This week I had the amazing opportunity to hop on a plane with Spencer and spend time in Washington DC, celebrating National Ag Day. Now obviously, this is my favorite holiday because who doesn’t love agriculture?! I was more than excited to spend a whole day advocating on behalf of something I was so passionate about, and I maintained this enthusiasm all night throughout the conference. We talked to experts in agriculture and practiced exactly what we would say when we walked through the office doors of our legislators. My favorite part of this preparation was listening to everyone’s unique agriculture stories which ultimately brought them to the chairs they sat in that day. Fast forward through an early morning full of pouring rain, drying skirts underneath hand dryers, and legislative meetings to where we were sitting in the United States Department of Agriculture’s cafeteria.
After listening to the wise words of Sonny Perdue, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, we were asked to reflect on our day and what had happened in our visits. After processing our experiences, we were then asked to talk to someone sitting next to us. After talking for a while, my partner and I started talking about how crazy it was for people to not understand agriculture, and how we have to work so hard to advocate for it, even when we really don’t see the results.
For us as FFA members, it’s hard for us to NOT understand agriculture. If you eat it, it’s related to agriculture. If you wear clothes, it’s related to agriculture. If you live in house, it’s related to agriculture. Yes, these may all be different facets, but it’s all connected nonetheless. We put so much emphasis on being consistent with our agricultural stories but sometimes it’s hard when others don’t understand them. Ultimately however, they can all be related to one quote:
When things take time, it’s hard to see the big picture and we get frustrated looking at the small details. As advocates for the things we are passionate about, we don’t necessarily see the results right away. Even when we go through life, we don’t see the results; however, we may see them years later!
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of watching the Deer River FFA chapter’s Conduct of Chapter Meetings team as they prepared for State Convention this spring. I watched as they point of ordered each other, rocked their opening ceremonies, and debated their chapter’s fruit sales. After an impressive demonstration, they sat and discussed what they could work on to be even better than they were now. To some people it
In life and agriculture, we must remember this as we encounter others. Even though it may be hard, we need to look for the bigger picture of the impact we have and not just the results we see right away. There’s no doubt we will encounter those who don’t have the same opinions as us or those who don’t quite comprehend the importance of agriculture, but we still must plant those seeds for them. No matter how small it may be, the seeds we plant now can grow into other incredible things that others can utilize. Whether it’s the steps we take to prepare a CDE team, the number of times we tell our family we love them, or even the seconds we listen to someone about their day, those small seeds we plant, end up growing into an incredible outcome.
Stationed by the flag for the final time,