Gianna and I went north to Western Boone's officer induction on Monday. Western Boone's advisor had retired just a few days before, which led to the unusual situation of their vice principal acting as their advisor. The attitudes of the staff and students to keep the program growing and going in a positive direction were definitely reassuring, only second to their well run and well organized meeting.
Tuesday the entire team switched gears and we headed to the statehouse to meet the Wawasee FFA's agricultural issues team. They were visiting the statehouse to build their team's resume for the competition in which they will be presenting about the pros and cons of large scale livestock production. Many of us formed new friendships that day and none of us were complaining when we were taken to Buca Di Beppo for lunch.
Wednesday meant another trip north. We ventured into "flat lander country," as my southern teammates refer to it, for a tour at Rose Acres. It was an awesome visit with some very knowledgeable guides who told us about everything from Campbell's Soup to recycled pallets as they related to Rose Acres. After the tour I left to go home to the Miami County Soil and Water Conservation District Annual Meeting to congratulate members of my home chapter on their success in soils this past year, chat with a ton of people I hadn't seen in a while, and listen to Mr. Bechman's keynote on the importance of family.
Thursday was a day of catching up in the office. We are planning out our personal schedules for FFA week right now, and I can't wait to visit all the schools I've made plans with! Rachel, Ross, and Jake left that night for a banquet in Rensselaer.
Friday the rest of us left in the afternoon to stay in Hageman family's guest house. The house was beautiful and the team enjoyed the time together before making the much shorter trip to Purdue the next morning.
Saturday's meats and dairy foods contests were amazing. I had never seen either contest before, and I must say that meats is the coolest contest ever both figuratively and literally. Students spent a couple hours in meat lockers judging and grading various carcasses and cuts of meats. As a livestock showman it was very interesting to see the practical side of what I spent the last ten years feeding, fitting, and leading through the show ring. It was also great to catch up with the friends we have made throughout the year that were competing as well as meeting some new people.
Though it sometimes felt like we were going thirty directions at once, this week was great for all of us. We got to see more members than we have seen since our last conference, and it was awesome to do so much. I am continually thankful for this experience and will definitely count this week as one of my favorites even if it didn't include any huge multi-day events.