Saturday, July 30, 2016

Empower Your Vulnerability

It is the year 1926. The United Kingdom has just created the cartoon Winnie the Pooh and Scottish inventor M. John Baird demonstrates his new machine, the television, which is capable of the moving pictures using a cathode ray tube.  Back home in America, boys are losing interest and leaving their family farms.  A man by the name of Walter Newman has just proposed the creation of an organization that offered farm boys "a greater opportunity for self-expression and for the development of leadership." Henry Groseclose, known as the Father of FFA, developed the constitution and bylaws for the organization, and in April, the Future Farmers of Virginia was formed.
Jessica and I had a blast learning about America's history despite the rain!
Flash forward two years to 1928.  Newton's idea has reached the national stage at the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City, Missouri, where 33 students from 18 states have gathered at Hotel Baltimore. The Future Farmers of Virginia expanded to become the Future Farmers of America. Two years later, delegates voted at National Convention to restrict girls from becoming members of the FFA. However, it is now 1969, and a new set of delegates at National Convention have just voted to allow females to gain full membership in the organization.

We had the privilege of meeting Mr. Eric Steiner, former Indiana FFA State Officer, who works for Elanco Animal Health at the Washington D.C. Alumni Banquet!
Over the first 60 years of the Future Farmers of America, the organization focused on developing farmers to send back home to produce food for not only America, but the world.  Picture yourself in the shoes of a National FFA Delegate in the year 1988.  You have just become aware of the growing diversity in the organization. You realize that FFA isn't just about future farmers anymore; it's about future agriculturalists of all types and kinds - biologists, chemists, veterinarians, teachers, engineers, and entrepreneurs.  Therefore, you recognize that a change needs to be made, and you vote to change the name of the organization from "Future Farmers of America" to the "National FFA Organization" to reflect the scope of the industry.

The National FFA Organization has endured many changes throughout its history.  This past week, Jessica and I had the privilege of attending State President's Conference in our nation's capitol.  Throughout the week, we enjoyed fellowship with other state officers and had the opportunity to have a hand in shaping our organization, as we crafted the delegate committees for National Convention.  As we reviewed different proposals made by various state associations, topics such as diversity, servant leadership, and official dress were discussed.  At National Convention, 475 delegates from all 52 associations will have the opportunity to make changes for the betterment of our organization focusing on such subjects.
SPC attendees learned about true servant leadership as we toured Arlington Cemetery, honoring those who gave their lives for our freedom.
Just as our organization has undergone change, we must always endure change as leaders.  One of my favorite quotes reads: "It's not about the destination. It's about the journey to get there." Often times, we can reach a goal and think that because we made it to our 'final destination', we can stop striving for progress.  However, as a leader, we must always be open to growth so that we can find better ways to serve others.  The National FFA Organization has made many strides to improving themselves; in the same manner, we must continually seek opportunities for individual development. Through this vulnerability will come your strengths as both a leader and individual. Every single person is on the journey called life.  Where you are right now is NOT your final destination.

Be vulnerable,
Chaela Minor
Indiana FFA State Secretary

No comments:

Post a Comment