It is always an exciting life for us Indiana FFA State Officers, but recently I have been caught up in the excitement of the season, the future of agriculture, and Goodwill Partner Visits! On Wednesday, Sarah Dirksen and I attended the first ever AgrIInstitute "Though Leaders" series. While there, we caught up with people we had seen during our visits, listened to Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann as she spoke about the bright outlook of the industry, and finally we were all ears at her announcement of the new Director of the ISDA, Ted McKinney. McKinney was an Indiana FFA State Officer, Purdue Pete, and most recently corporate affairs director at Elanco. It is an exciting time as new leadership enters the ISDA.
Goodwill Partner Visits have gotten no less intriguing for the seven of us either. Following the announcement of the new ISDA Director, Sarah and I met with the rest of the team for a visit at Indiana Statewide REMC. We spent a lot of time discussing cooperatives and what that means to them as electric providers. In addition, we discussed that provide is a term to not be taken lightly because there are people who still have no electricity provided to them and a lower standard of living. REMC provides leadership opportunities for youth as well. It means a great deal to us that our partners not only support the leadership development that the FFA instills, but also provide additional leadership training to children of their cooperative members.
On Thursday, we were off to The Andersons to learn more about their ethanol processing plant in Logansport, Indiana. The Andersons talked a lot about how they utilize their grain storage capacity, high ethanol prices, and the value of byproducts together to offer agriculturalists competitive prices for their commodities. After we discussed the business and science aspects of the operation we toured the facilities.
After our visit at The Andersons we headed just a few miles north to Cole Hardwood Inc. At Cole we toured a truly interesting facility. We saw the process from the grading of lumber to finished cabinet doors. We learned that Cole is a large exporter of hardwoods and they import exotic hardwoods like mahogany to put through their process. From tours like this to round table discussions to lunches and announcements it has truly been an exciting time for all of us!
An Excited State Officer,
Indiana FFA State Southern Region Vice President