National Officers' Blog

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bethany's Blessing- A New Beginning

So this is it...the final blog post. It seems only right to starts at where our team began-with our team mission RHTEB. (Yes, in fact it is a word that we made up.) Made-Up word or not, it has taken on more than just a purpose for our team, but it has created a lifestyle for this year. Roots. Heart. Trust. Empower. Blessed.

Coming from the Labette County FFA chapter in a small town in Southeast Kansas.
Never before have I been so proud to call this home--because you all have taught me the value of a belief in where we come from. Whether California, Georigia, Maine, or Idaho--be proud.

The human heart know no boundaries. We were created to Love and to Love deeply. I would also like to thank my family, friends, and teammates for showing me that love stretches beyond distance, no matter how far-- always.
Serving with 5 of the most incredible people that I've ever met in my life has taught me the value of trusting people and trusting in a bigger plan than we can imagine.

As much as it was suppose to be our team who were to empower the people we met this year. You've inspired us. This year I've met people who have overcome more than I could ever even imagine, people who are making a difference that few can even dream of, and you have pushed me to believe in dreams bigger than I ever have before.

Future plans include returning back to Kansas State University where I'm studying Ag Communications & Journalism and Ag Economics. Graduating in May 2012, I plan to follow wherever God leads and forever be reminded of how blessed we are.

Thank you for blessing me with the greatest year of my life thus far!

I know that in my heart man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life. ~Ronald Reagen

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Adventures of Alex: The Big E and Missouri

Gosh, this is a crazy, weird, exciting, sad, satisfied feeling… I just wrapped up my last two weeks with FFA members before convention and it seems like everything has flown by in a blur.

First, I spent three days with some outstanding Eastern Region FFA members at the Big E – The Eastern States Exposition. It’s a multistate fair that showcases livestock and agricultural literacy while sprinkling in a HUGE midway, carnival shows and a circus. One of the coolest parts of the fairgrounds is that each New England state has a “house” jam-packed with tons of stuff from that state – food, crafts and products. Like, the Maine house sells 80,000 potatoes over the course of the three-week fair. Vermont has a Ben and Jerry’s booth and Massachusetts has fresh cider and donuts. Needless to say, I ate my way through the fair.

But the crowning jewel of the Big E is that FFA members from Maine to Virginia, Delaware to Ohio come together to compete in 20 Career Development Events. Over the course of two days, students tested their knowledge and demonstrated their skills.

The three best parts of the week?

•One, hanging out with the State President interns and our late night, cross-country trip to Olive Garden.
•Two, getting to meet tons of Eastern Region FFA members who were so excited to be at the Big E.
•Three, seeing the look on the Ohio Agriculture Mechanics team when they were announced as the winners of the contest. They were sitting right in front of my table and I’ll never forget the way their eyes lit up and smiles spilled off their faces when their names were called. That excitement, passion and success is what FFA is all about.

My first trip to the Big E was nothing short of AMAZING and I can’t wait to go back! I highly recommend it to everyone interested in agriculture, FFA and a fun time.

I spent the second week traveling with the nicest, most compassionate, service-driven woman I’ve ever met, Mrs. Nancy Alford in the Missouri Corn Board’s corn van. We visited three or four schools a day, and then headed to an Area Leadership Conference each evening.

On Monday, we visited Bourbon, Cuba, Owensville and Hermann. I loved hanging out with the Owensville officer team and taking some crazy pictures. It was really exciting to hear that Cuba won the Area Rituals Contest too!

On Tuesday, we were off to Norwood, Thayer, Koshkonong and Houston. The Thayer FFA cookout was a hit and I loved getting to know their officers and members over some delicious hamburgers.

On Wednesday, Mrs. Alford and I hit up Puxico, Naylor, Neelyville, Twin Rivers and Holcomb. I ate WAY too many donuts in Puxico and even got to participate in their “Meet Me at the Pole” morning. The Area Leadership Conference in Holcomb was especially fun and dinner at Strawberry’s BBQ was amazing.

Thursday was my last day of visits and we traveled to Fredericktown, Woodland, Meadow Heights and Sikeston. The trip up the twisty roads to Woodland almost did me in, but lunch was well worth it. Meadow Heights was a great last visit and their officers cracked me up!

My week in Missouri was one of my favorites of the entire year because I got to spend time with chapter members, watch them shine and have fun with some of the most passionate, driven people this country has to offer. It captured the spirit of FFA and has fueled me through the stressful craziness of convention preparation.

Thank you to everyone I met at the Big E and in Missouri!! You’ve reminded me what this year and this organization are all about.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chelsea's Travels: All Good Things Must Come to an End or Do They?

This has been the best year of my life! Serving as a National FFA Officer has been a dream of mine since I was a junior in high school. Just the other day, I was organizing my papers and stumbled upon my application for chapter office that was completed while I was a junior at Eagleville High School. I explained that I wanted to become a chapter officer, a state officer, and a national officer. It seems like just yesterday that I was eagerly awaiting the results of the 2006 chapter elections and now I'm preparing to hang up my corduroy jacket for good.

They say, "All good things must come to an end." But when it comes to FFA I have to disagree. In fact, there is still much to do once our active membership ends. We may become Collegiate FFA members or Alumni members. As Collegiate FFA members we may attend National and State FFA Convention, compete in competitions, and recruit college classmates to assist in reaching out to prospective agriculture students. As Alumni members we may also attend National and State FFA Convention as well as the Alumni FFA Convention. We can coach and mentor FFA members and compete at the Alumni level as well.

No, not all good things come to an end. We owe it to FFA to find every way possible to give back. This organization has given me more than I could have ever dreamed to receive. It is my pledge to invest in future generations of members in the same way that others have invested in me. I hope you'll do the same.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Randa's Journey- Wisconsin SLW's

Hello Friends!!

Oh WISCONSIN!! What an incredible trip, complete with dairies, cheese, ice cream and little bit colder weather than that Texas heat. A special thank you to the Wisconsin FFA state officer team Alicia, Amy, Whitney, Noah, Anna, Ethan, Sam, Samantha, Cory, Julie and Laura for making last week an experience I will never forget!
Our first trip of the week started off with visits to Renk Seed and Landmark Co-op where I was able to learn more about what Wisconsin agriculture looks like. Followed with an awesome lunch, we were able to set out for our first Sectional Leadership Workshop of the week at Belleville High School. I must admit, I was pretty jazzed because my home chapter is Bellville, TX :) After meeting and working with some outstanding members, the spirit stick was awarded and we all got to enjoy some Subway sandwiches with Belleville FFA officers. That night I had the privilege of staying at a REAL dairy with the Brown family complete with a tour and all!
Tuesday morning we were in for a real treat as we were able to attend the World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI. I was able to present two leadership workshops as well as be a part of two radio interviews, but that can’t hold a candle to how much I learned about the dairy industry that day! Dairy cattle were brought in from all over and shown for their qualities. There were cheese exhibits and tons of FFA members to meet! After a fun filled day we also had the opportunity to receive some key messaging training from Andrea Bloom, a past Wisconsin state officer, on how to portray our messages on agriculture. I found it extremely informative, interactive and an awesome time as we worked on the best ways to convey agriculture! To top of a fun filled day we were able to wind down with team time by having a hot fire and some s’mores out at Noah’s house in Lake Mills.
Wednesday was just as fun-filled as we were able to tour Tyson Meats in Jefferson. Some of our group was able to take a tour of the facilities and we learned that most pepperonis that come on your frozen pizzas are made in that plant. This was then followed by a tour of United Cooperative in Beaver Dam and we quickly found ourselves headed to the second SLW of the week at Lake Mills High School! Just like earlier the theme was “setting up camp” as the state officers presented a skit followed by workshops for all the members in attendance. We had a great turnout and crowd as I loved getting to know all the members in Section 10!
When Thursday came around there was a very bittersweet feeling in the air. It was the last SLW for the state officer team and my last workshop as a national officer and honestly I could not have been more blessed to end in Wisconsin. Our morning started with a tour of Scoops Ice Cream where we watching how they mix the ice cream, followed by a tour of Stoelting/Polarware which is the company that makes the slushee and soft serve machines. With a morning like that, it could only mean that I had TWO ice cream cones before noon and it wasn’t even for lunch! How exciting! After learning so much on the tours we were greeted at Kiel High school for our last SLW. We couldn’t have asked for it go any better as we saw Section 9 FFA members in action, quite a talented group! The Kiel FFA was to kind as they hosted dinner for us and took care of us the entire evening. Thank you Kiel, y’all rock!
To all the Wisconsin FFA members and state officers, thank you for the experience of a lifetime! I loved getting to know each of you and see the remarkable group that you are! Keep being amazing and thank you for a wonderful end to my national officer year. Be Blessed!

The state officers prepping for SLWs!

Real dairy cattle at the World Dairy Expo!

Some awesome FFA members

The winners of the spirit stick!

Anna and Laura preparing our pints of ice cream :)

They had Bacon Ice Cream!

They gave me a real cheese hat, thank you guys!

Bethany's Blessing---Final Weeks of Travel

These last few weeks of travel have been AWESOME!
Love Jesus
Quick Recap:
1 Week in Wisconsin= 11 AMAZING state officers, 4 SLWs, Hundreds of WI FFA members, and Thousands of Seconds of Laughter

Love Jesus.
Make Jesus More Famous each day.
Visited the Girard FFA chapter in Southeast Kansas for their Greenhand Orientation Night! This group is definitely one of my favorites!

Tractor Supply Company Vendors Meeting
Why they believe in Us: "TSC has been a proud partner with the FFA for 23 years. The efforts of the FFA help young people learn valuable life skills for the future. It's our honor to be an FFA silver sponsor and help advance the work of this important organization."

We spent our time helping at a Golf Tournament where all of the proceeds were donated to FFA. $50,000 was raised at this one event. Wow!

Love Jesus. Love Him. Glorify Him in ALL
Love Jesus.
Make Jesus more Famous every day of my life.
All in for Him
Crop Life America
Met Hundreds of business men and women down in Florida who believe in FFA and support us. This group of people have a focus on crop protection. FFA members look forward to meeting some of them at National FFA Convention.

They have this awesome new concept called
"Modern Agriculture." Check out their youtube video by clicking on it!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Catching up with Chase- Value of Time

Hello all,

Wow, seriously where did time go, I can't believe it is already October! Our team is in the midst of preparing for National FFA Convention, I hope everyone is stoked to get to Indianapolis for the best week of the year.
Words cannot explain how incredibly blessed I feel to have had the opportunity to serve as an officer, and to have met so many incredible people. This will be my final blog as an officer and I would like to share with you a message that Levy and I found earlier this year about the value of time.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.

To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.

To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.

Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time.

And remember, time waits for no one.

Yesterday is history.

Tomorrow is a mystery.

Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.

To each person that I have had the privilege to interact with this year THANK YOU! You have truly made an impact in my life and I cannot thank you enough for all the wonderful memories.

Chase Rose

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Randa's journey- NW Missouri Visits!

Hello Friends!!

As the year continues to wind down, there continues to be some outstanding members all across the nation! Recently I was able to attend the Northwest district of Missouri where I had the chance to travel chapter to chapter and see what incredible things they were up to. The week started off when I flew into Kansas City and was greeted by the Fairfax FFA chapter. They were incredible hosts as my evening consisted of crossing over to the Nebraska line (because I had not been there yet :) ) eating some good Missouri food and finishing up with some rockin ice cream at the Dairy Diner! The next morning started off at Tarkio high school where the Rockport, Fairfax, West Nodaway and Mound City FFA chapters met us. After a fun and eventful workshop the West Nodaway FFA chapter took me to experience my first Casey’s convenient store and eat lunch their cafeteria! Afterwards we were then on the way to Maryville FFA!
Tuesday was awesome as I met with South Nodaway, Nodaway Holt and Jefferson FFA chapters in the morning along with the Savannah, King City, North Andrew and DeKalb chapters. I enjoyed a ride with the DeKalb FFA as I journeyed over to Plattsburg for the evening. When in Plattsburg I was able to eat dinner with the advisor, Mr. Adam and his family. Not to mention the great Mexican food we got to eat!! As Wednesday rolled around, I had the chance to hang out with Plattsburg, Smithville, Lathrop, North Platte and Stewartsville FFA chapters who were oh so much fun to be around. On the way to Tina-Avalon High School we had the chance to stop by the Shatto Creamery and taste their milks which ranged from the Root Beer milk, Orange milk, Strawberry milk and Chocolate! But honestly probably the best milk I have ever had in my whole life!! As I had my chocolate milk in hand I got to roll into the Tina-Avalon where I met with the first class of freshmen. Whether we were rapping or running around they made the trip eventful! After meeting with chapter officers and sophomores the day continued to be outstanding. After school we got to eat more Mexican food (Mexican is my favorite which makes me happy) as we went on our to Greenhand initiation for all the greenhands in Area 2.
Thursday started off at the Chillicothe FFA! Now Chillicothe has an incredible agricultural education program as they facilities from the Litton Foundation which includes a 36 acre farm. Here students are given the ability to experience agriculture whether they are taking care of animals, learning about grasses or uses machinery this program puts a whole new meaning to learning by doing! I had a blast getting to meet them as we enjoyed wing night at Pink Oak shooting range that evening!! In the afternoon I was able to meet with Hale high school. Here I got to work everyone from the 7th and 8th graders all the way up to the seniors and oh did they make me feel welcomed! When Friday came about I had an incredible end to my week. I got to hang out with the Hamilton FFA Chapter in the morning and finish up with the Cameron FFA chapter in the afternoon. I was able to hang out with the freshmen and sophomores and we had a blast!
This was one of the highlights of my year and I could never say thank you enough to all the chapters and advisors for such a great experience. Whether it was eating wonderful food, presenting workshops or just getting to know some Missourians this week was one I will never forget!

Just a few of the chapters from the week!

My first time at a Casey's convenient store!


We ate lunch at the school cafeteria and it was really good!

Courtney and Taylor from Tina-Avalon as we went to eat Mexican food!

Greenhand initiation

Area 2 officers right after greenhand initiation, they rocked!

the 7th and 8th graders of Hale FFA.

Wing night at Pine Oak Shooting range with Chillicothe FFA.

Chillicothe FFA officers at dinner

Oh they are fun!