Abigail Miller

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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