Back in June of last year, the 7 of us found ourselves sitting in a hotel conference room in Lexington, Kentucky. Four short days earlier, we had been elected as the 2015-2016 Indiana State Officer Team. To say that we were a little overwhelmed would be an understatement. We had been almost immediately whisked away to the National Leadership Conference for State Officers, along with the newly elected teams from Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, and Michigan.
We got to know the officers from all of the states, and formed friendships that have lasted long into our year of service. However, we became especially close to the officer team from our neighbor state to the north. Maybe it was the geographic closeness of our two states, or the fact that we thought the accents of the officers from the northern most part of the state were extremely entertaining, either way Michigan and Indiana hit it off. Which led to us coining the phrase “We Michigained some friends”.
The past two days Courtney, Josh, and I have had the privilege of attending Michigan FFA’s 88th State Convention. Let me tell you, I have never experienced a warmer welcome to an FFA event in my life. It was amazing to see our friends we had gotten to know over the past few months up on that stage. I can honestly say I’ll never forget experiences like watching the two finalist teams in their demonstration competition, which they take extremely seriously, or helping to throw glow sticks into a crowd of almost 2,000 ecstatic Michigan FFA members.
The words “personal growth” are some that we hear over and over again in the land of FFA. So much so that I think they easily become words we say, and not necessarily words we mean. These past few days have really reminded me that FFA leads us to personal growth every single day. Our friends in Michigan were not the same people at their state convention they were eight months ago, and the seven of us officers aren’t the same either. Really, none of us can say we haven’t changed a lot over the last year or so. I think we can all agree that FFA is responsible for a lot of that personal growth.
Watch out folks, Sean is starting to get a little sappy.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have been given because of this organization. If I said I was thankful every single day that wouldn’t be true, we all get caught up in routine and things like that get forgotten. However, experiences like the past two days give me the opportunity to step back and realize everything FFA has done for me, and I look forward to the personal growth that’s yet to come.
All the best,
2015-2016 Indiana FFA State Treasurer