Tuesday, October 31, 2023

No Tricks, Just Treats for this National Convention!

I have never been able to choose what my favorite holiday is. I honestly love the different decorations and traditions with every single holiday, but I do have to admit, Halloween is definitely in the top 5. The costumes, candy, scary movies, fall scented candles… oh I could go on forever, but anyways, Halloween definitely has a special place in my heart. 

Oh and I forgot to mention, Halloween is during National Convention this year! How lucky did National FFA get? So in the spirit of Halloween, here are some of the biggest treats National Convention gives! 

Treat #1 - General Sessions

  • If you have ever been to National Convention you just know. Running to get good seats at Lucas Oil Stadium, the pre-session dances, the hype. Everything about the sessions is just a blast. I remember sitting in the stands for the first time as a sophomore and being in awe of all the lights, music, and hype everyone has. Take it all in and have fun! 

Treat #2 - The Shopping Mall

  • One of my biggest weaknesses comes whenever I enter a store or mall, and I could definitely say the same when it comes to shopping at National Convention. I will warn you; when you go in, you will always come out with something. I told myself I was NOT going to buy anything this past year, but ended up coming out with the cutest cow print Hey Dudes and the most perfect jeans that I still wear every other week. I mean, they’re cute so it's worth it… right? 

Treat #3 - The Expo Center 

  • Along with the shopping mall, wherever you go into the expo center you will come out with something, but the good thing is that these items are free! The expo center is filled with booths belonging to different companies from all around the nation that want to give YOU opportunities to succeed as you move on from high school. You can meet people from these companies, learn about the opportunities they can provide for you and then receive free items from the company. How cool is that? I would highly encourage you to go take a look!

Treat #4 - The People!

  • It is very rare that you are surrounded by over 70,000 people who all share a common interest with you. Meet as many people as you possibly can. National Convention gives you the ability to meet people from all over the nation! Take advantage of that; I still have friends I talk to that I met at National Convention!

Treat #5 - Memories

  • During National Convention you will be able to make some of the best memories that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Some of my favorite memories are actually from National Convention. Keep an open mind, and have fun! You never know what people you will meet, and what opportunities will come your way. 

I hope you all will keep these treats of National Convention in mind and have a blast! Can’t wait to see you all there! :)


Maddie Denton

2023-2024 Indiana FFA State Secretary 

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Falling for Conference Season

Fall is finally here! My favorite time of the year. Not only does fall mean cooler weather, turning leaves, and bonfires; it also means the Indiana FFA Leadership Center is full of mini buses, members, and gaga ball. Gaga ball is the best open recreation activity ever invented. My favorite memories come from the short time that we get to spend at the recreation activities. Some of those favorite memories include watching members make new friends, being competitive, and having fun! During our SOAR conferences I let my competitive side show by becoming the reigning champion in gaga ball, but one interaction stuck out to me. After playing gaga ball, I had a member walk up to me and tell me how good I was at gaga ball (keep in mind I hadn’t played much before). This was the first time he had attended a camp and was having so much fun, but he was very nervous the night before as he didn't know many people there. These were the same feelings I had attending my first ever conference. We talked for a good while and discovered that we had many things in common: we both were swimmers, both shared the same love for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, and most importantly had a strong passion for FFA. As open recreation activities ended, I encouraged him to enjoy the weekend and make many new friends as these are the people we will remember the most! 

After sitting out a game of gaga ball I realized how important it is to cheer on members. While it would have been easy for me to focus solely on defending my champion title, the connection I made with that particular member far surpassed any victory in gaga ball. Embrace the one not the many.

Tanner Weakley, State Sentinel

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Seasons Changing

Seasons are changing, and I don’t just mean from summer to fall. Life has many different seasons. Unlike spring, summer, fall, or winter, we won’t always know what to expect in the next season of our lives. We don’t know where we could go or who we might become in the following moments. Sometimes our seasons change quickly, but sometimes they last a while. We just have to be ready for what God has in store for us.  

Thinking back to my senior year, I knew that things were getting ready to change, and I wasn’t quite sure what the next year of my life would look like. Instead of worrying about what the next season held, I did my best to make the most of the time I had left in high school. I spent time studying for contests, getting to know my classmates, and even spent time talking to former teachers. I not only had success in my contests, but I also made some lifelong friendships. Living in the present helped me enjoy the time I had left in high school. 

After graduation, I stepped into my next season with uncertainty. I knew I was running to be a state officer, but I had no idea what was next. Even though I was uncertain about what was going to happen, I wasn’t going in empty-handed. I had my skills, but more importantly, I had my family and friends supporting me. I did my best to prepare, and get everything set up for what would happen no matter the outcome. But I still had doubts about if there was more I could do, or if I was even making the right choice by running.

Looking back on my high school season, I learned the value of personal connections. Much like trees, sometimes the seasons our leaves change or even fall off, but our roots are always there. Sometimes roots grow deeper, or grow a different way, much like the connections we make. We can always have hope for tomorrow because the people we count on will help us through the next seasons of our lives, just as the roots support the growth of new leaves. 

The seasons might be changing, but our support is only growing. We can rely on those who have been there for us, and those we meet along the way. Maybe the seasons of life aren’t all that different from spring, summer, fall, or winter after all. We might lose our leaves, but we will still have our roots. And finally, when the time comes we will grow our leaves back and have a fresh start. Our seasons are just a part of our growing process, and sometimes uncertainty can take over, but we will grow back.

Caden Sixberry, State Treasurer