Monday, April 27, 2020

FFA Members Are Impressive

I think it’s hard to describe sometimes what FFA does for its members because there are so many opportunities. When my friends and family outside of FFA ask me about my year, there aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe my feelings towards this organization. So instead of trying to come up with the right words, I put up a poll on Instagram and asked my friends, “If you had to describe FFA in one word, what would it be?”

Here are some of the responses I received:

I couldn’t agree more with the answers that flooded in. 

For the first time in history, Indiana FFA had to cancel an in person State Convention, and is instead going to a virtual one. Students are trying to do their school work without access to a stable internet source. Seniors don’t get their proms, graduations, or goodbyes that they deserve. Parents are risking their lives to work on the front lines, filing for unemployment, or are working from home. All of these things, in the words of my teammate Nate, suck. They really do. 

But the beautiful thing that is going on in a world full of uncertainties, is all of the FFA members rising up to the challenge. And it’s impressive. FFA members are impressive. No matter where they are, what they’re doing, or who they’re with, they rise up to any challenge thrown their way. When the Governor said school was closed, FFA members adapted. When we said we couldn’t have in person interviews, normal CDE’s, or in person LDE’s, FFA members adapted. And when we said we couldn’t have a traditional State Convention, FFA members supported us and chose to be excited about the plans that are being created. 

FFA is many things. It’s life-changing, inspiring, full of opportunity, and downright amazing. But FFA is all of these things because of its members. Without each member’s hardwork and dedication to serve this organization, FFA would not be where it is today. And for that, I say thank you. Thank you for giving my teammates and I something to work for. You give us the momentum to keep working when we don’t want to. You inspire us, you motivate us, and you’ve made our year memorable. Thank you for believing in FFA. 

Always impressed, 
Caitlyn Lewis

Monday, April 20, 2020

The 3 Fives

Have you ever had one of those days where you are just mad at everything?  Mad at the smallest of things such as your pencil falling off your desk or messing up your locker combo? Well, this past week I was having one of these days after a fight with my siblings. I texted a friend to vent and this is what they told me. 

Will it matter in 5 days, 5 weeks, or even 5 months? 

At first I thought what on earth does that have to do with my situation right now. But then, I thought about it a little more and this is what I came up with:

5 Days
In 5 days my family and I are going to be hooking up equipment for Spring planting. That's simple enough to think about. I thought about how spring planting meant the beginning of a new season for farmers. One where the famous Paul Harvey puts it as, “And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours. So God made a farmer.” This quote rings true in so many farmers' hearts. This time is meant for new growth and new beginnings. Farmers are able to start over with a fresh season. It is a time to be replanted and to watch you and your crops grow. It is a time to hold your chin a little higher and tell yourself you can do anything.

5 Weeks 
In 5 weeks the State Officer Team will be deep into planning the State Convention. We will have early mornings, late nights, last minute changes to scripts, and more importantly - team bonding. The stress may be a lot at times, but that can be undone by watching our team show, Criminal Minds.  We will work tirelessly to make sure that convention is everything our members deserve, while still finding a little bit of time to take a break by swimming in the center’s lake.

5 Months
In 5 months I will be studying at Purdue University. This is a big one to think about. All of those classes to take, new friends to make, clubs to get involved in - it sounded like a lot. But I tackled it one step at a time. 
  1. Classes - I can do classes. I finished most of my general education courses in high school so a large majority of my classes will be agriculture. I love agriculture, and let’s not forget how much I love Purdue agriculture, the department, and the people I’ll be surrounded by.
  2. New Friends - I already have so many friends from the FFA world at Purdue, as well as all of my friends from Jay County already there. 
  3. Clubs to Get Involved - In high school most people would have told me I have “too many irons in the fire” or “I've spread myself too thin.” But I love being involved through helping others. Looking at the list of clubs Purdue offers, there is a plethora to choose from. I was told by an upperclassman from Purdue to get involved in 3 clubs: one with your major, college, and campus wide. So I intend to do just that. 

Once I broke out all of these down, I was able to tackle all of them one step at a time. College will be a challenge when I look at it as one whole picture, but it is a challenge that can be easily tackled when it is broken up.

After thinking about my three 5’s, I realized the argument I was having had nothing to do with any of these; therefore, I should not make a mountain out of a molehill as I had been. Sometimes it is better to take a step back, reflect on these three 5’s, and take a deep breath. When we do this, we not only improve our relationships around us, but we improve ourselves. We leave ourselves less stressed and more blessed. 

So, next time you get frustrated or worked up, will it matter in 5 days, 5 weeks, or even 5 months? 

Keep Thinking,
Dillon Muhlenkamp

Monday, April 13, 2020

Valuable Time

These past few months have been far from normal. From events getting canceled, to
having to move back home with my grandparents. Many of the things I have looked forward to
all year are just not happening. At first I was frustrated and mad about everything going on, but
then I thought about something I hear all the time, live in the moment. There have been several
times this year that I have been so focused on something that was several months or even half
a year away, that I was not focused on what was going on in the present.
I started to think more about what was happening right now and not all the things I
would be missing out on. Here are a few things I noticed. Since the quarantine started, my
grandfather has been home almost every day from work, so we spend almost every day
working on a new project around the house. From fixing my truck, building a shed, to organizing
the garage. We have gotten so much done around the house and I have learned several new

A group of people standing in a yard

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One day my grandmother and I spent most of the day going through old pictures of me.
There was a lot that I did not remember, so she filled me in with the details of all the stories of
me as a little kid. I learned a lot about not only me, but my family’s history. Then later that day I
helped cook with my grandmother and aunt.
A person standing in front of a building

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Since being home; I have learned valuable skills, looked at family history, and spent so
much time with my family. I know the situation is not ideal, but I am extremely grateful for the
time I have had with my family.
Living in the moment,
Eion Stephens

Monday, April 6, 2020

My Biggest Supporter

This year has been probably the best year of my life. With that being said, there definitely have been some struggles and a lot of new things of getting used too. When I first moved into the officer house, it didn’t even cross my mind that I wouldn't pester my younger brother everyday. My brother and I haven’t always had the best relationship. We often spent many days arguing about things that didn’t even matter. For example, who was going to watch tv, why I wouldn’t take him everywhere, and why I was taking too long to do my make up in the bathroom. We often heard the words from my mom “If you two don’t stop fighting, I’m taking both of your phones… period.” I would roll my eyes and go to my room. I didn’t think I could possibly miss these days. 

After being home for the past few weeks, I’ve realized how much I missed my brother. A couple days ago, we spent the night playing two handed Euchre. It was neck and neck pretty much the whole game, and he barely took the lead and won! After that, he asked me if I wanted to go on a drive with him. I responded with “duh, let’s go.” Lane and I hopped into his car that we call the “Swagon Wagon” and rode up and down the back roads of Bargersville.  When we got home, we enjoyed ice cream and some great life chats.

    Spending these past couple weeks at home with Lane has made me so thankful to have such an amazing brother. I never really took the time to appreciate how supportive Lane is of everything I do, and the great memories we can make together. Looking back through old memories, I’ve noticed a common theme. Lane has always been there no matter what.

Here are some of my favorite memories below:

Lane and I at Disney!

State Convention 2019

Fire Banquet 2019

Even though Lane and I might argue or fight sometimes, he is one of my best friends. I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work he’s put in for FFA and the work he puts in at his job. Make sure you take the time to enjoy those around you and cherish the time you have at home with them. 

One proud big sister, 


P.S.  I will miss you bunches once I move back to the center….