Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How FFA Helped Me

We have been busy these past few weeks! We enjoyed an amazing State Officer Professional Development day (SOPD) with GNP Company and Jennie-O. A huge thanks goes out to them for opening their doors to us and teaching us so much about the poultry industry. It was fun touring their facilities and hearing from professionals about how chickens and turkeys move from farm to the grocery store.


This SOPD was really interesting to me because if you don’t already know, I am a meat geek. I’ve participated in the Meats judging Career Development Event (CDE) for six years and loved every second of it. That CDE is the reason why I was able to finally decide on a major, or so I thought. I had decided I wanted to major in animal science and minor in meat science while I attended South Dakota State University. I was all set and proud of myself for finally making that decision. Then this SOPD comes along and screws up my great and wonderful plan.Cm4oeTAUEAA5ACU.jpg-large.jpeg
Just ask any State Officer if you see them; I was like a kid in a candy store as we toured both facilities. However, it was while we were touring the Research and Development side of the Jennie-O facility that I really went crazy. I was the one always asking the woman who showed us around questions like: what degree she got; to if they have a smoker for their turkey; and what she does on a daily basis.
This SOPD made me decide to add another major, food science. Along with making my college education harder, it also gave me some clarity as to what I want to do with my life. If I haven’t already said it I will say it again, I am a meat geek. I love to just randomly decide I want to smoke a pork loin or brisket and always change up the marinade and rub I make myself to see what works and tastes best. My ultimate goal is to open my own meat locker so that I can do this at every single day. I knew I wanted to open my own meat locker , but it was what I wanted to do until I can open my own meat locker that stumped me. Thanks to the trip to Jennie-O I have figured out that I want to work in the Research and Development side of meat processing.
Thanks to FFA I have found my passion and a career for my future, and I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way. FFA is amazing in the way that it can help any member find something they are passionate about and give them the skill and knowledge to turn it into a career. FFA not only gives you the desire to set a goal, but the confidence and determination to accomplish it. Stay active in your chapter. Don’t just do the bare minimum, go out and be the person that your friends call an “over achiever” and take it as a compliment because that is exactly what it is. Try different CDEs. Once you find one that you like, do anything and everything you can to do your best in it and it just may turn into a career that is filled with fun and not work.

Clay Newton
Stationed by the Emblem of Washington

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