After being on the road, I love coming home to a house filled with the scent of freshly baked bread. I love seeing my family and giving them bear hugs. I love laying down in my own bed. While I wasn’t able to experience all of those things when I went home to attend the South Dakota FFA Convention, it was certainly great to see family and friends I grew up with.
The convention started on Sunday April 10, 2011, in the evening. The opening session brought excitement and celebration as proficiency winners were recognized and the energy of seeing nearly 1,800 blue jackets filled the air. The now retired officer team, Maria, Brittany, Kiley, Spencer, Dani and Hannah, went on to give their best in showcasing the talent and achievements of South Dakota FFA members.
One of the highlights of convention is finding out who the two Student Ambassadors will be. Each year, South Dakota FFA elects two graduating seniors who will help the state officers with many events and do a lot of behind-the-scenes-work that impact FFA each year. They are ambassadors for FFA and agriculture throughout the year. This year, two amazing people were elected to this position: Austin and Paige!
Throughout the week, it was fun getting to mingle with the candidates who worked hard to showcase their unique talents. Each night, the candidates stayed with each other until 1 to 3 a.m. (depending on the night) and got to know each other and discover how important it is to truly open up and meet people. Each person that we encounter has something very special and unique about them. These are the things that we should and need to search out and learn from others.
Discovering just how amazing each of the candidates are made me think of a quote that I love…
“Be the ‘you’ that you were created to be, if you are not then something wonderful is lost.”
Each one of us has something great inside of us. Sometimes we most certainly don’t feel like we do and sometimes it feels like other people want to stomp it out of us. My only advice is to KEEP SHINING!
That is exactly what the candidates did, as well as the many people who I met that week. By the last session, it was finally time to hear the names of the teammates for the next year. This time brings so much joy for some, hurt for others and hope for the future. At the end of the day, it is not IF you serve, it is WHERE you serve. For Paul, Jamie, Amanda, Megan, Olivia and Connor, they are going to rock out this next year as they give a year of service to the South Dakota FFA Association, ag ed and agriculture.
For me, those are the things that are even better than the smell of fresh bread or lying in my own bed. People make a difference because people are incredible…especially if they let themselves SHINE!Overall, this week was full of wonderful times where I was able to catch up with friends, visit with teachers, meet more people, and spend a little bit of time with family.