OFF AND RUNNING…
Greetings from your 2015-2016 Minnesota State Officer Team! Whew! You know that old saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun!”? Well that sentiment is absolutely true for this team. It’s hard to believe that almost three months have gone by since we were at Minnesota FFA State Convention immersed in all of the activities and anxiously, yet excitedly, completing the State Officer interview process. Each one of us is truly blessed to have been chosen on that late April day to serve as officers this year. We are honored to represent over 10,000 FFA members of this great state and to be advocates for agriculture.
Let us tell you a little about what we have been up to so far! We gathered together in mid-May for our BlastOff Training, which was an initial chance for us to be together as a team, hear from some awesome facilitators, and really get an understanding of all the awesome opportunities we have in this year to share the message of FFA. Now, sit back and relax and let us take you on a little road trip of our journey so far…
In early June, President, PJ and Reporter, Madison, attended a gathering at the Donaldson Foundation, where they had the privilege of accepting a generous donation on behalf of the National FFA to be used for the Hunger Heroes initiative in the amount of $100,000. FFA is so fortunate to have these amazing sponsors, and we are grateful for the support. This money will make quite an impact on this effort!
Time for our first camp! After our time at Donaldson Foundation, the officer team headed west to Timberland Camp! Here we spent an amazing week with the awesome members of Sleepy Eye, Tracy Area and Marshall FFA Chapters. Wow! What an impressive week with these groups. We had opportunities to facilitate workshops, engage in team building activities and explore leadership opportunities with these future agricultural leaders. Following Timberland, we headed north to Deep Portage Conservation Reserve in Hackensack. Here we spent a week working on developing our curriculum and themes for our summer leadership camps. We also had time to get to know Minnesota’s Regional FFA Officers, who were at Deep Portage for POWER.
Next stop, our first industry visits as a team! We spent a great day at Minnesota Farm Bureau learning more about how to be effective communicators and the best ways for us to share our FFA message. The same afternoon we headed to Broadhead Company where worked on developing our theme for the year. We learned so much and are so grateful to have relationships with great companies and supporters of FFA.
Now, with a twist of the GPS and the blink of an eye, we all headed south to Iowa to attend National Leadership Conference for State Officers, NLCSO. We gathered at the Iowa FFA Enrichment Center with state officers from Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, and South Dakota. Together we worked on team goals and developed our team vision for the year. Our great facilitators, Brian Walsh, Bethany Blackburn, and Victoria Maloch, shared tips and tricks on being successful facilitators. What a wonderful time connecting with the officer teams from our neighboring states. We definitely developed valuable relationships with these FFA leaders from our neighboring states.
With fresh facilitation skills and new ideas in hand, we turned the car back around and headed north to back to Deep Portage. Here, we excitedly kicked-off State Greenhand Leadership Camp, or SGLC as it is more commonly known. We spent the week with 143 awesome FFA Greenhands from around the state and got ready to “LAUNCH” into leadership development and personal growth. We had an absolute blast connecting with the members and seeing them discover and develop their passion for FFA and leadership. We have all been inspired by the members we have met and the relationships that have begun thanks to the blue jacket!
After time to enjoy the 4th of July and honor our great nation, we packed our bags and headed west to the Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators (MAAE) Conference in Morton, MN. Here we spent 4 days attending workshops, building relationships and learning from the most inspiring agricultural educators and advisors in the great state of Minnesota! We returned home completely excited and filled with the enthusiasm of these amazing leaders, and we can’t wait to carry it all forward with us!
See, I told you time flies when you are having fun! On July 11th, we pointed our compass north again towards Deep Portage, this time for the two sessions of State Leadership Camp for Chapter Leaders, SLCCL! Our theme for the two sessions…The Amazing Race! We had an awesome time working with more than 200 members to enhance skills and develop new ideas to take back to their chapters! We are so excited for all the members to continue their journeys of personal growth and leadership! The future is bright for these FFA leaders!
If you didn’t have a chance to attend a camp this year, not to worry, we are looking forward to connecting with you throughout the year at FFA events, activities and chapter visits!
In closing, we want to say again, what an honor it is to be serving as your Minnesota State Officer Team! We are inspired by the journey that we have traveled so far and we beyond excited for the rest of our year!
On behalf of:
PJ, Morgan, Mariah, Travis, and Sam
Stationed by the Flag,