After two days at the Fort Wayne Farm Show, I climbed into the backseat of a car to prepare for the three-hour trek home. The seven of us had spent the past week in the frigid air of northern Indiana, meeting with vendors and collecting items for our auctions. Both auctions went very well and we raised a lot of money for the Indiana FFA Foundation, but it’s safe to say that nothing sounded more enticing than going home to sleep in our own beds!
I woke up as happy as a kid in a candy store on Thursday morning, thinking maybe I could stay in bed for a little longer on our first day home.
Apparently about 100 yards away in the cafeteria gathered 200+ ag advisors for an in-service, and we were to eat lunch with them.
One part of me was super pumped because what’s better than delicious food that I didn’t have to cook myself? Say the word “food”, and you can bet that I’ll be there. And then another part of me just dreaded the mere thought of it, for no reason at all.
As noon came around, I ventured into the other building and I don’t think I have ever seen the cafeteria so jam-packed with people in my life. Sitting near the back was my ag teacher, and so I quickly made my way over to her. As soon as I sat down and saw the look of excitement on her face, I knew I was in the right place. My ag teacher was excited to see me, and I was extremely excited to see her.
It was then that I realized this wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, the hour I spent at lunch with a full table of advisors was enough to make my entire week. I had my advisor from the last three years of my FFA career, and let me tell you, she’s a rockstar. Momma Mullins is my second mom and biggest confidant- whether it’s a “just because” card in the mail with a Southdown lamb on the front (my absolute favorite) or her bringing me things I need from home, she is always there and supports every decision I make. She saw the things in me that I couldn’t see in myself, and it’s because of her that I chose to follow my dreams of running for state office, judging livestock in Kansas, and continue being an ambassador for the agriculture industry.
And then there’s Mrs. O’Farrell (who will always be Miss Korb to me), who was my student teacher when I was just a shy and insecure seventh grader. She helped me to write my very first speech and showed me the importance behind speaking about what I love. Even though she was only around for a short while, she has always kept in touch with me and remains one of my biggest role models to this day. Thanks for letting me teach Henry how to take selfies and for being my cheerleader!
The other teachers treated me as if I were one of their own, all of them being teachers I had grown to know throughout high school and as a state officer. Whether I had known them for one year or six years, they all have made an impact on me.
I’ve had four different ag advisors in my FFA career, and each taught me something different and unique. It goes much farther than learning how to fill out a proficiency application or learning the anatomy of a plant- it’s the time management, humility, and the will to go to the next level. It’s the competitive nature and knowing how to stand up for your own beliefs. It’s learning that no matter the circumstances, there is ALWAYS someone looking up to you.
I think I can speak for every FFA member out there when I say we have the best mentors in the world. Our advisors are the best, all in their own way. They put in long hours and spend numerous weekends at FFA events because they love their students and have a passion for their profession.
To all of the advisors out there: THANK YOU. You are simply the greatest.
2015 - 2016 Indiana FFA State President