The winter season is commonly associated with bitter cold temperatures, snowstorms, and slick road conditions. There is not much to get excited about unless it is an occasional snow day. Although winter might not bring a lot of excitement when it comes to the weather, it does bring the excitement for FFA in the spring. Every fourth week in February, FFA members from across the U.S. dedicate an entire week to celebrating the history of this great organization. Shortly after National FFA Week, CDE and LDE contest season begins, bringing a new level of diligence for practice, preparation, anticipation, and performance in competition.
I cherish the fun memories I made in high school during National FFA Week. Each day during FFA week is designated with a different type of fashion style. For example, I particularly remember redneck day, camo day, dress up like a teacher day, and blue and gold day. I always enjoyed getting to dress up on those days. Usually on Wednesday of FFA Week, my chapter would host a teacher appreciation breakfast for the teachers and for the chapter. Your FFA chapter might do something like this. Your chapter could do something very different. There is a lot of room for fun and creative ideas for FFA Week activities. National FFA Week is a time to embrace camaraderie, fellowship, and fun, but it is also a time to embrace appreciation. As members of this organization, we should always be appreciative of the countless number of opportunities and resources that FFA provides.
CDE and LDE contest season was my favorite time of the school year. Being able to participate in these competitions was always a thrill to me. There was just something about getting on a school bus at 6:30 a.m. on a cold Saturday morning that always made me excited for competition. You might be hesitant to participate in an LDE or CDE, but if you have the chance, take that opportunity, and run with it. There are so many choices that you should find an activity that you are interested in. You might even try competing in both types of competitions. You can absolutely find a contest that meets your interest or passion.
Success is something that we all desire and strive to achieve, but unfortunately, success is not handed out. For you to experience success, you must earn it. You might place first in state with a CDE or LDE. You might place last in one of these events. No matter the placing, just remember that the willingness to try to make yourself better is a success.
Appreciate the opportunities offered by the National FFA Organization. Compete to make the best YOU possible. Challenge yourself and put yourself in the position to succeed.