Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Signing Off

2020-2021 Indiana FFA State Officer Team

Shelbyville Central. Hamilton Heights. Tri-County. Eastern Hancock. Wawasee. Union City. Frontier. We came from different towns, different chapters, and different backgrounds. We each had our own FFA story and varying levels of agricultural experience. We reached this unique and special moment from different and diverse paths. 

Our journey ended just like it began. We embraced the challenges of a difficult year and created new opportunities for our members. We are thankful that you trusted us to guide Indiana FFA over the past twelve months. We’ve been through a lot together. Coming into State Office, we were surrounded by the uncertainties of a virtual State Convention. To end this year with thousands of FFA members celebrating at the State Fairgrounds was a huge milestone. We recognize the hardships and struggles that many went through during this time. The mental drain of constantly shifting plans brought us to our limits. Through every hurdle that Indiana FFA faced, we never gave up. The past year has proven our strength and resilience. It’s not easy to crush our spirit. And it's definitely not easy to tell the FFA that something cannot be done.

We are forever grateful to the members who participated in our programs and showed up when we needed them the most. In-person conferences and traveling for FFA Week became some of the biggest highlights from the year. We appreciate the advisors who went out of their way to motivate students and increase involvement. Without a strong presence in the classroom, our events would not have been as successful and our impact not as great. We would also like to recognize our incredible state staff who constantly inspired us. Their continued dedication to Indiana FFA gave us the foundation to reach ever greater heights.

As our world returns back to normal and our organization walks a new path, remember what you embraced from this year. Take what you have learned, make it a part of your personal journey, and use it to impact others. Thank you for letting us be a part of that process with you.

Signing Off,

Julia, Kylie, Blayne, Loren, Evan, Derick, and Luc

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

A Lil' Bit of Everything

I couldn’t decide (shocker right) what I wanted my final blog to Indiana FFA to be. So, I combined my two ideas into one. If you’re at all interested in a few stories during my officer term that I think we all can benefit from, awesome read the first half of this blog! If you’re interested in learning more about state convention - you’re in luck, head to the second part of the blog. If neither one of those interest you, I’m very sorry. Feel free to call me and we can chat about whatever is on your mind! With that said, let’s get to it.

Stories we all can benefit from:

Take the trip 

  • During my officer year, I traveled to Kansas with my teammate and friend Derick Williams. The purpose of the trip was to meet a Kansas FFA member who made an impact on us. Little did we know how life changing the trip would be. Not only did we meet Cali Newdigger and see the beautiful Kansas scenery, but we also met the outstanding 2020-21 Kansas FFA State Officer Team. Let me tell you, those gals have the BIGGEST hearts and embody what it means to be a K-State Wildcat! In fact, I think we might have actually convinced Derick to say “Go Cats” instead of “Go Irish”! Once we parted our ways, Derick and I spontaneously went three hours out of our way to visit the “middle of the United States” in Lebanon, Kansas. Did Derick and I both have other items to work on, yes. Were we exhausted, yes. But, at the end of the day our hearts and minds were full. In the end, we won’t remember the work, but we will remember the memories.  So, take the trip. Be spontaneous. Have fun.

Start the Conversation

  • During State Officer Summit, I saw a really cool gal by the name of Lori. I was super intrigued by her when I heard her mention she loved writing to pen pals. On July 22, 2020 I received an Instagram DM from a Nevada FFA State Officer asking for my address. Shortly after that I received a handwritten letter from Lori Ramm. I was fangirling. In my eyes Lori was a rockstar. Of course I wrote back to her! For a solid 5 months Lori and I wrote letters to each other. In fact, we didn’t even have each other on social media. I used to catch myself at events or surfing through social media thinking how cool other individuals are. I would tell myself I wanted to be friends with someone, but was normally too intimidated to start the conversation. Lori taught me to initiate, or start, the conversation. This small piece of advice gained me so many new friendships this year and I encourage you all to do the same. There’s value in handwritten letters, but this can also look like a letter, Instagram DM, or phone call!

Serve YOU

  • The last line in the FFA Motto is “Living to Serve''. I admire the servant leadership that our members carry and their dedication to living out the last line of our motto. With that said, we are so dedicated to serving others, that we often forget to serve ourselves. This past year has challenged me to serve myself more. This looked like going to the gym, journaling, and scheduling time to de-stress. All of this helped ensure I was mentally and physically able to serve others. If we don’t serve ourselves, we can’t effectively serve others. How can you serve yourself today, so that you can better serve others tomorrow? 

What to look for at the 92nd Indiana FFA State Convention:

  1. Inspiring Retiring Addresses

  2. Engaging Workshops

  3. Recognition of members

  4. State Officer Scavenger Hunt

  5. Motivational Keynote Speakers

Learn more about these and what the 92 IN FFA State Convention has to offer by downloading the State Convention Mobile App!

  • Visit:

  • Add the tab to your home screen!

(Photo: 2020-21 State Officer Team “State Convention Mood”)

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Messages from Marijo

My parents divorced when I was just 8 years old. When my father left, it was just my older brother, my mom, and me. There’s no doubt that my mom is my best friend. She has been with me since day 1 and has helped me at my lowest and celebrated with me at my highest. Through everything though, she has taught me a few things that I have really pondered on this year that I would like to share with Indiana FFA: 

  1. Never leave the house without saying I Love You. We simply aren’t ever guaranteed a safe return home. Because of this, I was raised to always say I Love You when I leave the house so that, if for some reason my time comes to an end once I leave, my loved ones know that I love them. 

  2. Don’t go to bed angry. Think about the last time you were in an argument with someone and went to bed still angry at them. What was that argument about? Would a simple conversation have solved everything? Again, it’s one of those things that we're never guaranteed tomorrow. Plus, being angry for too long can truly damage a relationship. 

  3. Be kind. It’s short, sweet, and simple. Kindness is key in this world. My mom taught me that it’s not cute or cool to be rude or disrespectful to others, but we can do a lot of good in this world if we just choose kindness. 

  4. Love Yourself. This was a lesson I struggled with for a while. I couldn’t talk right and I was super insecure about my body image. My mom would continuously tell me, “Julia, just love yourself. You are perfect.” We are all unique in our own ways, and that diversity should be a push to love ourselves. 

  5. A leader isn’t always the boss. We all have our own leadership styles. Sometimes, the strongest leaders are those who are actively listening and not talking or guiding as much. I’ve learned that this is more of my leadership style, and to embrace it. 

  6. It’s not cool to be selfish. This advice dates back to a school trip I took in 7th grade where a group of girls stuck together and tried a bit too hard to show off and get attention. My mom told me, “Don’t be an all about me person. There’s no I in Team.” When you’re just focused on yourself and only yourself, at least to my mom and I, it doesn’t look cool, but it looks foolish. Selflessness can go a long way. 

I think my teammates can attest that my mom, Marijo, is a pretty wise person who has been through a lot and has taught me how to live. I hate to admit it but, my mom is right 99.99% of the time and knows what she’s talking about. Middle school Julia would be furious that I’m admitting this, but she really does know best. This is just a snippet of the advice she has given me in my 19 years, as she has truly guided me through everything I’ve gone through. I encourage everyone to read through these pieces and see how we can incorporate them into our own lives. 

Always following Mom’s word, 

Julia Hamblen

2020-2021 Indiana FFA State President