There I was, sitting in the back row of the 4th general session of the 87th Indiana FFA State Convention. To me it was the longest, most dreaded session of convention, but to over 400 FFA members, it was an exciting, exhilarating, and adrenaline filled experience. To them it was there chance to be recognized, the Hoosier degree session, where they received one of the highest honors the Indiana FFA Association awards. To me it was the session before I opened that anticipated envelope.
The fourth general session was stressful for every state officer candidate. I sat shaking my leg, holding my Hoosier degree chain in my hand, rubbing the charm with my thumb, waiting for that tap of the gavel, so I could head to Stewart 218 and receive my envelope. The walk from Eliot Hall to of Music to the Stewart Center was even worse, with the sun setting, the breeze flowing, and the adrenaline building, my heart began to pump that much harder. I walked up the stairs to the Stewart Center, looked around, saw my friend and anxiously walked towards him. Only four of the State Officer Candidates were waiting at the door when I got there. I spoke briefly with my friend, then began to pace around the hallway. Mr. Martin and Mr. Hays finally showed up and unlocked the doors to the room. We slowly filed in and awaited the arrival of the "envelopes".
Before we were handed our envelopes, Mr. Martin made sure to tell us something. This is something that really struck a chord with myself. He made sure to tell us that no matter which names where on the paper, that we were all great kids and that we were all very special. I was handed my envelope and quickly left the room. My plan was to walk down to the basement of the Stewart Center and open my envelope in the freight elevator. However, I was unable to await the anticipation, so I opened the letter as I was walking down the stairs. As I was reading the paper I noticed four names before I noticed my own. So, the anxiety was built strongly. That moment I read my name I experienced drastic change. Ever since I witnessed my name on that paper, everything has flown by so quickly. I was installed, moved out of my house, moved into the State Officer House, been assigned jobs, met staff, swung off a rope swing into the lake, set up my office space, and done much more.
The week since I have be elected as the Indiana FFA State Treasurer has flown by extremely quickly, but has been exciting as well. Us State officers had under 48 hours to pack our belongings and arrive at the Leadership Center. Since arriving, we have gone over the simple procedures of being State Officers, met the center staff, swam in the lake, gone to Trafalgar, and begun Blast Off Training. To say the experience has been mind blowing would be a drastic understatement. Being elected as a State Officer is filled with a great amount of enthusiasm and excitement, but that eventually turns into stress, busyness, and anxiety. We have jumped right into our roles as officers and taken on a great deal of responsibility. That is however, what us State Officers are here to do, take responsibility, teach responsibility, and showcase responsibility. We are and we will be required to be the leaders of the Indiana FFA Association and that is a lot to take in, in such a short amount of time.
Being elected as an Indiana FFA State officer brings a lot of gratitude and enjoyment, but the opportunity has such a greater meaning. We don’t become State Officers just because we want that title. We become, or try to become state officers because we want to be that voice, that figure, or that personality that leads the organization and its members. I know without a doubt that the State Officer team three years ago had a lasting impact on myself. The officer team was a body of individuals that I personally looked up to and the source of much of my inspiration. In fact, that team is responsible for much of my involvement in this great organization. With that being said, the 2016-2017 Indiana FFA State Officer team is looking forward to working with all of the Indiana FFA members to make an impact on their lives and to help them find their own envelope, whether that be chapter office, district office, state office, or even congressional office.
The seven state officers are extremely excited to be serving the Indiana FFA association. We are pumped to be ambassadors of agriculture, energetic about the 11,856 Indiana FFA members, and most importantly humbled to have been given the opportunity to advocate for agriculture. Indiana FFA, get ready to go through a transformation in your experiences and become involved in the world of agriculture.