|Emily and I with some awesome Triton FFA members! Their hard work truly paid off with a huge and successful Ag Day!|
Schools and communities across the State of Indiana host “Ag Days,” farm tours, and petting zoos in order to educate elementary school students and community members on the importance of agriculture and where their food comes from. As state officers, we are blessed to attend some of these events, and this past week, my teammate Emily and I had the opportunity to attend 2 ag days in 2 different communities.
While at the Triton FFA Elementary Ag Day, I learned a valuable and important message from one of the students in the most unexpected way.
My role at the Ag Day was to lead groups of elementary schoolers around to all of the different stations and keep them on schedule. By the time I had my third group of students, I had learned the best order to make sure that they got to see everything from the reptiles to the donkeys. My third group of students started out like the rest, but at our second stop, I could that one student just wasn’t having a good time. I approached him and asked what was wrong, and he replied, “I don’t want to get my shoes dirty and I don’t like animals.”
At first I just ignored it and decided that the student would just have to miss out on all the fun! But as we walked through the same mud that he hated to get to the next station, I saw something catch his attention. He reached down and picked up a juicy, wiggly, pink worm. My initial reaction was to tell him to put it down before he got in trouble, but as I continued to watch him study it, I could see for the first time that he was actually interested in something. As we got to the next station he pulled me aside and asked if he could keep the worm. I thought about it for a minute and realized that each student was carrying around a cup of soil that they had planted a seed in. I told him, “you can keep the worm on one condition… put it at the bottom of your cup of soil and don’t get it out until you get home tonight.” The student was overjoyed and his mood immediately changed for the rest of the day.
This boy had every animal you could ever want to see, games, and activities at his fingertips, but all he wanted to do was play with a worm. He taught me many things, the first being that you can’t trust elementary schoolers as he ended up hitting his classmate with the worm. The second being that sometimes you can find the most joy in the little things. Yes, the worm was literally small, but this boy knew what would make him happy and he took a moment to share that with me.
Next time you find something that makes you happy, big or small, don’t be afraid to show that to others and truly embrace it. Whether it’s taking a run in the morning, getting a great deal while shopping, or perfectly buttered popcorn, allow the small things to bring you joy every day.
Learning to love worms,
2016-2017 Indiana FFA State President