Friday, December 17, 2010

Pit Stops

Any time one travels, he or she must take pit stops – to eat, use the restroom, or nap.  While these sorts of pit stops pertain to traveling for vacation purposes or traveling for business, the Indiana FFA State Officers took some pit stops from our Business and Industry Visit tour this past weekend for a few other reasons – to see premier leadership, personal growth, and career success exhibited by our members and supporters! 

On Friday night and Saturday afternoon, we attended the Indiana Farm Bureau Convention in Indianapolis, IN.  Along with seeing many members of our local Farm Bureaus, we attended the final round of the Discussion Meet and watched the final four contestants exhibit their passion for agriculture along with premier leadership that FFA develops within its members.  On Saturday, we attended the Closing Session where Indiana Farm Bureau presented the Indiana FFA Foundation with a check for $10,000 as a part of their partnership!  How excited and appreciative we were!  Also, a John Deere tractor was auctioned off that had been restored by the Martinsville FFA Chapter! The tractor sold for $4,200, and the proceeds were also donated to the Indiana FFA Foundation!  Thank you, Martinsville FFA, for all of your hard work on the tractor! Attending this year’s Indiana Farm Bureau Convention was an extreme honor, and we were enlightened and encouraged by their support of FFA and the future of agriculture!  Thank you, Indiana Farm Bureau!

Also on Saturday, we were able to first hand see FFA members preparing for career success through competing in this year’s State Crops, Forestry, Entomology, and Food Science Contests, which were held at Purdue University. All of the blood, sweat, and tears that members and coaches had put into practicing for these contests over the last few months were finally made worth something! Our roles in these contests were to help at registration, run and tabulate score cards, and monitor the prep and actual contest rooms.  Thank you and congratulations to all members and coaches who participated in these events!

On Sunday, our team ventured out into quite a bit of snow in order to assist at Shenandoah FFA’s Annual Snug Harbor Christmas Party held in Middletown, IN.  While I had heard of this well known event, I had no idea what it actually entailed or how utterly AWESOME it was! Special needs patients from Snug Harbor came with their caretakers to celebrate Christmas and enjoy a spectacular program put on by members of the Shenandoah FFA!  Members made their cafeteria into a Winter/Christmas Wonderland, purchased and wrapped gifts for each of the patients, served a full meal, put on games, and had Santa Claus come to present the gifts…all for the developmentally disabled patients of Snug Harbor!  Seeing as how Shenandoah FFA also sponsors a prom in the spring for these patients, the members knew most of the patients by name, gave them hugs, and had conversations to catch up! Never in my nineteen years had I EVER seen someone as happy as I saw the Snug Harbor patients that day! Their excitement led to a couple dances, kisses on the cheek, and even marriage proposals for Shenandoah FFA members and our team! Ha! Not only did the Snug Harbor patients have the time of their lives, through the premier leadership of the Shenandoah FFA members, our team experienced an astronomical amount of personal growth that FFA strives to provide for its members! Thank you, Shenandoah FFA, for all of your dedication to those involved with Snug Harbor as well for an impactful experience!

After a busy, busy first week of visiting our partners during our Business and Industry Visits, it was beyond refreshing to catch up with members and return to them watching them develop their own potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success! While they think we influence them, I am convinced that they have absolutely NO idea how much they mean to us and how much they impact us on a daily basis! While we are all busy finishing up projects at work or completing Christmas shopping to prepare for the upcoming holidays, we must remember to take a “pit stop” and give attention to those things that keep us grounded – in FFA, that would be our mission to developing premier leadership, personal growth, and career success; for you, that may be your family, friends, and living to serve others.  Take some time to get back to what is most important!

Until next week, stay warm and safe out in this crazy Indiana weather!
From FFA: Following the Future of Agriculture

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