Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Individually we can achieve little. Unitied we can accomplish all."

2014-2015 National FFA Theme
Hello from Washington D.C! As mentioned in the last blog post, this week Brittany and I flew out to Washington D.C. while the rest of our team began diligently preparing for the great Indiana State Fair. Since being elected as a State Officer, our schedules have been packed and this week has yet to show any signs of slowing down. These past five weeks have felt like five minutes. All bringing, great people, great food, and great friendships. This week has continued to follow the trend.
Brittany's family and I piled in the car and were ready for the trip to Louisville.
Early Monday morning, I meet up with Brittany at her house so that her mom, aunt, brother, and friend could drive us down to the Louisville Airport. Now if you have never met Brittany's family you definitely should. Hope, Faith, and Love radiates from each of them. After arriving at the airport, my list of "Firsts" began to grow. First time going through airport security, first time flying, first time checking my luggage, and first time meeting the Director of the Secret Service for the Department of Homeland Security.

Yea that's right Brittany and I met the Director of the Secret Service. While on the plane, we had the pleasure of meeting a lady who showed an interest in the FFA and helped me enjoy my first flight. It wasn't until seconds before she exited the plane that she gave Brittany and I her business card. This was when we realized who we had just spent the last two hours getting to know. This just proves that you meet the most unexpected people in the most unexpected places. Lets just say that this is a memory that we will never forget.

Brittany and I met with Congressman Luke Messer and Indiana FFA member Hallie Wright.
After finally arriving at State Presidents' Conference, we wasted no time getting down to business. Throughout the conference, leadership delegates from 49 states (all but Hawaii) and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, were challenged to Rise Up. Whether that meant rising up for personal improvement or improvement for FFA and agriculture, each delegate took this challenge with pride.

State officers that we met at NLCSO, joined us for a free day in D.C.

Our team decided at NLCSO that we were determined to submit a proposal for the National FFA Organization to establish a National Agricultural Education CDE. After countless hours perfecting this written plan, we were honored that our proposal was chosen as committee business for the National FFA Delegate Committee Process. There are six committees that the state officers will be serving on this year at National Convention, and an Ag. Ed. CDE is included in one of those committees. How cool is that?!

Spending the last week in our nation's capital has been surreal. Standing in the same spot that President Lincoln began his campaign against slavery, being amongst our nation's greatest leaders, and basking in the rich history of Washington D.C. has left a lasting impression on my life. If you have never been to D.C. I encourage you to go. Whether it be for family vacation, Washington Leadership Conference, or even lobbying for agriculture on the National level, D.C. has more to offer than stuffy old men and worn pieces of paper. D.C. is the place where it all began, where we began, and where our future lies.

As leadership delegates, it was Brittany and I's duty to represent the over 10,000 members of Indiana FFA and the over 600,000 members of the National FFA Organization. As an individual state, we can do little to change other minds on agriculture, our future, or even our youth, but united we can accomplish all. The National FFA Organization, formed during the Great Depression, has faced its trial and tribulations, yet united we have been able to Rise Up these last 87 years and I am confident that the work done by the 101 leadership delegates these past seven days will ensure that FFA will stay relevant and Rise Up for the next 87 years and even after.

Individually we can achieve little. United we can accomplish all.

Skylar Clingan
2014-2015 Indiana FFA State Secretary

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