Feb 23, 2011

1928=best year ever

Few people in life are lucky enough to find that one thing that makes them come alive. That one thing that they want to do for the rest of their lives, regardless of how much money it may make them. I'm one of the lucky few. I've found my calling in life: agriculture. More specifically, getting youth involved in agriculture. And I have the FFA to thank for that. And before you ask, no it does not stand for the Future Farmers of America anymore. In my dad's time, the main focus was cows, sows and plows, but the organization taught you so much more than that. You learned how to be a leader. You learned valuable skills like team building and public speaking that are more than necessary to be a successful professional in today's economy. You learned what it meant to be passionate about something. That much hasn't changed. The FFA taught me so much more than leading a group of people in proper Parliamentary Procedure or how to give a perfect prepared public speech about the disappearing family farm structure. I learned that I can actually like the person I am. Before my FFA days, I was S-H-Y to the extreme--and I don't even think that describes it well enough. I hated talking to people. The idea of introducing myself to someone was equivalent to physical pain for me. Eating a bug sounded more appealing than giving a speech in front of a group of people. So you can imagine my reluctance to join a group where all three of the above mentioned were pretty much the norm for a member. After much prodding from my dad, I joined. And my life was never the same. I LOVE giving speeches. I love getting up in front of a group and talking about a subject with which I'm knowledgeable and enjoy talking about. I would pay good money to go back to my FFA State Officer year where I was expected to travel around and give workshops and meet new people on a weekly basis. I have never been prouder to own an article of clothing than I was the day I got my new FFA jacket. Slipping into that blue corduroy with my name and office embroidered in corn gold stitching, I felt invincible. In short, the FFA changed my life (gosh, does that sound as dramatic out loud as it does in my head??). It made me realize that life is about more than just going to work and making money. It's about finding something that you love and doing it well. It's about going to work and feeling a spark of passion for what you're doing. So thank you FFA. Thank you for helping me find the me that I never knew existed. Thank you for giving me a wonderful year as a state officer with wonderful people that I still consider to be like brothers and sisters to me. Thank you for instilling confidience in me and helping me realize that I am a valuable commodity and have skills that are useful in today's economy. Happy FFA Week to all past, present and future FFA members. Let's count our blessings that those 33 farm boys in 1928 decided to start a path to prepare us all for a better future. :)


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