If I had a million dollars…

… and I couldn’t keep it for myself… I would probably give it to the National FFA Organization.  I have the FFA and my agriculture teacher, Tim Reed to mostly thank for my personal strength and determination.  I remember growing up that I didn’t really fit in at the Catholic grade school I attended, and the summer before my freshman year of high school, my family moved out of the district.  So, I ended up at Southwestern HS with no friends on the first day of school.

Thankfully, my first year I stuck to what I knew…  I studied hard and I played in the band.  I made a few friends that proved to be smart, caring and accepting.  (Thanks Dennisa, Erica, Ashley, Jamie, Jessica, and everyone else!)  And then, my sophomore year I decided to join the FFA. 

I’m not sure why I decided to do it.   It probably had something to do with my dad; he had been a member of the FFA and raised sheep for his “Supervised Agriculture Experience”.   He showed me his blue corduroy jacket and his greenhand pin and I was hooked.  I got into an ag class that fall semester, and never looked back. 

I know that a lot of people consider the FFA to be just for farm kids.  And even though my parents raised cows and farmed hay, neither one was their primary job.  And I don’t consider myself a “farm girl”.  But in the FFA I found the courage to try new things and be successful.  I was on the parliamentary procedure team and was a prepared public speaker.  (My topic – the legalization of industrial hemp…)  I was an officer for my chapter and I attended the state and national FFA conventions.  I felt like I belonged there, and found friends that I never would have otherwise.

FFA taught me leadership, humility and the value of hard work.  And I will never forget that.  Nor will I ever forget the people I met along the way or the achievements of myself and my chapter.  So, if I had a million dollars… I would give part of it directly to my alumni chapter, and the rest to the national organization, as a thank you for everything FFA has done for me.

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