If these walls could talk what story might they tell?
Would they share the story of an industry that has changed? An industry that has grown and adapted? Would they share the story of an industry that, no matter the circumstance, can rise from the ashes and meet the challenge of feeding, clothing, and supporting a growing world, an industry that believes in the power of its youth?
In 1988, out of the pole framework of a barn, and because of the efforts of volunteer agriculture teachers, emerged the Indiana FFA State Officer House.
The house has provided a foundation for food, faith, and family for 26 teams.
If these walls could talk they would share the stories of the legends that have spent their days in the house. Outstanding individuals like National FFA Presidents Mark Timm, 1989-1990, and Travis Park, 1990-1991or Indiana’s last National Officer Tyler Tenbarge in 2006-2007.
They would express the joy of housing members like, Lisa Moss Chaudion, Indiana FFA’s first female State President and Advisor, or Joe Kelsey, former Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture
Throughout its history, 3 Indiana FFA Executive Directors, 3 Indiana FFA Foundation Directors, all Program Specialists, and 26 agriculture teachers have called these walls their home.
These walls would share about individuals who entered the doors of the house and grew to be top of their class graduates, student body Presidents’, business leaders, scientists, lobbyists, and key proponents for agriculture.
If these walls could talk, would they speak of individuals who joined as one not for the sake of themselves, but for the future of an organization?
They would scream out the story of how seven completely different individuals could learn to love, to grow, and to serve.
They would speak of tears of fear, of joy, tears of frustration, tears of empathy, tears of happiness, tears for knowing that you are part of something more.
They have been onlookers for the thrill of victory and the sigh of defeat. They would express lessons learned, plans that fell through, and teams that pushed on no matter what.
They would share the moments of sadness, the moments the officers struggled, or when the loss of a member of friend shook the team to its core.
They would be sure to include the hysterical times; the times when officers stayed up late watching movies, or the constant bickering of loving siblings. They would share the times when officers, members, family, and State Staff gathered and shared a time of comradery.
They would include the emptiness that is felt each and every year as the team becomes busier and time in the house just seems impractical.
They would share the stories of that first night, that last night, and all those nights in between.
These walls have supported numerous forms of life from insects, animals, and humans alike.
If these walls could talk, they would elaborate on the layers of paint on them or the assortment of decorations that have covered them.
They would speak of dust and construction that has begun to fill the air.
These walls themselves have begun to crumble. These walls have barred their load for years, and are starting to feel their age.
The voice of these walls grows old and weary. It slows its pace and slurs its words. These walls have been moved and changed, but their story stays the same.
Each year these walls feel the tremble of new feet chasing each other through their halls. They sense the passion that can only be felt in the weakest of hours.
They would speak of new beginnings, the beginnings of each team and the fresh breath that they bring to the house, the new spark that waits to make its impact.
They would speak of the stargaze eyes that bombarded the house each march, eyes of capable individuals dreaming of making these walls their home.
Over the last 26 years these walls have been spectators, observers of the pride, honor, and humbling passion held by each Indiana FFA State Officer that has lived in this house.
These walls would whisper the secrets of the “incredible perfection” that is created by an organization that puts youth at the forefront.
As I sit here today, housed, protected, and humbled by these walls, I wonder if these walls could talk what stories would they tell.
Oh, if these walls could talk, what story would they tell?
Living to Serve,
2014-2015 Indiana FFA Secretary