FFA Officers: Travel Blog
A cabin in the woods filled with fishing gear, a lot of food, and ten friends who never seem to see enough of one another. Cabin mates for three nights bunking up again after nights filled with hard work, conversation, and a few cans of Mountain Dew. The Mountain Dew statement is a bit of an understatement. By a few, I mean a minimum of seven cans a day per person. We also enjoyed fishing, grilled cheese, pancakes and eggs, endless amount of blankets, bunk beds, and heartfelt talk. This is what a weekend in the woods looks like, talk about my heaven.
Every year the state officer team travels to Boulder Junction, Wisconsin for their annual officer retreat. This year’s activity highlights included the predictable favorites: naps, dock sitting, playing volleyball underneath the lights, wet hair ponytails, no makeup, going on walks down the long gravel driveway, bonfires, and fishing.
Better yet, this year’s planning was in full swing when we were in the solitude of the woods. We were able to work on our SLW and FIRE Conference workshops, speeches, take a knowledge test, and work on our sectional newsletters. These past couple of days have been filled with being productive, but we also had time to hang out as a cohesive unit during our free time.
The cabin provided the perfect setting for the team to bond and work together on FFA projects. It also allowed us to relax and get away from the pressure and stresses of FFA State office. We were able to focus on the tasks at hand and forget about the things happening in our lives elsewhere. My task for you is to find your place. The place where you can relax and take time to really enjoy your life without any distractions.
on a hammock overlooking a lake, waking up to the birds chirping away
in the trees, or even just the smell of freshly cut grass, I think it
is safe to say that summertime in Wisconsin is something that we all
look forward to. However, just as it is lake season, grilling season,
bonfire season and fair season, we all seem to forget the never-ending
road work season!
There are few sights that can spoil summertime enthusiasm more than
“Road Work Ahead” signs or even worse, “Road Closed Ahead” signs. And
as if merging to one lane of traffic wasn’t bad enough, the nerve that
it takes to ask us summertime vacationers to slow to 55mph or even the
dreaded 45mph is almost too much to take! Don’t they know we have fish
to catch, brats to grill, and cattle to show?
Over the past two months, I have traveled over countless Wisconsin
roadways. Some roads were paved, others were not. Some roads were
divided, others were not. Most were fully operational, however some
were not. And isn’t it funny how it’s those couple of roads here and
there that are “under construction” that stand out in our memory?
Believe me when I say I am as guilty as the next guy when it comes to
getting frustrated with the delays in road work zones. But when we
think about it, why do we get upset? Why are we unhappy with the
improvements that are being made so that next time, we can get to our
destination safely and quickly? Maybe, just maybe, we have to change
But what if this “Road Work Ahead” mentality applies to more than just
the pavement that we drive on? We all have aspects of our daily lives
that, to be honest, could really use some repairs. And when family or
friends point those areas out to us, the last thing that we want to do
is slow our hectic, crazy lives down to 45mph and tear up that old,
cracked pavement. But can I ask you a question? Have you ever drove on
a newly repaired roadway and said to yourself, “I liked it better the
way it was before?” Of course not! So, as we navigate through the
final weeks of Summer 2019, lets make an effort to embrace the
roadwork going on both below our tires and in our lives so we will be
open and ready for traffic come fall!
Keep on Truckin’,
The 2019 Wisconsin State Fair is officially in the books! Whether it was showing an animal, performing in the honors band or choir, or just paying a visit to the fairgrounds, I hope many of you found a day or two to enjoy the festivities of state fair. And if you didn’t make it to Milwaukee, I’m sure many of you have had no trouble staying busy with county fairs the last couple of months as well!
As you may have heard, the state officer team had no trouble staying busy at state fair either! The 11 days were filled with countless three-hour shifts working in the Discovery Barn and facilitating the DATCP Veggie 500. And if spending a week and half straight working with six-year-old children isn’t enough to tucker you out, working on a seemingly never-ending to-do list certainly is!
That’s about how we feel after this 11-day adventure. Tired. After a continuous stretch of late nights and early mornings, lots of advocating for agriculture, and working our tails off to stay up to speed for our busy fall schedule, it’s safe to say we are simply exhausted both physically and mentally.
But we did it. We survived State Fair. Yes, we were challenged. In fact, we were pushed to our limits. But that’s what makes the completion of the week feel that much more rewarding. It was hard work. And it was worth it.
There’s no rival to the satisfaction that comes along with hard, honest work. Sure, hard work means extra effort, energy, and stress. But that’s what makes it valuable. After all, anything worth having, is worth working for.
We all face challenges.- experiences that test us, that push us, that exhaust us. But when you struggle to see the value of your effort, remember the merit of hard work- the sweet triumph of personal victory. When you know you’ve put in the work, when you know you’ve earned the satisfaction of accomplishment, that’s when you know it was worth it.
The 2019 Wisconsin State Fair is complete. We did it and we’re proud of it. Now we’re off to Jag Lake tomorrow to continue our planning for the busy fall ahead and hopefully soak up a few minutes of relaxation in the Northwoods!
Enjoy the last few weeks of summer and get ready to hit the ground running come September. It’s going to be a heck of a year!
See you soon,
Well, stress happens, but the State Officers like to make the best out of the situation with bringing out the fun with the late nights and the little amount of sleep we get. The first day we arrived as a team we knew what the upcoming weeks were going to be like with the amount of work we had to accomplish along with having fun at State Fair. The first night, we had gone to a fast food joint of “Kopps” and we were all fascinated with the waterfall architecture it had and we were all distracted by it. When we were ordering our food, Lindsey had set her phone down on the table I was at and asked if my other teammates and I could watch it until she was done ordering. I did my duty. I watched it. I took selfies on it (keep your phone somewhere and I will spam it!). As she came back to the table after she ordered and I went to go order thinking she would grab her phone. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
When we were finishing up our meal, Lindsey had asked if I had her phone and my reply was a no thinking she had grabbed her phone. My teammates and I had gone to go look for it asking the front counter and the people around the table we were at and had no luck. Oops, guess that happens to the best of us. I then had the idea to call her phone to see if it was hidden or if someone would pick up, and with our luck, an adult woman had answered the call. She was an older adult with an accent that I could barely understand, but I knew she had said “Macy’s” so we had to drive two minutes, unsure of what to expect with the question of, “Are they good people?” When we got there, she apologized and was a happy lady with kids.
Overall, some of us are living in a busy life and we have our mind on a lot of things, but we need to remember to live in the moment, live the dream, and BE HAPPY. We may lose things and everything may not go by the plan, but life is not perfect. Life will go how you make it go, you only live once so make the best out of it. As we are focused on helping other FFA members strive to help find their niche in the FFA organization, we want you to know we are here for you. Open up and I will be there for you. I believe we will be better together and I can’t wait to meet you all throughout the year. Feel free to stop by at the Wisconsin State Fair, we all love meeting members from across the state!
Hope you’re having a fun-filled summer,
On Wednesday this week, my teammates and I traveled to the Wisconsin State Fair to get ready for the opening day on Thursday. When walking through the livestock barns on the first day, I could sense the nervousness in the air as white filled the dairy cattle aisles preparing animals, making them look pretty for the judge. For many, this is just the start of the nerves as they still have to go in the show ring and hope their animal will cooperate with them or, otherwise, they know their placing will not be what they desire. Sometimes, it may seem like the same people always receive first place in their showmanship class while your cow falls asleep. These are the moments where we may think it’s “No Fair.” With all of this in mind, realizing the incredible hands-on learning experience these exhibitors are gaining can be easily forgotten as the fair schedule is crazy busy! However, this will long-term never be unappreciated or lost in memory.
Personally, I only submitted 4-H projects at my county fair until second grade. Since then, I have not been involved with exhibiting anything at any fair. My engagement with my county fair and the state fair is very different than many others experiences. Starting in elementary, I helped my parents work our FFA Alumni chapters food stand to put in several hours preparing food while dealing with whatever mother nature felt like doing, which includes having a river stream running down the middle of the stand because of the overflow of rain or your shirt dripping in sweat because of the heat. When my family and I completed our shift, we always went through the livestock barns to see all the amazing exhibits. This was the time I said, “No Fair.” It was not fair to see my friends have the opportunity of showing animals at the fair while I, at the time, had to work at our alumni food stand instead. My family never showed livestock at any fair because it was not much of an interest my siblings had. With being the youngest child, I did not have much say in making my parents think we were going to start showing at fairs.
Looking at all aspects of the fair this past week has been eye-opening. No matter what your responsibility is at the fair, without all of the volunteers and exhibitors, including if you did not place in your showmanship class as well as you wanted, we would have “No Fair.” Because the opportunities you are given as an FFA member, like exhibiting or helping at a fair, are important as we continue to take on the amazing task to advocate for agriculture. Without participation, we have “No Fair.” However, we come together with communities across the state to continue educating more people about the different aspects of the agriculture industry. So next time you are at a fair, instead of saying it’s “No Fair,” take time to reflect on how there is no time like fair time to help support everyone’s growth.
Have a good one,
This is what my teammate Grace was yelling at me as her, Ryan, Lindsey, Curtis, Joe, and I were sprinting down the street as rain drenched us. We had been excited to have the chance to go to a Nationals game when we got some free time after the State Officer Summit conference in Washington D.C. We were, by far, not professionals when it came to finding our way through the metro system, and we were rushing to get to the stadium to enjoy a night of baseball together. I had known there was a chance of rain, but I told my friends it was only a twenty percent chance and that we would be “just fine”. (Can you guess who got blamed for our soaking clothes?) The group of us were climbing up the escalator to the street when we heard the pitter patter of raindrops hitting the cement. I figured it would simply be a light drizzle, but I was wrong. Through the window I could see the waterfall pouring out of the clouds above us. We looked at each other, not exactly sure what to do, but in unison we all decided to go for it. We took off, splashing through puddles, Lindsey lost her shoes, Grace had mascara dripping down her face, and we all looked like “sewer rats” (according to Grace) by the time we got to some shelter in a parking garage a few blocks from the metro. Our laughter could be heard down the street as we stood there thinking about how crazy we must have looked.
We did not end up going to a baseball game that night, but I will never forget how great that rain felt on my face. My teammates could have been upset. First of all, we were sopping wet, then the game was delayed, and after we had to walk quite a ways just to find a bite to eat. But the whole night, we all talked about what great memories we had made. The team of people I get to serve with this year is amazing, and their ability to laugh in the rain is incredible. If you feel like hearing more of our goofy stories, or like sharing some of yours, please do not hesitate to contact me! My email is email@example.com and my number is (715) 853-9156.
“Laugh loudly, laugh often, and most important, laugh at yourself.” -Chelsea Handler
This week, we are headed to the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis to help out in the Discovery Barn and with the Veggie Races. We will be there the entirety of the fair, so make sure to stop by!
Lots of love,
The whole team has officially made it back to Wisconsin from a week in Washington DC while attending Summit Leadership Development Conference. We all had a great time walking around and exploring the nation’s capital together as well as attending the conference. You guys aren’t the only one’s that get to have fun at conferences!
I just want to point this out there… While walking around DC I realized that I must be one of the most loved people in America. Everyone walks around with shirts that say “I Love DC”. Since my name is Daniel Clark I can say that it was very nice having people tell me they love me everywhere I went! HA!
With all jokes aside, like many people I also love DC. It has such a rich background with history of this country. Presidents have lived there since 1801 when the third President of the USA Thomas Jefferson took office. The one thing that I really took away from this experience however may be different than others. It hit me how FFA does not take any political stance. In the FFA we encourage all to join, It doesn’t matter what race, gender, or religion you are. It doesn’t matter if you are from the middle of the city or far in the countryside. When we put on the blue jacket nothing should matter anymore. We are standing as one proudly representing the state on our back and the communities that we come from. We are agricultural advocates and we have some stories to tell, so lets all start sharing!
Lastly we got to meet some Incredible people while we were away. On the last day we (minus Jared and Collin due to meetings) had the opportunity to explore some more and we found ourselves walking to the Holocaust Memorial. As we entered, we saw the sea of blue as FFA members from across the country came together for Washington Leadership Conference. I was able to spot a fellow Wisconsinite and immediately began talking, we were able to corral eight Wisconsin members for a quick photo and then we spent some more time talking. It was so cool hearing the stories of other FFA members and listening to all the things they were doing that week. This was the first time that we were able to really talk to members as a team and what a great way to start it out! After a great conversation I am happy to say that Wisconsin FFA is in good hands with agricultural leaders that are willing to Rise Up and Stand Out all across the state.
Finally time to get caught up on some sleep…
Daniel Clark State Vice President
This week the state FFA officer team has had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC for the National FFA State Officer Summit. For those of us that haven’t had the chance to make it to Washington DC yet, let me tell ya there are a ton of stairs here - like everywhere we go we’re hiking upstairs. Honestly, how many of us actually like to walk upstairs, or instead take the elevator every chance we get? Well for me and many of the state officers, we love the elevators.
Many times, we don’t have the luxury of taking elevators and bypassing stairs. Either way we are led to our destination. During this week the state officer team has been reaching many destinations. We’ve been climbing stairs to our Nation’s Capital, the Lincoln Memorial, World War Two Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, meeting with Senators and members of The House of Representatives and working with other state and national officers during our business sessions.
Stairs are not fun to go up. I don’t think that I have ever heard anyone go “Oh my gosh I’m going to go run up these stairs for fun!” - yeah no that doesn’t happen. This week we have climbed a great deal of stairs and have overcome these small barriers. Many of the people that have monuments built after them here in Washington DC have had their own “stairs to climb.” Some of these great leaders have worked through founding our country, working through racial and segregation issues, or have fought for the freedom of our country, but they didn’t give up on their climb to success.
Washington DC has offered the state FFA officers to reflect who we are as an organization and as a team. Seeing all the past historical influences around the city has helped us reflect on who we are and who we strive to be. We have seen that these individuals have “climbed their stairs” to advocate for what they believe is right and we are doing the same. Stairs are not for everyone but are only a small barrier to our destination. If we set our minds to our goals, we can all climb the “stairs” all the way to the top to our own personal destinations!
Out of breath from all these stairs, this is Jared signing off.
Have a great one!
Wisconsin Association of FFA State Secretary
Well it is starting to get real! When you are elected as an FFA state officer, you are on such an adrenaline high. At the time you think that this is the best day of your life but in fact every day since has been just as amazing. I am currently 40 days into office and these past 40 days have been filled with laughter, screaming, swimming, games, bonfires, and escape rooms but they have also been filled with personal development, workshop development, reading, writing, stress, and very little sleep. The combination of all of this has made so many new memories with the strangers that I now call my best friends.
My team and I are getting excited for Washington D.C. Summit! Which is where we get to meet all of the others State Officers from every other state! We will be able to sightsee in D.C. along with getting to know other officers and learning new ideas that they implement in their state and bring them back to Wisconsin.
Well my team and I made it to D.C. but it was quite the adventure already even though we are still sitting in the airport! Well to start out, I love to travel! I love seeing new things and I LOVE adventure! Alright well getting to D.C. for my group wasn’t too eventful, besides the fact that Joe didn’t get his complimentary in-flight snacks and drinks, there were no complaints. But once we got to the Reagan National Airport in D.C. is where it started to get interesting. We get off the plane and it is 95 thick degrees outside! We take a 10 minute walk to baggage claim where we stand patiently for 30 minutes staring blankly at the board, waiting for the board to tell us what baggage claim we can go to to pick up our luggage. Well eventually our flight left the board without ever telling us where to get our bags. After that half hour we finally decided to ask at the information desk. We get to our baggage claim and are waiting for the conveyor belt to bring up all of my groups bags. Again standing in the hot muggy airport. My bright blue bag finally emerges from the conveyor belt and I see the top of my bag is super dirty! So I grabbed my bag and thought to myself, “no big deal, I can just wash it off when I get home”. I grabbed my bag and went to set it on its wheels to go find the rest of my team when my hair straightener fall out of the bottom of my bag! I looked at my unsteady bag and realized it only had three wheels (should have four) and there was a massive hole in the corner of my bag! I could see right through to my clothes! My suitcase was absolutely destroyed, completely obliterated! There was no way I could use it, even just for this week. I went to the (HELPING PEOPLE) and they got me a new suitcase to put my things in. As I transfer my things over I pull out my official FFA state officer polo, there was a hole that went straight though, front to back! You could say I was pretty upset. I needed my polo this week to represent our state, our team was going to wear these polos together. Getting to the hotel was a whole other dilemma in that same thick heat, just standing around. But we made it to our hotel and the Wisconsin FFA State Officers are loving summit so far!
Now this wasn’t the worst day of travel that we could have had but it definitely has the possibility of ruining my day or even my week! But we stayed together as a team and got through it! Life is bound to get bumpy, messy, and even dirty but the only thing that matters is what you make of it. My life motto is “Vive una aventura” which is spanish for “live an adventure”, I don’t really have a rhyme or reason for my life motto being in spanish except I REALLY want to learn spanish (I mean and it just sounds cooler). But to live a full life I honestly believe you have to just let the little things that happen roll off your back like water because if you don’t then that water will soon consume you. Wisconsin FFA if any of you have crazy travel stories or you just want to talk about adventure please feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear about all of y’all’s adventures!
Remember vive una aventure
~Emily Sheehan State Sentinel
I hope you all are surviving the heat this time of year! This summer has been jam packed with FFA events, county fairs, and of course the newest season of Stranger Things! The State Officers have been busy attending alumni golf outings, preparing SLW & FIRE workshops, and much more to get ready for our year in office.
At the beginning of my State Officer journey, I must admit that I was intimidated by the sheer intensity and dedication that goes into preparing for different events and gathering up material for speeches. But it wasn’t until I was watching season 3 of Stranger Things that I remembered why we put so much of ourselves into developing workshops and speeches.
FFA is a never-ending story. (if you have watched season 3, you know exactly what I’m talking about) :)
Each story follows a journey. FFA’s story began as The Future Farmers of America, but is now known as The National FFA Organization. That original story never ended, it simply began a new chapter and we are all part of it. FFA members all across the country have their own story in FFA, just like you and I. Our dedication as State Officers, Chapter Officers, past, present, and future FFA members and supporters are what makes FFA a never-ending story and keeps the message of FFA alive.
Wisconsin FFA kicked off its new chapter with the election of the 2019-2020 State Officer Team. I am thrilled to see where this chapter in our lives will take us. But I am especially thrilled that it will take me to you! I am excited to see how each and every one of you will impact this chapter in extraordinary ways! Let’s continue to make FFA a never-ending story!
Stay cool out there,
With a month under our belts, the action is picking up! With Base Camp and Checkpoint #1 complete, we took a day to mingle with and thank some of Wisconsin FFA’s biggest sponsors and supporters. Without these stakeholders, FFA in Wisconsin simply wouldn’t be possible. Collin, Ryan, Lindsey, and I recently had the opportunity to attend the Northwest Wisconsin FFA Foundation Golf Outing at Wild Ridge Golf Course in Eau Claire, WI. The event serves as a major fundraiser for the Foundation which directly supports FFA activities and programs in Wisconsin. The day was filled with fun and laughter by everyone in attendance!
As state officers, we worked at different holes running various contests where players were given the chance to win some extra prizes. As a spectator, it was not only fun to visit with all the sponsors as they came through but also to watch each of them tee off. Some hit the ball for country miles and some struggled to make contact. But regardless of their first shot, it was their shots on the green, or putting, that ultimately saved or lost strokes. Putting separated them from the rest of the pack.
As the day went on, I began to think how this can be related to our FFA experience. Merely just putting on the blue corduroy jacket is like hitting a stunning drive. It looks good from afar and it will definitely start you off in the right direction, but in reality, a drive only makes up a small portion of the total strokes in a round of golf. Lots of people can just throw a jacket on. But that’s only the first step. It’s the next shots, which aren’t always the longest, that separate our FFA experience from others. What we do in the corduroy jacket is like putting. It may not always look pretty, and it may not always get the crowd oohing and aahing, but the small actions of hard work we take make all the difference in the world. So as we get ready for the year ahead, let’s not merely put on our jackets and “drive for show.” Let’s get down to business and “putt for dough!”
As we go through the year, don’t be afraid to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608)-863-6402!
See you soon,
My name is Lindsey Augustine from the Ellsworth FFA Chapter, and I am proud to be representing Section 2 as your 2019-2020 Wisconsin FFA State Vice President!
Here are some fun facts about myself so that you can get to know me a little more:
1. I raise and show cattle, sheep, and goats.
2. I have a sister, Kaitlin, that is four years older than me, and I have a twin sister, Mollie.
3. I was on the Parliamentary Procedure team all four years in high school and was able to compete at the state level twice in this LDE.
4. I have been on the livestock judging team for 4-H for the past four years.
5. My favorite food is peanut butter. I tend to eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon more times than I would like to admit.
6. I love to travel and have been fortunate to have been able to explore many countries in Europe.
7. My friends do not trust me to give them directions because my geographical skills are very limited. I am working on it and by the end of my state office career I will hopefully be able to locate places without my phone!
8. I am a sucker for Hallmark movies (especially Christmas ones).
9. I enjoy going deer hunting and fishing.
10. I will be attending the University of Wisconsin - River Falls double majoring in agricultural education and animal science. I plan to become a high school agriculture teacher in the future.
A whole month has passed since the closing gavel tap was dropped at State Convention. It is hard to believe how many places the state officer team has been so far in just one short month. We have all put plenty of miles on our vehicles already. We have attended Base Camp, WAAE Professional Development Conference, and Check Point #1, and have had an enjoyable time filled with many laughs, morning runs with the team, and too many eaten s’mores throughout this past month. The traveling will soon begin to escalate! Within the next month we will be traveling to various golf outings, Washington D.C., State Fair, and ending August with a week-long trip to the famous Jag Lake. Before we know it Sectional Leadership Workshops will be in full swing!
Throughout the past weeks it has been great getting to know the other individuals on the officer team. When you put eleven people into a room that have never met before and you sit them down to layout your plan for the next year, this experience can be frightening. On the other hand, everyone can take a role and use their strengths to better Wisconsin FFA. I am excited to say this team has bonded together and worked towards the future to RISE Up and STAND OUT as a group of individuals with a common goal. Let’s continue to make Wisconsin great through Agriculture and FFA involvement.
As we enter further into summer, there are many fairs occurring throughout Wisconsin. I know first hand how busy these can be. Enjoy every moment while in the show ring, preparing projects, and patiently waiting to see what color ribbons that you have received. Before you know it, this will be your last time attending a fair while being an FFA or 4-H member. Take in every moment and enjoy them to your fullest! Continue to use the strengths that you have to build your future.
If you ever have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com.
Enjoy the rest of your summer,
After being briefed on the fictional situation and being locked in the room, the timer began, and the race was on! We all split up and looked for anything that could be considered a clue. After minutes and minutes ticked by with few leads to work off of, we began to realize something. We were each working in our own little “shell” and trying to solve big problems by ourselves. We all came to this realization at nearly the same time and knew we had to try something different if we had any chance to escape. As we began to share with others what we had found and put our heads together, it was amazing the discoveries we made!
I think we can all be guilty of hiding out in our own little “shell” at times in our lives. Whether that be avoiding talking to certain students at school, doing the bare minimum on assignments we get, or as in our case, not fully communicating as a team, it happens to the best of us. We like to be comfortable and are not always open to others’ ideas. However, when we escape that “shell” and escape our comfort zone, it is amazing how much we can accomplish. For those that might be wondering, we did find the gold and escape that town once we began working together.
We escaped just in time with only 45 seconds left of our 60-minute clock. Any more wasted time and chances are we would not have been successful. The longer we remain in our “shell,” the more we limit our potential. So, lets escape our “shells” together this year and see just how much we can accomplish!
Have a Great Summer!!
I hope your summer is off to a rocking start! Between State FFA Convention, summer jobs, county fairs, family get togethers, and now gearing up for Fourth of July Celebrations, I’m sure you all are having no trouble staying busy! The State Officer team can say the same. Since being elected, we’ve hit the ground running. Last week, we found ourselves in La Crosse at the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE) Professional Development Conference.
We spent the majority of the week learning the ins and outs of Team Ag Ed, gaining a better understanding of our responsibilities for the year, and discussing the events on our schedule as we move through summer and into fall. But on the top of our to-do list was picking this year’s State Theme.
Now, coming up with a phrase that will be the driver of the Association’s entire year and of course be a staple of our State Convention in June certainly seemed like a daunting task at first. But surprisingly enough, after sitting down one evening in a hotel room, discussing what kind of message we wanted to get across, and tossing around a few different ideas, my teammates and I had picked the theme: Rise Up. Stand Out.
I wanted to give just a brief overview of what the theme means to us and the message we wanted to get across. We decided we wanted a phrase that highlighted the collective power our organization has when we collaborate-when we take our unique talents and interests and come together, it’s pretty amazing what we accomplish. We wanted something that inspires members to feel empowered to overcome the challenges and low points we all encounter, personally, in our organization, and in our agriculture industry and captivate the relentless drive for progress, drive for innovation, and drive to be better we all have. No matter the roadblocks in front of us, we find a way to rise to the occasion, to rise together, and to Rise Up. And as we continue to develop the future leaders of agriculture, we want FFA members to be proud of the fact that FFA members stand out-stand out in a good way. FFA members have a reputation of being a notch of above the rest when it comes to leadership, work ethic, and professionalism, and the responsibility of carrying on that reputation into the future is something we can all take pride in.
I cannot wait to watch you all Rise Up in your Supervised Agricultural Experiences, at contests and conferences, and in your community service events. And I am excited to see how you each Stand Out in your schools, chapters, and communities through your own unique FFA experiences. It will be one heck of a year! I’ll be seeing you soon!
In the meantime, if you ever have any questions for me or are just looking for someone to chew the fat with, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a jingle at (608)-863-0895.