Last week, I had the opportunity to spend two days at the Capitol and attended a meeting where I was able to spend a little over an hour hearing from the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. These experiences were valuable because they helped me connect, learn and get involved with the people and issues in policy!
No matter where you may be, there are always opportunities to connect with the people around you. When I was a sophomore in high school, I attended Ag Policy Bootcamp, now called the Ag Policy Experience Program, and met representatives and people involved with agricultural policy. Although I thought meeting these people was a great experience, I did not realize the value of the initial connections I made until I continued to see them again and again. Whether it was an FFA event or not, I continued to develop a stronger connection with these people that helped me to experience and learn more.
No matter who I was with, I began to see that when I engaged myself and asked questions, I was able to learn more and understand at a deeper level. This learning started with having a sincere interest in the topic being discussed and finding how it connected to my life. There is always a way we can learn more, connect the topic to our daily lives, and get involved.
Time after time throughout middle and high school I can remember teachers telling me to “get involved,” and “engage myself,” but I did not fully understand what they meant. Getting involved is not just about doing but rather about doing with purpose. When we are able to really get involved and become interested in what we are doing, we will learn and connect at a deeper level.
Whether we are connecting with Legislators at the upcoming FFA Day at the Capitol on Thursday, February 26 or getting involved with a school organization, these opportunities are exactly what we make of them. It is easy to go with the flow and do things just as others have, but it is much more beneficial when we take the time to truly connect, learn and get involved.