As some of you may know this week marks a very important week to many FFA members across the state. For some it’s preparing for contest teams, looking forward to sessions and keynote speakers, or in my case—looking forward to a time of reflection from this past year. Words cannot describe all of the friendships, countless memories, laughs, car troubles, and life experiences that have truly changed my life. I am so excited for members to finally arrive and to hear the first tap of the gavel at the opening session.
I am so thankful for every opportunity that the Lord has given me. When I think back to the beginning of the year I set goals for myself and that was to leave an impact on others, and to never let an opportunity pass that I may regret later. The Greek god Caerus, was well known for his unique hair style. Also known as the opportunity statue, Caerus’s was bald in the back with only a small tough of hair in the front. His hair was supposed to represent how opportunities can pass you buy. As you pass by him, you can grab his hair, but once he has past there is none to hold on to. Once an opportunity passes you by, you can no longer seize it. I only hope to keep this idea with me over the years for the constant reminder of how precious time can be.
I have learned many lessons this year and although I am beginning to close a memorable chapter in my life, I know that my involvement will never change unless I chose to do so.
Well ladies and gentlemen this time of year marks a busy time in our lives where countless hours are spent gearing up for contest season and competing in CDE and LDE events all over the state! Needless to say I am excited for this year’s Missouri State FFA Convention to finally become a reality. The first time I can remember attending convention was when my older sister walked on stage to sing the National Anthem. That day marked the first time I had seen the organization as something larger than just an extracurricular activity. To see so many students across this state who had worked hard for the opportunity to compete and attend sessions of one of the country’s largest State Associations, I was amazed at the excitement. Since then convention has always been one of my favorite events of the year, and this year I am so excited for my opportunity to be a part of it.
FFA members it has been such an honor to have served you this year and I hope to continue over the years to give back to the organization. I can honestly say that as I have traveled across the state and visiting chapters, that you all have taught me many lessons that I hope to keep with me over the years and have impacted me in more ways that I can count. As we work towards competition this year, it is important to never forget why we are here as FFA members; “to practice brotherhood, honor agricultural opportunities and responsibilities, and to develop those qualities of leaders ship which an FFA member should possess!”
For this week I decided to post a few tips I have learned from my adventures in Springfield and my experiences I have learned from this year:
- When you begin to stare at the ice cream machine in the dining halls, firmly tell yourself NO and then walk away, you will be addicted for life.
- You will gain the freshman fifteen it’s inevitable, so might as well not fight it.
- Never choose a Gatorade on how cool the color looks; it will most likely be gross.
- No coffee after 7 o’clock, no matter how cool it looks to sit in a coffee shop late at night, your stomach will pay for it the next day.
- No matter how many times you check your Facebook, your homework is still not done (we all do it).
- Always make early appointments for library study…. the Asians usually fill it fast.
- If your study plan includes some form of procrastination and leads to an all night study, make sure you do not make eye contact with anyone— your lack of beauty sleep will scare many.
- When stuck with community bathrooms in your dorm ALWAYS wear shower shoes.
- Girls: you never have to buy bobbie pins at the store ever again, there is always a constant supply in random corners of your room.
- Do your laundry regularly- it’s hard to get the hang of, but is most appreciated.
- For those of you who get stuck with professors with accents- there is nothing you can do about it, so just try and enjoy listening to the exotic voice because you will not be able to understand a word of it.
- Become friends with Kimmy Jin
- Don’t try to use the Rec Center after New Year’s, resolutions will most likely only last about 2 months.
- GO TO CLASS—because you pay for it.
- Make an effort to make friends in every class; this comes in handy for homework help.
- Your advisors know what they’re talking about, so make an effort to listen and schedule appointments.
- PAY your parking tickets.
- Your room is only a place where you sleep, otherwise be out and about on campus and meet new people. College is full of opportunities—take advantage of it.
Hope you all enjoy!
Judy Graff, more widely known as the Farmn’Wife, is what I would call a farm blogging superstar. She started blogging in 2007, and from there shared her passions about agriculture and now helps other farmers share their story as well and how to promote their products. Reading through her blog I saw a few things that I thought were very useful when it comes to blogging and the impact it has for business.
- Blogging is one of the best ways to grow closer to the consumer
There are many advantages to blogging that allows consumers to contact you directly through a simple comment. Educating the people about your product will give them a better understanding of every benefit you have to offer. In turn, this creates a much happier consumer and a better business.
- Have a blog post checklist
Having a simple to navigate an organized blog will attract more readers by simple making it easier to read through. Let’s face it, WordPress is one tough cookie when it comes to how the program works and organizing your blog just the way you like it. It is important to just spend a little bit more time on learning how to work it in order to create a larger fan base, having graphics, links, and good titles will pay off.
- Create a searchable title
Although we all like to think that our blogs are special and they are, they may not be getting the most views. She uses the example of the word “Agriculture” and how much the word is searched. When searched almost 2.7 million different links come up. So, instead of just using broad terms, use specific phrases that give you a better chance in showing up on the first search page.
The Farmn’Wife is now a widely known name and continues to help farmers and students such as myself to better your business and share your story of agriculture.
This week was a very exciting week for agriculture as Tuesday March 19 marked this year’s National Ag Day. This year I had the amazing opportunity to spend Ag Day in Washington DC to help spread the word of agriculture and its importance at our nation’s capital. One hundred young agriculturalists all serving as leaders in AFA (Agriculture Futures of America), 4-H, and the FFA organization were gathered to meet with their congressional leaders in order to promote agriculture.
One of my favorite things about getting to wear the Blue Jacket is getting to show off the amount of pride and legacy that comes with our organization. Coming to the capital this week and being stopped by so many people who had also shared that same FFA background and who were proud to have been a part of FFA, made me realize just how much of an impact this organization has on young students and future leaders. I was overwhelmed of the amount of support that came from the congressman I had the opportunity to speak with today. I have high hopes for America’s largest industry and its issues are more important now than ever before. I hope everyone will share their agriculture story this week and help promote our farmers safe and sustainable food!
“The reason a lot of people do not recognise opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work” – Thomas Edison
This week was my very first college spring break, but unlike most students who planned their trips to the Gulf or the Colorado Mountains, mine is well spent on the farm helping the family moving cattle and building fence. Coming back home really makes me miss things here and being able to look across the fields and seeing all of the new baby calves that come in the spring. I am glad I get to come and do my part in helping out, like getting tractors ready for this year’s planting season and building fence, which always seems to be a constant chore.
Springtime is a great time of year where it gets too be just warm enough to start fishing again, and I planon going as much as I can this week. This year I hope to finish my boat my sisters and my dad started to restore last summer and will hopefully be ready to go by the end of this week. Although my spring break is spent a little different than most, it’s one that I always look forward to. Hard work comes with great reward and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I feel spring is in the air! Now, only a few short months until summer. This summer however, will be very different from the rest. For as long as I can remember every summer I would spend alternating between my grandmother’s house and the farm. Each year I could not wait for school to finally be out, and I would be home free. This was a very busy time of year, but it was spent doing the things that I loved. You would never see me inside the house, whether it was helping plant our summer crops, raking hay, or going to fairs. I always loved the outdoors and getting to spend every moment of it with my family and friends was always my favorite part.
This summer will be much different. I will be starting my new summer adventure in Jefferson City as an intern for the Missouri Department of Agriculture. I am very excited for this amazing opportunity, but I will miss my summer on the farm. Even though my summer won’t be spent at home, I am still excited for great things to come this summer. I cannot wait to meet new people and begin this new chapter in my life.
“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” ― Anthony G. Oettinger
This weekend was very bitter sweet. It was our last state executive meeting before our annual Missouri FFA Convention. I think back on this past year and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. That’s all I get, one year; a year to make a difference in the lives of FFA members and getting to play a key role serving alongside one of the greatest student organizations. I think back at all of the great memories made, all of the laughs and stories shared, and I am truly blessed.
Career and Technical organizations, such as the FFA, play a key role in the lives of students and their development of life skills. These organizations help students become engaged in their community, help guide them into their career paths, and motivate students by providing hands-on learning, meeting with future employers, and allowing place for students and teachers who share similar interests.
So here I am to tell my FFA story, and like most nervous freshman in High School, I was scared of finding my purpose and where I would fit in a rather large intimidating school of over 2,500 students. Growing up on a farm and being involved in 4-H for a number of years made my decision to try FFA pretty easy. Agriculture, however, was not always involved in what career paths I chose over the years. I could tell you that at a very young age I once dreamed about being the first woman president, a ventriloquist, and an astronaut. While these are all very prestigious careers none of them quite had to do with agriculture. Going through my adolescent years I can tell you that I struggled with finding who I was, where I fit in, and where I wanted to go in life. It was the FFA organization that provided me with the knowledge and skills to help me find my passion and the ability to act upon it.
FFA can mean a lot of different things to everyone. When I think of the National FFA Organization, I think about an organization that strives to help their members develop premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. I owe a lot to the FFA and am so thankful for the opportunities it has given me over the years. In just a few short months I will be finished with my term as a Missouri FFA state officer. This year I was reminded of the impact we have on the lives of students, and by helping provide a place for students to grow as individuals has made me hopeful for a great generation of agriculturalists to come. I will forever be an FFA nerd and am proud of it.
“Value the past, embrace your future”- Missouri FFA Association
Attending the Missouri Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Tan-Tara is something that my parents and I have enjoyed many times over the years, but this past weekend was my first time to attend the conference in full commitment toward pursuing a career in agriculture. I had the most amazing time reminiscing with old friends, and making new ones. Throughout the conference, workshops are held that teach us young farmers the importance of agvocacy, what important legislation will have an effect on our industry, and share ideas for new farming techniques. This conference has always been something I looked forward too every year, and although it’s been a few years since I have been, I am reassured of the positive impact Farm Bureau has had in my life. I am truly blessed to have grown up around such great people and I can’t wait to continue my career in this wonderful industry.
This week couldn’t have been a better week for agriculture. Having a Farm Bureau conference this weekend and then kicking off FFA week the very next day has got me ready for this week’s events! The National FFA organization has been a huge part of my life and I am so excited to spend this year’s FFA week giving back to its members serving as a State Officer this year. This week has got me full of fun-filled chapter visits where I will be teaching students the importance of premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. This Thursday is also the Area 9 FFA banquet where students will be recognized on their successes from this year. The establishment of FFA by 33 farm boys in 1928 marked the start of one of the largest student organizations. Today there are over 550,000 members, 25,000 of them call Missouri their home. I proudly wear my blue jacket that represents a movement of young agriculturalists all over the country. So this week I encourage my readers to help spread the message of FFA and share some of your favorite FFA memories and lessons as we celebrate 85 wonderful years of this great organization.