Monday, August 15, 2022


In life for me, and probably for most of you reading this, there are so many things we want to do. I want to be able to have a job I enjoy, but I also want to serve the Lord in all I do. To enjoy life as much as I can, to spend quality family time, and to always progress. During my time, so far, in State Office, I’ve found that the key ingredient for success when dealing with all of these things is something so easily forgotten: balance. 

Trying to find the happy medium is the hardest part. “Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.” This quote from Rumi is especially true. When deciding to run for State Office I had to push myself to find balance. The choices were to continue as planned, which is to attend Purdue for Agricultural Engineering, or run for State Office. I didn’t come to the decision to fully commit and run until March. In the end after weighing everything out I realized that I will still be able to go to Purdue, but I will only have one opportunity at a year of wonderful experiences dedicating myself to FFA, the organization that really helped me grow into the person I am today, and then continue my education afterwards. 

When I was in high school, I was really involved with band, maybe the most out of anything I did. I played Euphonium for concert band, Tuba for pep band, marching band, and concert bands, trombone for jazz band, and finally percussion ensemble. I would participate in all these bands as well as honor bands and solo & ensemble. I started band in 6th grade as early as I could, because my older sister played Flute and Piccolo, so of course I had to join as soon as possible. I later joined the marching band as quickly as I could in 7th grade. I’m so thankful for all of the experiences I had in the band and would never trade it for the world, but I did not balance the rest of my life well. In addition to being involved in Band and FFA, I also participated in Choir and the musicals. Again, there were so many things I wanted to do, but such a limited amount of time. The one thing that made balance such a hard thing to achieve was how much time I initially committed to the musical arts.

 During my freshman year in FFA, I barely participated, only going to a few meetings the whole year and tractor day. I never went to kick-offs, conferences, contests, or really anything outside of the chapter. Taking it all into account, I just wasn’t an active FFA member, and I began to feel the need to change that. My time in FFA and the opportunity to enjoy all that FFA has to offer was shrinking. When I realized that my time was out of balance, I decided to dedicate more time to FFA and joined Soil Judging, Parliamentary Procedure, and ran for chapter office. After having success with these things, I was given my first opportunity to go to a conference, Winter LDW 2020. This was my first taste of conferences and since then I could never get enough. 

After getting more involved with FFA, I had to make decisions between band and FFA. When I talked it through with my band director and ag teacher, I was able to share my time more evenly between two things that I really loved and was passionate about. I want to encourage all of you busy bees that communication, compromise, and commitment are the factors we must consider if we are to truly uncover that key ingredient to life: balance. It wasn't about choosing one or the other, but how can I use all of these experiences and opportunities to make myself the best person I can be and then grow from all of them

Wishing you the best,

Tobias Sturgell

Indiana FFA State Secretary

Monday, August 8, 2022

State Officer Summit

I feel that I am speaking on behalf of all my teammates when I write that State Officer Summit in Washington DC this past July was an incredible experience that none of us will ever forget. The amount of leadership exemplified by state officers from across the nation, as well as our national officers in just four days is unforgettable. I met so many people and had conversations that truly changed my outlook on life. I walked away with three valuable lessons from my time at summit: Having the desires to learn, lead, and love others.


Learn: Ironically, during summit I quickly learned that there is always more to learn. No matter how much you think you know about a subject, somebody else might have a different perspective. I learned that it is important to recognize everyone’s backgrounds because we all have different experiences that we can bring to the table. Learning from others, as well as learning from our mistakes is important. Without searching for knowledge or having the desire to acquire wisdom from others, there is no room for growth.


Lead: As state officers, we are called to set a standard of leadership for FFA members from across the state of Indiana. Our actions and attitudes set the tone for Indiana FFA this year. As your State Sentinel, I can confidently write that our team is so excited to lead the over 12,000 members and 219 chapters we have. Each of us are so grateful to have the opportunity to lead and are humbled that we were chosen for this role. State Officer Summit helped me realize that my leadership is needed, as well as the leadership from every member that steps foot into FFA.


Love: Without love, learning from others and leading members is impossible. A selfless kind of love can be hard to maintain but choosing to love people highlights your ability to learn from others and lead others. I saw selfless love in multiple ways during summit. Whether it was the late nights and early mornings our national officers put in to make sure that we had an amazing time at summit or somebody simply holding the door for a stranger, love was a common theme during our time in Washington DC. I know that my goal during state office, as well as the rest of the team is to exemplify this kind of love for the rest the year.


To my team, to my roommates, to my new friends from across the country, to state staff and National FFA, thank you for making State Officer Summit a chance for me to learn, lead, and love. We made so many memories and bonded so much more as a team. I am so excited to see what the rest of the year for Indiana FFA looks like. For anyone reading this, I encourage you to implement these three lessons in your FFA chapter, district, section, and life in general. By learning, leading, and loving others on a daily basis, your impact will reach so many more people than you could ever imagine.


Your State Sentinel,

Jaden Maze


Check out the link below to see more of our State Officer Summit experience!

Monday, August 1, 2022

Seth’s Top 10 Favorite Things about The Great Indiana State Fair

1. The Indiana FFA Pavilion!
    I feel like this one is kind of a given, but oh well what is there not to love! I can
always go for a game of putt-putt golf, a stroll through the animal wing or a
delicious shake from the Indiana FFA Country Market! I cannot forget to mention
how thrilled I am to see all the wonderful FFA members and guests in the
pavilion this year!

2. The Blue Ribbon Pavilion
    Why is this Seth’s second favorite thing about the State Fair? Because I have a
passion for showing sheep! When you can’t find me in FFA Pavilion you will
more than likely find me in the sheep barn prepping lambs for the show. Not to
mention it is also air conditioned and that’s always a plus!

3. The West Pavilion or better known as the Cattle Barn
    I guess you could say showing livestock is my thing because I thoroughly enjoy
my time in all the livestock barns. On the first and second weekends of the state
fair I occupy the cattle barn with my dairy steers and dairy cattle. I love my cows,
but they aren’t quite as high as the sheep!

4. The Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum
    This one is self-explanatory. In my opinion the Coliseum is one of THE coolest
places to show livestock! The atmosphere is unforgettable, and the Indiana State
Fair knows how to put on a show there.

5. The Dairy Bar
    As I mentioned earlier, I am a sucker for a good milkshake! When I’m on this
side of the track, the dairy bar is my go-to place for lunch or a snack. Each year I
look forward to the new milkshake flavors and grilled cheese options they create.
A favorite tradition of mine is when my dad and I enjoy a breakfast sandwich and
cold chocolate milk the morning of the dairy show!

6. The Pioneer Village
    This is a place that is packed with some true culture! I love seeing the traditional
side of the fairgrounds and the treats you can get from the village are oh so good.
Agriculture is backed by so much tradition, and by walking through the Pioneer
Village I get a true sense of what this tradition is.

7. The Pork Producer’s Tent
    I am a fair food enthusiast. The pork tent is one of the places I make sure I visit
every single year! No doubt a pork burger and some mac & cheese will come in
handy a few times during the fair. If it were not for the outrageous line at times, I
would frequent this place a lot more.

8. Go listen to some FREE music at the free stage
    The free stage is a must-see attraction at the Indiana State Fair. I love a good
concert and am always ready to listen to some great music. If you happen to be at
the fair during a free stage concert, make sure you stop in for some FREE

9. Indiana Soybean Alliance Glass Barn
    There is always an abundance of things to do in this building! I especially enjoy
acting as Benny the Bean for a few hours during the fair. Interacting with fair
guests as the Bean is such a fun experience. Not to mention the air conditioning
here is always a fantastic place to take a break during the hot days of fair!

10. King’s Sweet Tea
    Now I may catch from flack from this one, but I don’t go to the King’s tent for
sweet tea… I go for the unsweet tea! I love a cold unsweet tea and some ribbon
fries during the fair. Easily one of my favorite snacks during the fair, and the
reusable cup makes it even more tempting to go back for another. I’m definitely
on a first name basis with the King’s Sweet Tea crew by the end of the Fair!
Thanks for stopping in for Seth’s Top 10 favorite things to do at The Great Indiana State Fair!
I’m pumped for the fair this year and I can’t wait to see all the amazing members in the FFA
Pavilion. Hopefully, you partake in a few of my favorite things about the fair and come let me
know if you enjoyed them too!

All the best, 
Seth Ariens