This year I attended my 14th Iowa FFA State Convention. While my role has changed over time from attendee to state officer to convention office manager, every year one thing stays the same: I feel inspired by the next generation of agriculture.
Here are five things FFA members teach me year after year:
- Complete dedication
At the convention, we hold leadership career development events. To get to the state level members have to advance from two other levels, put in months and months of practice and endure a lot of nerves. But no matter what is thrown at them, FFA members are dedicated to the task in front of them and will do it to the best of their abilities. It’s amazing to see.
- Goal setting
Every year I watch more than 500 FFA members receive their state FFA degree. While I reminisce about when I received my state degree, I also remember how much hard work it took. I set many goals for myself each year to obtain the degree. And just like me, all of those FFA members who walk across the stage every year have set goals for themselves. They understand and have put in the daily work it takes to reach their goals. No wonder FFA members have such bright futures.
- Change is welcome
Change can be scary. But in the agricultural industry change is a constant. There are new career options we never thought about 15 years ago. To help students learn about these exciting new opportunities, the Iowa FFA Association added two career development events for students to participate in, ag biotechnology and poultry evaluation. FFA welcomes change with open arms. Plus, how cool is it that students get to test out a career before they even head to college?
- Support means everything
No matter where you look at the convention, you will see support. You can see chapter members cheering each other on as they participate in career development events. FFA alumni and sponsors are present, ensuring opportunities exist for years to come. Parents, advisors and guests show their support for an industry that fuels them. Support continues to make FFA and the agricultural industry great.
- Excitement for agriculture
There are no quiet moments during the convention. With over 6,000 attendees, the enthusiasm for agriculture and its future can be heard loud and clear for two days straight. It’s something that would bring a smile to anyone’s face and gives all involved in the industry a positive feeling for the future.
Leaving FFA convention each year, I feel refreshed, rejuvenated and excited for the future of agriculture. The dedicated and goal-oriented students coupled with spectacular sponsors and supporters prove that agriculture is in good hands.