Monday, May 23, 2011

The Countdown is On...

There is a clock on our wall in the state officer house that moves faster than any other clock I have ever watched.  It is the state convention countdown clock.  On the clock it says, “Indiana FFA State Officers, time left to impact FFA.” 
This year has been an amazing journey! We have traveled all over the state, met so many great people, and made memories that will last a life time. We have one MAJOR event in front of us and that is the 82nd Indiana FFA State Convention. With our thirty remaining days we will be wrapping up session scripts, awards, sponsor recognition, speeches, workshops and other odds and ends for the state convention. State Convention will be our team’s final three days but it will be some of the best three days for one major reason, we get to pass it on…the memories, traveling adventures, great people and the opportunity to make a difference to the new state officer team that will be elected at state convention.
One day my team decided to tape a couple note cards on the wall right underneath the clock. The clock now reads, “Indiana FFA State Officers, time left to impact FFA…as state officers. We will continue to impact others forever.”

From FFA: Following the Future of Agriculture

Cows, Plows, and Sows

Being apart of the largest youth organization in the world is an honor. To those who aren’t familiar with the FFA and what it stands for we are often labeled with being all about “cows, plows and sows.” I used to find myself strongly disagreeing with that statement, but this past Saturday I found myself taking pride in the statement. This past Saturday my team and I packed up and headed to Purdue University for the state 4-h and FFA livestock, dairy and poultry evaluation Career Development Events. Hundreds of students spent over ten hours judging several classes of livestock and then preparing and delivering sets of oral reasons. I spent all of my time that day with the livestock evaluation group. Those hardworking individuals in that contest judged twelve different classes of livestock ranging from beef cattle, swine, goats and sheep, and gave six sets of oral reasons. Those hardworking individuals spent twelve hours at the contest from 7:00am to 7:00pm.
Anyone who now has the idea of “cows, plows, and sows”, I will agree with them. Because I do not know of any other group of young individuals who have the vast knowledge of livestock, oral speaking skills, and pure dedication to a cause…and those things are something to be extremely proud of.

From FFA: Following the Future of Agriculture

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Banquet Season

Upon getting elected as an Indiana FFA State Officer last June, my state officer team and I were immediately sat down with our superiors who then gave us a rough idea of what all we would be doing throughout the year.  It was immediately made clear to each of us that we would very rarely ever have a “typical day” as state officers.  Our calendar that was laid out before us for the next 365 days was packed!  As I studied the calendar, there was one thing that I personally really looked forward to the most, as much as anything else, even while others may have dreaded it most.  Two words:  Banquet Season.

Each year, beginning in the end of March and going clear into the month of June, FFA Chapters all across the state of Indiana start having their Chapter Awards Banquets.  If you have ever been to a FFA Chapter’s Awards Banquet, then you are more than likely familiar with how they are ran.  However, for those of you who have yet to have the opportunity to join a chapter for their banquet, you are missing out!  Typically, a Chapter Awards Banquet consists of a meal provided for the guests (free food!!!).  Then, they will begin handing out awards.  Awards typically are given out to all FFA members who participated in certain Career Development Events (CDE’s), or for certain scholarships, or for successful proficiencies, or even for having an outstanding reputation as an FFA member of that chapter.  Chapter banquets can be had in high school cafeterias, auditoriums, gyms, or even in a rented community building.  Each chapter banquet is unique.  Occasionally, an FFA Chapter will feature a keynote speaker during their banquet.  Typically, that keynote speaker is one of us seven Indiana FFA State Officers.

Throughout our year of service, we state officers will speak at at least 10-15 chapter banquets.  Of the 187 chapters across the state of Indiana, these are the chapters we (between the seven of us) have thus far had the opportunity to speak at:

Mt. Vernon @ MV, Kankakee, Scottsburg, Tri-County, Hoosier Hills, Tecumseh, Whitko, Springs Valley, West Noble, Blue River Valley, Lakeland, South Putnam, Owen Valley, Connersville, Columbus, North Harrison, Star Academy, Trinity Lutheran, Hamilton Southeastern, Madison, Danville, White River Valley, North Davies, Hagerstown, Whiteland, Heritage Hills, Whiteland, Southmont, East Central, Western Boone, South Decatur, Northeast Dubois, Seeger, Seymour, Orleans, Bellmont, Cloverdale, South Adams, Plymouth, Carroll @ Ft. Wayne, South Ripley, Crothersville, North Decatur, McCutcheon, Prairie Heights, Union City, Heritage, Columbia City, West Washington, Warsaw, Caston, Knightstown, Sheridan, Benton Central, Mt. Vernon @ Fortville.

Moreover, our year is not over yet!  We each still have about 5 banquets a piece we will be speaking at between now and when we retire as state officers in June.  I know that each and every banquet I have been to has held many memories that I will never loose.  I speak for the rest of my state officer team when I say we have truly been blessed and are so thankful to have had the experiences we have had this year.  For me, banquet season has been the “cherry on top.”

From FFA: Following the Future of Agriculture

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Power of Youth

This past weekend, over 60 Discovery FFA members converged on the grounds of the Indiana FFA Leadership Center to get their feet wet and test the waters of our organization. 

Members shared their enthusiasm for FFA while filming Commercials for the Give Hope Campaign. They practiced personal growth, teamwork and communication skills in activities. They learned the skill of land navigation from Blackthorn Inc. and gave their thanks to those serving our nation in the Million Thanks community service program. The familiarized themselves with the grounds of the center that most all of them said they could not wait to return to as high school FFA members! 

Hans Bernard once asked "Isn't it time to tap into the power of youth?". My teammates and I believe it is. These young people are the accumulative sum of their experiences... the words they hear, the lessons they are taught, the interactions they have and the passions they develop lay the ground work for the future every second after the present one.

Stakeholders and bystanders... let's tap into the power of youth! Contact Lisa Chaudion at or Steve Hickey at to find a way to tap into the power of youth and be one of the positive influences of their futures.

From FFA: Following the Future of Agriculture