This week is National FFA Week. FFA is an organization that changes lives. I know, because it changed mine.
It was this time of year 11 years ago when I zipped up the blue and gold jacket for the first time. My ag teacher, like I'm sure he had done many times before and many times since, had talked me into participating in the FFA Creed Contest. I thought it was just a speaking contest, but I've realized since that it was a public testimony of my commitment to an incredible organization and a kick-start to a passion of America's most important industry: agriculture. Five simple paragraphs would change my life forever.
As I zipped up that stiff corduroy jacket, straight from the shipping box, I had no idea what would lie ahead of me. Even if I would have, I probably wouldn't have believed it. Over the next four years, I gained a wealth of knowledge about the world around me, but more importantly, about myself. I entered FFA as a shy, young girl, unsure of who she was or where she was going. I left with self-confidence that I carry with me today and an understanding of who I am, what I stand for, and what I want to accomplish in life. Not every club can offer you that, but FFA is more than a club; it's a family who cares for you, encourages you, supports you, and pushes you to be your best.
Every day, I have the opportunity to give back to an organization that gave me so much, including an opportunity to meet my husband (but that's a story for another time), by teaching amazing young men and women and pushing them to succeed personally and professionally through their involvement in FFA. As FFA Week comes to a close, I am humbled to be a part of something so much bigger than you or me.
Happy FFA Week.