If you can finish this sentence, then you can understand when I say how much of an impact the National FFA had on my life. This week I am spending my time in the National Convention newsroom for the 14th year in a row. Through pictures I watch the stories of amazing youth unfold over the week. From children who are shy and reserved to outgoing and loud. They are all coming out of their shells and improving their lives through the workshops, sessions, and experiences here at FFA. It isn’t about all the competitions or awards (those are nice), it is about motivating youth. You talk to my husband and myself and both of us will recall a speaker at the National FFA (and/or Ohio FFA) convention that was a turning point in our lives. Their inspirational words struck chords in us that made us the outgoing, successful agriculturalist we are today. Our farm wouldn’t be nationally recognized for conservation practices without the training my husband got, nor would he be the amazing professional speaker he is. I would not have the research and teaching career with out an ag teacher who pushed me forward way back when.
So what is the point of this post you ask? Simple. Gratitude. I am so thankful that I was given the chance to be a part of a youth organization like this, and thankful that I still get to be a part of it today as a professional. While I know we can’t tell our children who to be or what to do (even though I want to), but you can bet my little girl will be in the FFA. I look forward to the day she puts on that blue jacket and becomes the woman she will be. She doesn’t have to be a state officer like me, or win state proficiencies like John and I. I just want her to experience it! Experience the motivation, the excitement, the dedication to an industry you love, and leadership skills to be gained.