… 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.