Sunday, March 19, 2023

March Madness

    As a diehard Boilermaker fan, the month of March is truly a great time of the year. Although being a Boilermaker fan can be rough at times I think they have a real chance this year with potential Wooden Award player Zach Edey. One of my favorite things about March is filling out several brackets to try and predict winners for each game. Especially when I enter them in pools to compete against my teammates and family. Nothing is better than predicting a big upset (kinda like Furman over Virginia!) Who would’ve thought that to happen, definitely not me. But I can’t wait to sit back, relax and watch the Boilermakers battle through the tournament!


Unfortunately, basketball isn’t the only madness happening in March for a State Officer. Our team has had a swamped schedule over the last two weeks and the next 2 look just the same. Traveling all over the state for district contests, facilitating members and beginning preparations for the 94th Indiana FFA State Convention! The Adrenaline of a last second buzzer beater is nothing compared to the current schedule. One could say that I’m going to use basketball to calm me down for the next couple weeks.

Whether it’s the pressure of State Office or the pressure of the last few seconds of a big game, I can’t express how excited I am for the next part of my journey. I truly believe that I’m heading into the most influential time as a State Officer as I travel to banquets and plan the State’s largest event in State Convention. I’ve always been one to work harder from adrenaline and with the rest of my time as a State Officer there will be no shortage of that. The best is still yet to come in a very hectic but very thrilling part of the year. Everyone needs to buckle in for a thriller of a finish during the Madness of March.

                                                                                Go Boilers,

                                                                                     Seth Ariens Indiana FFA State President

Monday, March 13, 2023

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Keeping up with the Joneses is a full-time job! As an only child, my parents have been my best friends and biggest cheerleaders for as long as I can remember. Although I've kept them quite busy over the years, they have never missed anything; any golf match, FFA event, livestock show, or any big moment in my life. I could never put into words how much they’ve taught me and supported me, but I decided that I shouldn’t keep all of their wisdom to myself! Here are just a few of the many things my parents have instilled in me -

  1. Show Me Your Friends and I’ll Show You Your Future.

    My mom has many famous ‘quotes’ she loves to recite, but this might be her favorite of them all! Every time I had typical elementary friend struggles, and even still today, she reminds me that the people we surround ourselves with, make a bigger impact on us than we think. We all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our purpose, and challenge us to become better. She would always tell me that ‘we become like those around us’, and it’s always been my goal to surround myself with people who have similar goals, dreams, and ambitions. My closest friends are people that truly work to make me better, push me to reach my goals, and keep me accountable. Thanks to my mom, I’ve learned how to find the BEST people to call my friends!

  1. Proper Preparation, Prevents Poor Performance.

    Whether it was a contest, a performance, a livestock show, a golf match, or even just a normal school day; my mom never failed to teach me to be prepared. Laying out my clothes for school the night before became my way of making sure I was on time in the morning. An hour on the range and putting green every night after practice gave me the extra time to prepare for long 18-hole matches and the multiple hours in the barn every night to practice with my calves and sheep always paid off when it came to show time! Practicing speeches multiple times every day always made me feel more confident and comfortable on contest day! Whatever it was, my momma always made sure I knew the importance of preparing for EVERYTHING!

  1. It Builds Character.

    While this is a running joke in our family, to say every not-so-perfect circumstance ‘builds character’, it is more than a joke! No matter how many tough things life throws our way, there is always a lesson to be learned. Character means to do the right thing even when nobody's watching; and teaching me that every situation in life can be a learning moment to build my character, was something my parents always loved to remind me of.

  1. Do Your Best

    Before every contest, livestock show, golf match, or event, for as long as I can remember; my dad would tell me “As long as you do your best, that’s enough, and we will always be proud of you.” This was something that always stuck with me. He instilled the motivation in me to always give my all into whatever I did, and that no matter what the scores or results said, I could be proud of doing my best! Even to this day, before any speech I give or event I attend as a State Officer, I text my parents and they always respond with, “Do your best, we love you!”  

  1. Pray About It

    This one was HUGE growing up! Before a big test, my parents would tell me to pray about it. Before an interview, my parents would tell me to pray about it. Before walking into the show ring, my parents would pray with me. Before I opened my letter of slate, to become a State Officer, my parents prayed with me. Before any road trip we ever took as a family, my family prayed together. Hopefully by this point, you got the idea :) No matter what, prayer has always been the answer in any situation. My parents still pray with me every time I leave home to come back to the center. My parents pray for me before every event I do as a State Officer. They continually inspire me to always turn to prayer, even in daily tasks, no matter what! 

These are just 5 pieces of wisdom my parents have shared that have always stuck with me. I am forever grateful to have parents who will stop at nothing to love and support me in all I do. Hopefully you can gain just as much from their wisdom as I have :)

                                                                                            - Mary Jones

                                                                                             State Northern Region Vice President

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Your Future Is Unwritten

Recently I have been reflecting a lot. My time as a State Officer is coming to an end and it is sad, but also there are so many things I have learned. While reflecting I have also been able to be so positive about the future. While the future is scary and unknown there are a few things that are extremely positive and motivating. 

First, the future is unwritten. No matter what has happened in the past you can always write about your future. There are things I wish I would have done better this year, but I have the immense opportunity to travel to Oregon, help present an amazing state convention, and ultimately continue to impact the members of Indiana FFA.

Second, for me God is in control. My faith in Christ is a daily relationship but I know that ultimately God is in control and no matter how far left and right I go he will always bring me back. This is the most comforting thing, because no matter how down on myself I get he is always there right beside me ready to pull me out.

Third, I still have time left. We’re coming up on 100 days left and while you can think of it as glass half full, in 90 days I will give anything to have that time back. I remember when we had 300 days left and I felt like that would be an eternity, but looking back now I would love to turn back the clock and be able to spend more time with my teammates and with the members of Indiana FFA. I still have time left now, and until that clock hits zero I’m gonna go all out and full throttle till someone else gets this opportunity. 

You will have some big things coming up in your life if you only look back to the past you may miss what is coming. While your future is still unwritten, pick up your pencil and write your story.