|Maggie & I before a jackpot show|
-- Summer of 2002
Growing up on a farm raising show quality market lambs and beef cattle of multiple breeds, I was subject to spending tremendous amounts of time with my parents in the barn in the winter months and lots of time on the road in the summer as we traveled across Minnesota and into neighboring states to support our customers or “help” dad judge at a county fair. Needless to say, many of my summer days as a young child were spent ringside. I had the opportunity to watch some of the best showmen and women I know. I was always asking mom and dad, “When can I do that?” My sense of wonder turned into a hunger to do.
At the age of two and a half, I showed my very first sheep; a blue, black-faced ewe named Maggie. I instantly fell in love with the concept of working on an animal, building a relationship, and then having to work together to perform in the showring. For the past 15 summers, I have spent countless hours in the barn doing what I love. During those long hours and late summer nights, I have learned many lessons, built many relationships (with stock and humans alike), and developed a passion for agriculture I would not have otherwise had without my initial wonder. The discovery of showing livestock has led to one of my greatest passions: agriculture.
|Spencer & I on TCL while at the State Fair|
representing the CHS Miracle of Birth Center -- 2016
Through my hours in the barn, I have found people and organizations which supported me and possessed the same passions; FFA has been the single most influential organization in my life. With all the unique opportunities FFA has, I was able to put my passion to action. I was able to use the knowledge I had gathered through my experiences and share it with others. One of my favorite FFA experiences took place just last summer at the Minnesota State Fair in the CHS Miracle of Birth Center’s Chapter House and Leadership Center. I served as an Ambassador for Leadership for the middle four days of the fair; these four days were exciting for me as I confidently answered fairgoers’ questions. This experience gave my knowledge purpose -- the knowledge I would not have had if I hadn’t discovered my passion; a passion I did not know existed until I fed my sense of wonder.
I recently came across this quote in a book my mom and dad gave me for graduation:
“To wonder is to feed a hunger,
To discover is to grow a passion.
To use your knowledge is to live with a reason.”
-Vesna M. Bailey
This quote is powerful; it hit me hard when I first read it and has become a new favorite. As I took a step back to think about what this meant, I reminisced on the last 18 years of my life and how my wonder turned into a passion, which grew into knowledge and a reason.
Each of us possess wonder. Now, that wonder might not be the same curiosity we had when we were toddlers...but maybe it comes in the form of awe and amazement. After all, we should never lose our sense of wonder. What does your wonder look like? How will you feed the hunger of wonder you possess?
I am a firm believer in pursuing your passion. My passion lies in agriculture and the FFA. I plan to pursue degrees in Agricultural Communications and Human Nutrition & Dietetics in the fall from SDSU to continue to grow my passion and expand my knowledge. I decided to serve Minnesota FFA as a State Officer, because “I believe in the future of agriculture” and those who make FFA the incredible organization it is. What have you recently discovered? How can you grow and develop your passion? How will you pursue that passion?
Purposeful living: what happens when we discover the hunger of our wonder, grow our passion, and utilize the knowledge we possess for the greater good of others. We are blessed to be able to experience unique opportunities at school and in FFA. How will you use your knowledge to live with a reason? How will you put your passion to action?
WONDER + PASSION + KNOWLEDGE = REASON
You have the power to determine who you are and what you do; your sense of wonder and the passion and knowledge you possess will simply guide your way and give YOU a reason.
Stationed by the ear of corn,