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Unlocking Your "Infinite Potential"

By October 25, 2010 , , ,

If you know anything about me ... you know I have a soft spot in my heart for FFA. If you're not familiar with The FFA Organization (formerly the Future Farmers of America), it is a youth career and technical organization designed to promote agricultural education and build the future leaders of America. And by the way FFA is NOT just for farm kids, it is for ANY student with an interest in food and life sciences!

Last week, all those great memories came flooding back as I attended the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis and served as a judge for the Ag Sales CDE (Career Development Event). I have served as a judge for this contest for the past four years.

I am truly inspired by some of the young people that I meet at Convention every year and I have a mad amount of respect for state and national officers. When I was a senior in high school, I seriously considered  running for state office. But in Ohio, you have to take a year off of school and I was too anxiuos to begin my freshmen year at Purdue to hold it off any longer. I would like to assume that I would've even been elected as a state officer way back when, but the competition in Ohio (like many other Midwestern states) is pretty brutal. Happily though, my BFF in high school ran for state office that year and became the first person from our chapter to serve on the state team. Couldn't have been more proud!

In fact, many of my favorite memories in FFA I share with my BFF. We used to joke that we "ran things" at our chapter, especially our senior year. We planned numerous events, encouraged our chapter to compete in as many district and state contests as possible and overall really wanted to improve our chapter in every aspect. I especially enjoyed our work in the Parliamentary Procedure competition, Ag Sales CDE, where we created and sold farm animal candies and of course the Dairy Judging Team!

I remember when we attended State Convention in Columbus and National Convention in Kansas City and Louisville ... we used to take our makeup compact (pre-Mary Kay mind you!) and use them to scope out cute boys in the rows seatedbehind us.

Or how about the year we hosted a Halloween bonfire at my house and had our good friend dress up like a gorilla and jump out of the woods to try to scare everyone. I even rocked out the boombox with scary music to build up anticipation for the scare! Bahaha!

I have great memories of the year we attended the Washington Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. together. During the event, the facilitators handed out these neat skeleton keys to each of us - the key to unlocking our potential. Honestly, at that very moment - I made a decision to stay in the agriculture industry because I believed I could make a difference.

I still have this key on my keychain. It's been on my keychain now for about 12 years.

It's an amazing thing - when someone reaches out to YOU and says YOU can do anything you set your mind to - YOU can make a difference. YOU are a leader. In some way, I hope I have been able to inspire others and for the rest of my life I hope to educate others even in the smallest way about the agriculture industry.

Ahh FFA makes me happy and it reminds me of the impact it made on my life in high school and continues to make on my life today. If you'd like to learn more about FFA, visit http://www.ffa.org/

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