it did create a work ethic in my brother and I that I use to succeed in everything I do. But that does not mean the work was easy, or that I liked it. There were countless days that I wanted to stop and go inside or quit to take a nap. My dad would always say,  “Prior preparation prevents poor performance.” Over time, his words sunk in.


In production agriculture right now, crops are being harvested and livestock are getting ready to give birth. Getting all that set up and lined out takes so much work, but it is worth it when the product is sold to the consumer. Imagine if after planting a field of corn the farmer gave it no care. Some of those plants might survive, but not nearly as many as there would be come harvest time. That crop is going to be worth much less than someone else’s who tended it.. Prior preparation prevents poor performance, and the same is true in FFA.

When competing on a team, getting ready for an interview, or just studying for a test in an ag class, putting in the effort is what makes whatever you are trying to do work. If I showed up to a career development event with no practice, it’s likely that I would perform poorly. If I go into an interview with no practice and I decide to wing it, I am not going to do nearly as well as I would if I took the time to practice.


With contest season almost here, keep in mind the lessons learned by farmers putting a crop in the ground or working with livestock. Cutting corners and not showing up to practices or putting the time in by yourself is setting your eventual harvest up for failure. However, when we put the work in and make the effort, the harvest is plentiful, and we are rewarded with success.  Remember, prior preparation prevents poor performance.

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Jun 02 2021

Say Geronimo

One of my favorite songs growing up was “Geronimo,” by Sheppard. Not only do I love the beat, but I also love the message behind the lyrics. The song talks about taking the plunge to do something new. “Geronimo” and “Bombs Away” are both part of the chorus and are words that people say to remind themselves that they are fearless.


While I strive for fearlessness, it is not easy for me. I am a planner, and I have my “to do’s” set a particular way. It is hard for me to deviate from the plan and jump fearlessly into the unknown. It takes a lot in me to say “Geronimo” and make the leap. But, I have gotten over my apprehension a time or two and tried something new.


All of my life, I had been trained to judge livestock. My high school plan was to go in and start with horse evaluation, then meats, and then livestock judging my junior or senior year. A state office was not in that plan at all. I did do horses my freshman year, and enjoyed FFA knowledge much more. Sophomore year I did much better with ag issues than meats, and my junior year I fell in love with parliamentary procedure. Senior year, I did livestock, but it was kind of in the background as I competed for state office.


I would not change anything about what I ended up doing in high school, but it was only through the efforts of my advisors that I ripped my plan in half and “dove into the waterfall” as the song says. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You never know where it will take you. Make the leap and say “Geronimo.”

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