Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Having a Foundation

In-person state convention, gone. State Officer Summit in Washington D.C. gone. FFA Pavilion at the Indiana State Fair, gone. These are the events I’ve missed out on so far as a State Officer and I sometimes ponder what my experiences would’ve been like in a normal year. While I’ve missed my only opportunity to attend Summit, I’m still thankful to have attended multiple in-person conventions already. Despite missing these events, it was my Indiana State Fair experience I remained optimistic for. When the state fair was cancelled, I tried to stay happy by reminiscing on my time spent at the State Fair in the FFA Pavilion in years past. The FFA Foundation gave me the opportunity to spend over 20 days at The Great Indiana State Fair and experience the FFA Pavilion. The Foundation has given members from across the state the opportunity to volunteer at the Country Market. I even had the opportunity to promote Indiana Agriculture when I worked in the Country Market. On top of that, I helped raise money for scholarships. It’s because of groups like the Indiana FFA Foundation that remind me of the awesome experiences before Covid-19. It’s important that the Foundation is able to continue making these experiences even in a new world. Let’s step up and help The Foundation continue to provide meaningful experiences like mine. We can do this by supporting their events like the Blue and Gold Gala. Be sure to check it out on all of Indiana FFA social media platforms! I’m extremely thankful for the opportunities the FFA Foundation has given me, so let’s make sure to show attention to those who’ve helped us get where we are today.


Yours Truly, Loren Matlock



Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Modern Day Good Samaritan

Many of us know the parable, or story, of the Good Samaritan from our time spent in Sunday school at church. However, for those of us who may never have heard it before, the story is simply about how there was an injured man lying on a road. A priest and another man passed by the injured man, ignoring his critical situation. Finally, one man who was from Samaria took mercy and cared for the man. The lesson from the story is to love your neighbor as yourself, with neighbor meaning fellow human being. 

SO… why does this story matter? In life it can be hard to find a good Samaritan, much less be one, when we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life, our schedule, and our relationships. We all struggle with it, and I am certainly no exception.

To answer that earlier question, it matters because of this text I received a few weeks ago…



My dad is a great man, but he isn’t perfect. Yet what he did in that moment made him perfect to me, and my heart overflows with pride at being lucky enough to call him MY dad. His ability to push off his own needs for the sake of someone else’s, his kindness, and his humanity, those are traits I admire about him. More importantly, those are the traits of a good Samaritan. He serves as a reminder, as do countless other individuals, that we can freely do good in our lives for others if we just stop, look around, and listen. 

Be kind, be selfless, be human. Be a good Samaritan. It is your turn to pass it on.

Learning to do better,

Blayne Vandeveer


 



Wednesday, September 2, 2020

8 Tips for Virtual Learning

We can all agree that this year has been crazy and we are finding ourselves shifting to a new world of virtual interaction, including our organization. I’ll be the first to admit that at times it can be dreadful to sit at a screen all day long, so I wanted to share with y'all tips and tricks that have worked for me. I hope that through this blog post you can find ways to not dread virtual learning. 



It’s What You Make It - Be Positive 

While situations in our lives may not be ideal, they’ll only be as good as we make them. If we aspire to gain knowledge through a meeting, conference, or whatever it may be: we must have a positive mindset to set us up for success. Being a “Negative Nancy” will make us dread every moment. Then, we won’t take anything away from the experience. 


Engage Yourself

I’ve found that the best way to gain the most out of an experience is to engage with the speakers, activities, and content. This allows us to think about the information being presented and enjoy our time. 


Read Emails 

If I could give you one piece of advice that would make virtual experiences run more smoothly on your end this would be it. Oftentimes, email or social media platforms are filled with crucial information about online events. This is so important to recognize and apply when communicating virtually. 


Take Breaks

It’s okay to take breaks. Occasionally, virtual learning can be long and when we push ourselves too far that’s when we miss out on opportunities because we aren’t focused. When we find ourselves overwhelmed, we should do an activity that will allow us to decompress. This may include taking a walk, watching an episode of netflix, listening to music, etc. This looks different for each of us, but plays a vital role in ensuring we get the most out of our experiences. 


Find a Space to Work That Best Suits You

Our workplace plays a large role in our mood. I recommend being in a clutter free area that is comfortable and try to minimize distractions, such as our phones, “to-do” lists, etc. When I see my “to-do” list I immediately want to work on it, so eliminating distractions like those allow us focus on what’s at hand. 


Dress for the Occasion

While pajamas are comfortable, I’ve found that getting dressed and ready for the day allows me to be more productive and focused. My friend Mackenzie and I say “look good, feel good, show good” when we go to sheep shows. This same mindset works for virtual learning. If we look good then we will feel good and eventually do good, so be sure to get dressed for the occasion (even if it’s virtual). 


Ask Questions

Virtual events and programs can be confusing at times. When we have questions it's helpful to reach out to those in charge through a simple email or phone call. Organizations want to make sure you have the best experience possible! Even in a normal world statements are misunderstood, so it's even more important to ask questions when we have them. These questions can be asked before, during, and even after the event!


Give Grace 

Recognize we’re all navigating through a virtual world together. Give grace to those who are doing their best because I promise they genuinely care for you. Plus, giving grace benefits both parties. 



I hope these tips help you succeed during virtual learning. It’s okay to have a bad day because above all we have to take care of ourselves first. At the same time, we must recognize that the same goes for those providing virtual opportunities. Instructors aren’t always going to have it together either, so let’s be thankful for the opportunities presented to us. Besides, where would we be if we were stuck in quarantine and didn't have all these virtual opportunities to carry on with our lives? Let's make it fun together! 


Kylie Schakel

2020-21 IN FFA State Secretary


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Living to Serve

March 21, 2014 is a day I will never forget. At 3:30 A.M., while my family was fast asleep, our house had rigorously erupted into flames, engulfing our entire house with it. We barely escaped before the fire swallowed my entire bedroom and upstairs hallway. Had I been in my bedroom for just 30 seconds more, I would have been killed right there. For over an hour, my family and I sat on our back gazebo watching the house we grew up in burn second my second.

Once the firefighters put out the flames, we went inside to see if we could save anything, but everything had been destroyed either by the fire, water, or smoke. Walking inside was like walking into a haunted house: it was dark with black char marks all across the walls, the lights had melted and dropped from the ceiling, and the stairs were wobbling.  It was a nightmare to walk through. We had no clothes, no shoes, no food, no car, and no house. We had truly lost everything.


 


Just as all hope seemed lost, later that afternoon, news spread about the fire to our community. People from all over Shelby County were racing to our house with loads of boxes to donate items to us. We received food, clothes, toiletries, and some of my friends bought me new school supplies. At that very moment, I truly learned the value of the fourth line in the FFA Motto: Living to Serve.

Ever since the fire, I have made it my mission to serve as a leader by emphasizing the power of serving others. The Salvation Army was one of the first organizations to respond to my family after the fire.They guided us into their facility and allowed us to take what we needed. They truly lifted us from a dark gorge I felt we were trapped in. That winter, I learned that the Salvation Army gathers volunteers to ring those bells with the red kettle at stores during the Christmas season to financially aid with their organization. I signed myself up and have rang those bells for 5 years straight now, averaging approximately 15 hours of bell ringing each year. The Salvation Army helped me and my family when we were in times of despair, and it’s my mission to give back to them.

 I am lucky enough to have a roof over my head, a hot meal on my plate, and a warm bed to sleep in every day, but there was a point in my life where I didn't have those luxuries, and there are families out there who don't have them as well. My entire attitude on life changed when my community came together to serve my family. Stepping up as a leader to help someone in need can make anyone's day better. The power of Living to Serve is limitless. Indiana FFA, I challenge you to find ways you can serve others and recognize the potential that any act of kindness can create. 

 


Living to serve,  

Julia Hamblen

2020-2021 Indiana FFA State President


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Lead Like You

District Presidency… wow, what a year. Last year was one of the greatest, yet hardest years ever. I started the year off wide-eyed and hopeful of all the things my team would accomplish. I would like to take this time to blame Cait Lewis for my optimism because she made it all look so easy and left some big shoes to fill. Going into the year I thought that I had to be the perfect FFA member and District President, but your slate doesn't determine your competence. I had said it a hundred times before, “To me, my slate doesn't matter because if I am on the team I know that I can make an impact.” But as soon as I saw “Luc Sproles District I President” on our newly announced slate, that all went out the window. I felt as if I had to put on this ‘armor’ to cover up my shortcomings. That makes sense right? If I cover up my weaknesses, no one will see that I’m not perfect. Guess what? I was wrong and perfect is overrated. 


Be brave enough to lead like you; you aren’t in this alone. 


I thought that I had to start leading like “Mr. President.” I thought that I had to be “The District President,” so that’s what I started doing. I tried to act perfect, to be perfect. I thought that was the perfect solution. I was putting on armor. I got to the point where I was exhausted, run-down, and felt defeated. I thought that no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t doing good enough. That’s when I called my friend and told her everything that was happening. On that call, she gave me some advice that truly changed my mind about how I wanted my year to go. She said, “This year you are going to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but it’s not. You have six other teammates to carry that with you. So if you fail you won't do it alone.” That’s when I realized I had started my year all wrong because I was trying to do it all alone. I was blessed with six other amazing people this year that have become some of my best friends. I truly could not have done this without them. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to take off the armor that was holding me back. 


“District I President”, yes, that was my title. It was not who I had to be. Leadership isn’t about titles, it’s about the impact you make on the lives of others. In order to truly make an impact, I had to take off my armor. I had to stop trying to lead like “Mr. President” and start leading like Luc. Let me tell you, that was terrifying. The idea that people would see my faults scared me. I thought people wouldn't respect me if I took off that armor, yet I was wrong again. When I took off that armor I saw the real Luc; my peers saw the real Luc. The honest, happy, coffee-fueled, creative, hotheaded, sarcastic, caring, messy, sometimes-stressed Luc and I wouldn’t want it any other way. 


If you are finding yourself in a similar position, let me give you some advice. I'm sorry if I burst your bubble, but you will not be perfect. You are going to mess up. You are going to come up short, and that is okay. We weren’t made to be perfect so be brave enough to take off that armor and lead like you. 




Still trying to lead like Luc,


Luc Sproles


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Legacy

What will you be remembered for? Ask people this question and you’ll get many different answers. A few hope to be remembered for fame and fortune. Others hope to be remembered for living life to its fullest or leaving a positive impact on others. When asking myself this question, it took me some time to decide on my answer. What do I want people to remember about me? What kind of legacy do I want to leave for those that come after me?

For big life questions like this one… I look to my grandfather for inspiration. My grandfather has always been someone who inspires and encourages me to be my best every day. He is someone who works with every ounce of effort he has and can always be found with a smile on his face. Even on the most difficult of days, my grandfather is happy because he is living out his own legacy. In the 1960s, my grandfather served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Despite conflicted emotions and a divided nation, my grandfather felt the need to serve his country and those around him. When he returned from Vietnam, my grandfather continued this theme of service. He went to work for businesses that manufactured American goods that would be used by his fellow citizens. He got involved with his local community and helped out his neighbors. To this very day, my grandfather is still working five days a week doing what he loves: giving back to those around him. My grandfather will always be remembered for his dedication to serving others.


Thinking about my grandfather’s legacy has made me appreciate what I am dedicated to in life. One of the passions that I hold near and dear to my heart is environmental stewardship. From an early age, I have carried with me a love and appreciation for the natural world. Through this appreciation, I have made a personal commitment to be more environmentally responsible in my actions. I drive an electric vehicle, I volunteer in river clean-out projects, I recycle religiously, and I plan to get involved with renewable energy for my future career. Every step of the way, I have made environmental stewardship a personal mission of mine. For the rest of my life, I will remain dedicated to this mission as I continue to protect our environment. Long after I leave this earth, people will look back at my life and recognize this level of dedication. Just like my grandfather before me, I will always be remembered for remaining dedicated to my personal mission.


When someone asks what you’ll be remembered for, think about your legacy and what you will leave behind for future generations. Whether it’s something you are passionate about or a personal mission you have, your legacy can be defined by whatever you choose. Find your passion… dedicate yourself to it… and live your life fulfilling that mission. It really does make a difference.


Warm Wishes,

Derick Williams

Indiana FFA State Reporter


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Lessons Learned Outside the Classroom


Through extracurricular activities and community service, I have learned to always have an open mind and an open heart. We are often so quick to judge or make decisions based upon preconceived notions that either society or we have created ourselves. Outside of FFA, I am highly involved in theater. It’s hard to get more opposite than that. It’s a challenge, at times, being in two separate worlds but trying to make them work together. I have had to adapt and be open to anything and everything. While the people in these extracurriculars are different, they are all equally important and bring something completely new to the table. Every person also has the opportunity to grow me in some way. I see the world as one big classroom, and every person that walks into my life is a teacher. Whether they teach me new skills, further develop pre-existing skills, or create challenges I have to solve, they are there to help me grow. 
I have also learned that an outstanding leader is someone who can take charge of a situation in order to benefit those it affects. They are humble and desire that everyone’s needs be met. Leadership is something I am passionate about. The world needs better leaders with a genuine desire to serve. Leadership is sacrifice. True, genuine leadership is a willingness to sacrifice your needs so that others around you may grow. Every decision should be made with the impact it will have on others in mind. Leadership isn’t always easy, because it sometimes means taking blame upon yourself. Leadership is not about the fame or awards, it’s about seeing people grow and develop into the people they were made to be. Having a positive impact on someone is one of the greatest things in the world. 
Knowing these qualities of leadership is one thing, but putting them into action is another. Throughout my extracurricular experiences, I have had plenty of outlets to put my leadership into effect. Obviously, I have a passion for FFA and have had incredible opportunities for leadership through FFA. I am equally passionate about the performing arts, leading to my involvement in theatre and our local Thespian Troupe. Having the privilege of leading in two organizations I hold near and dear to my heart is such a rewarding and fulfilling achievement. Sharing my passion and love for agriculture and theatre with others and watching them develop the same passions has been a highlight of my high school career. Without opening my mind to the opportunities both of these organizations presented, I never would have learned some of these lessons or discovered these passions. Another valuable take away from my time out of the classroom is that our talents and natural abilities make us unique individuals. I have learned the value of having a positive role model and the importance of being a positive role model for others. A good leader leads by example in both word and deed. 


Leading with an open heart,
Evan Coblentz

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Eyes All Over




Do you ever think to yourself "Is someone watching me?" Personally, I find myself thinking this when I’m walking in the dark… creepy right? Oftentimes, these thoughts happen when we are doing something we know we probably shouldn't be doing, so we look around to see if someone is watching. Well, let’s look at this from a leadership standpoint. Ask yourself the question, "Are younger members watching what I do? Do my peers notice me doing this?" These are questions I wish I asked myself before I did something I wish others hadn't seen.



I was an irresponsible freshman who had no clue how my actions would affect my future. I goofed off in a professional space and others had seen my behavior. Because I had eyes on me, there was no escaping my bad behavior without consequences. This is when I learned if I wanted to be a leader or a role model in FFA I needed to do things with the attitude that someone was watching my actions. I’ll be the first to admit, the hardest part is to work hard and be responsible when no one is looking. It’s even harder to do considering all of the communication networks our world has today; however, it’s important we continue to act as if someone is watching at all times.

We live in a world where people are always connected regardless if it’s in person, on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, or Tik Tok. This comes with many risks. For example, whenever something is put on the internet, it’s there FOREVER. When you break the law in front of people, there are others who witness such activity and hold you accountable. When it comes to being a role model in FFA, it’s important to keep in mind there are eyes all over. To be a good leader you must lead by example. It isn't just younger members who look up to you, but it’s also your peers and older adults. Regardless if you’re a Chapter, District, or State Officer, there are always eyes on you. Some of these eyes will sit and wait for you to fail even when you think no one is looking. If you hold your head high and lead in a positive manner with the thought that other individuals are watching, you can ensure yourself that others will look at you in a positive way. The next time you ask yourself "Is someone watching my actions?" assume they are and be a positive influence!

Always looking out, 
Loren Matlock

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Don’t Forget to Smile Along the Way

Growing up, some of the fondest memories I have come from the time I spent with my brother, Tyler. From running and jumping around the living room when we were younger with blankets wrapped around our necks pretending to be superheroes, to the evenings when we would play catch with a baseball or football in the yard and talk about anything and everything, we always seemed to enjoy those small moments we spent together. Upon moving into the State Officer house, I didn’t realize how much I was going to miss those moments that we shared together. The more I thought about how much I appreciated the time we spent together, the more I realized why I love those memories. And the reason is shockingly simple. In those moments we shared together, I realized we also shared the same ear-to-ear grins and endless laughing. It was the pure, unbridled happiness I experienced during these memories that cause them to be ones I will carry with me all throughout my life.
I would be lying if I said this realization didn’t come with its fair share of guilt and regret. For all of those good times we had together, there were some bad moments to accompany them. Maybe it was an argument in the barn on how a goat should be set up during a show, or possibly a joke that was taken too far (Thinking back, most of them may have actually been my fault). There were also the times where I was too absorbed in my own life to make those moments that Tyler and I spent together truly count. It was in those times where my own pride, stubbornness, and selfishness got in the way that I missed those opportunities to smile, be happy, and create those memories that I love. Now that I have moved out of the house there are a lot less chances to even be in a place to make those memories. It hurts to know I’ve lost that.
So, smile, laugh, and find happiness in those moments you create. For me, I am going to do just that in the time I spend with my brother from now on. For the rest of us it may be a brother, sister, family member, a friend, or even a stranger that we decide to create those memories of happiness with. Regardless of who it is, we are given the ability to make the most of the situations we are put in and the relationships we are a part of. One step at a time, we can strive to create memories we love and cherish. At times we may get caught up in our own lives or it may seem like nothing can go right. Take a second to pause, reset, and spend time with someone who brings joy to your life and helps create those moments for you. Life goes on and we grow up, will you take the time to smile and find happiness along the way?

Forever grinning like a fool,

Blayne Vandeveer

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Seeing the Bigger Picture



Whenever the team has some down time we all like to use it differently; but, a few of us, including myself, like to set up our hammocks on the point. In fact, just the other day we watched a wedding from that location! One night while hammocking I asked my teammates “what is the one thing from your childhood that has undoubtedly made you, you?” Initially, I expected to hear about the activities they did as a kid, but I received this response: “my family”. After a long conversation it fell quiet and I had time to reflect on my own. “Family” has many different meanings for many different people, but let's think about it. When was the last time you appreciated what you do have? I know for me it wasn’t until this conversation that I learned how fortunate I am, but I haven’t always thought that. 



Growing up my family was always on the go between school, sports, livestock, work, and the countless other activities us kids were involved in. I remember sitting in my school's athletic hall as an 8th grader waiting for my mom to pick me up. I was so angry at her for being 30 minutes late and wondered why she couldn’t be on time for once. When tournaments and games rolled around I would blame my parents for my poor performance. This same attitude came about when showing livestock. I would throw a major fit when I was told we had to wash sheep or pack the trailer because I didn’t want to do it. The entire process was almost unbearable because of my attitude. As a kid, I couldn’t grasp why my dad made me do the hard work. In retrospect, I was simply being selfish and didn’t appreciate what was really in front of me. My parents were right beside me giving me the best life possible and teaching me those hard lessons. I would get so caught up in my own emotions that I didn’t even think about what my parents were going through. They were always working to provide us with a home and the opportunity to do anything our hearts desired. I was able to show sheep with my siblings and play on travel sports teams because of my parents' efforts. Now remember all families look different, but think about what your family has been doing for you. Are you complaining like I was? Are you failing to see the bigger picture?



Ever since the hammock conversation I’ve cherished the time spent with my family a bit more. In fact, I recently had the opportunity to attend a sheep show with them. It was one of the most enjoyable shows because I was simply thankful to be with them doing what we love. I encourage you all to take a step back and genuinely enjoy your time with those you love most. After all, we never know what this life may hold, so let's enjoy it with “our people” while we have the chance.  


Appreciating what I have, 

Kylie Schakel

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Decisions Decisions


My mom enrolled me in dance class when I was just 2 years old at Rat-a-Tat-Tat Dance Studio. What started as 2 hours a week of clapping my hands and running in circles in rehearsal turned into over 10 years of competitive dancing across the country. Most of my younger childhood memories were made in the studio or at competitions. As I grew older, I gradually took dance more seriously. I found myself practicing 10 hours a week in and out of the studio to improve every single day. After dancing at Rat-a-Tat for 8 years, the studio shut down, but I wasn’t ready to give up dancing. I enrolled at Style Dance Academy in Franklin to be on their competitive team. Everyone was so welcoming and took me in as their own. One of my favorite memories from being at Style has to be the Little Red Riding Hood gymnastics routine I did and I got to play the big bad wolf. Although I loved being at Style, one issue lied at hand: it was a 45 minute commute from my house. My best friend, Hannah, and I would get off the bus, quickly get dressed and hop in the car to dance class on time. We would do our homework during our breaks and arrive home around 9:00 in the evening. 
At the beginning of my third year at Style, I was introduced to basketball. I was able to play on my 5th grade team, but I couldn’t play anywhere else due to commuting to Style 3 times a week. The more I played basketball, the more I fell in love with the game. That next year, I knew I had to make a choice: dance or basketball? My mom always taught me to give my 100% best effort into everything I do, and I just couldn't give my absolute best to both. I took the dance stage one last time that year and made the choice to pursue basketball full time. 


My basketball career quickly skyrocketed. From 5th grade to my sophomore year, I played for my school team, a county team, 2 state teams and even a national team. I truly believed that basketball was what I was destined to play. I had goals of playing division 1 and being drafted into the WNBA one day. Just as I thought I had my whole life figured out, FFA came to my school. 

I quickly fell in love with FFA, but I also learned that I couldn’t give my 100% best effort to both this and basketball at the same time. Do I give up the sport I’ve invested years into and possibly have a future with for something brand new, or do I stay in my comfort zone? It was a tough choice, but by far the best choice I’ve ever made. 
I find it fascinating how even the smallest of choices we make can greatly impact our lives. We’re all going to find our niche at different points in our lives. I never thought I would be in FFA in my time as a dancer, but here we are. I challenge you to be open to new activities and experiences anytime you get a chance. Who knows, you just may fall in love with a new activity you never thought you would. 

~Julia Hamblen



Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Hello Indiana FFA!




2020-2021 Indiana FFA State Officer Team

Shelbyville Central. Hamilton Heights. Tri-County. Eastern Hancock. Wawasee. Union City. Frontier. We come from different towns, different chapters, and different backgrounds. We each have our own FFA story and varying levels of agricultural experience. We have reached this unique and special moment from different and diverse paths. 

Despite everything that makes us different, we are united together by a similar mission. We have made a commitment this year to serve, to support, and to strengthen Indiana FFA. We have made a commitment to work together as individuals and as a team to give back to FFA, to provide life-changing opportunities to our members, and to see our organization reach new and exciting heights. By combining our unique passions, our unique ideas, and our unique backgrounds, we can work together to accomplish the mission that brings us all together. Indiana FFA, we are excited, we are committed, and we are ready to embrace the challenges and triumphs in our journey ahead.



Julia: 


Hello Indiana FFA! I am so excited and beyond honored to serve as your 2020-2021 State President! I hail from the Shelbyville Central FFA down in District 8. I was not raised with an agricultural background, but became involved with livestock when I was in 8th grade. FFA was not offered in my school until I was a sophomore in high school, but when I reached that year, I became heavily involved in my brand new FFA chapter. From Forestry and Livestock Judging to Skillathon and LDEs, from SOAR and FIRE to LDW and Conventions, I made it my mission to partake in any and all FFA activities that I could in the little time I had. I look forward to interacting with FFA members across Indiana and hearing your FFA stories and all you have accomplished. I’m so excited to meet you all and serve Indiana FFA. Let’s make this upcoming year one to remember!



Kylie:

While my roots may lie in Benton County; I call Hamilton Heights, located in Hamilton County, my home chapter. From the moment I could walk I’ve raised and shown sheep with my family on a county, state, and national level. If I wasn’t in the barn or helping my family with our agritourism business you could most likely find me on the field, mat, or court. While it may seem like I was destined to be involved in FFA, due to my agricultural background, that hasn’t always been the case. From bouncing from school to school I always thought that sports were the way to go and it took a lot of convincing from a very special person to get me to join; however, I’m thankful that I did. I’m an avid writer, dancer, and Chick-Fil-A eater. I’m ecstatic to embrace everything this year with you all and my fellow teammates. Remember, it will only be as good as we make it, so lets get at it! 


Blayne: 
While Trafalgar may be our team’s home for the year, I am proud to say the town of Wolcott and the Tri-County FFA chapter are where I am rooted. I am truly grateful for the opportunity this year to serve as your Indiana FFA Northern Region Vice President! FFA has played a vital role in my life since 6th grade when I first got involved in Livestock Judging. Since then, my involvement and love for this organization has only grown. From the non stop laughing on bus rides to getting the opportunity to serve at Circle City Relief, FFA has greatly impacted my life. I found my purpose to serve in the fight against food insecurity, and passion to continue to grow as an individual, through FFA. Indiana FFA, my hope is to continue to grow alongside you, make some awesome memories, and to serve you in helping to find your passions and purpose. Our team is beyond excited for what this year may hold!!

Loren: 
I call District 8 home. #D8bringstheparty I live in Greenfield, home to corn, cows, and more corn. I am thrilled to serve as the Southern Region Vice President this year! I have a true passion for anything and everything that deals with cattle. I LOVE Oklahoma State University and will be yelling “GO POKES!” next fall, but I won’t forget where my foundation was laid. Eastern Hancock Highschool is where my FFA journey started and without that program I would be nothing. I am looking forward to meeting all of the members across the state and growing tomorrow's leaders! I am also excited to talk about agriculture with members and community members wherever it may be! 

Evan:
I come from District II, up in Northern Indiana. I live in the small town of North Webster, surrounded by lakes and fields of corn. I am looking forward to serving as your 2020-2021 State Treasurer. Though I do not come from an agricultural background, my love for animals permeated through from a young age. Through FFA, I found a passion for the dairy industry, specifically the dairy goat industry. I can’t wait to give back to an organization that has poured into me over the years and molded my talents into valuable and tangible skills. This year, I’m looking forward to embracing fully and loving big. As mentioned aforehand, agriculture is the very thing that brings us all together. The differences we see are the very things that can be utilized for success this next year. Indiana FFA, this is going to be a great year full of growth and advocating for agriculture!

Derick:
Hey there Indiana FFA!! I’m super excited for the journey ahead and everything we can accomplish this year. I will be serving as the 2020-2021 State Reporter. I originally hail from the Union City FFA Chapter in District IX. Despite being raised in a rural community, I actually grew up without an agricultural background. Joining the FFA provided amazing opportunities for me to learn more about this industry, advocate on behalf of our nation’s agriculturists, and to discover what makes me passionate in life. Without this phenomenal organization, I would definitely not be the swing dance loving, electric car driving, conversation maker I am today. I am looking forward to providing these same opportunities for growth and development to each and every member we serve. I cannot wait to work alongside my team in making so many amazing moments possible this year Indiana FFA!!

Luc: 
Hello Indiana FFA! My name is Luc Sproles and I am serving as this year’s State Sentinel. I proudly hail from the Frontier FFA Chapter in District 1, #number1forareason. I grew up in the small town of Reynolds Indiana. I am just one of countless FFA members who has been impacted by this amazing organization. In case you didn't know, I have a huge love for coffee, talking, cooking, chickens, and show pigs. Luckily, I was able to incorporate these loves in one way or another into my FFA journey. While it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Every high and low is a part of my story and I can't wait to get to know all of you and how FFA has impacted your life and high school journey. Indiana FFA, I am so excited to serve you this year as we grow leaders, embrace obstacles, and ignite our passions.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Indiana FFA, Thank You

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” - Dr. Robert Schuller 

It’s a phrase we’ve heard time and time again throughout the past couple months, and it’s something that has echoed throughout our last days in office. 

This year has been full of so many great memories. State Fair, chapter visits, conferences, and the first ever virtual state convention - we can all agree that this year has been quite eventful. Through every moment, the energy in our organization was evident. When times were tough, our members stepped up. Our advisors stepped up. Our staff, sponsors, and supporters stepped up. For that, we say thank you. 
Thank you to all of the members that continued to forge ahead. We never expected one year ago to be hosting a virtual state convention. When we heard the news, we were intimidated. It was uncharted territory. It was daunting. Yet as we stood in an empty Elliott Hall of Music, it didn’t feel empty. We weren’t intimidated. We felt the energy and support from every member that tuned in. We knew through social media that each of you were there with us. You supported us, and you forged ahead to not only make the convention possible, but successful. Because of you, we will continue to forge Indiana FFA’s path now, and forever.

Thank you to our advisors. Without you, we would not have succeeded. You supported our programs every step of the way. We may have been the ones on camera, but you were the ones behind the scenes making it happen. You brought convention to our members and helped forge an impact. Advisors have always been the backbone of our association, and that was proven through the difficulties we were faced with this year. 

Thank you to the dedicated sponsors and supporters of our association. During the tough times, you stuck by us and helped us provide programs and activities to our members. You have exceeded the true meaning behind our mission statement by supporting premier leadership, personal growth, and career success for all Indiana FFA members.

To our staff, we say thank you. From the moment the gavel tapped, you have mentored and supported us every single day. This past month you have told us how tough we have been, but we learned it from the best. You showed us what tough truly meant and you were the ones who helped us through it all. Thank you for being the family we always needed.

Indiana FFA, thank you. 

Love,
Eion, Dillon, Caitlyn, Taylor, Nathan, Morgan, and Noah