Sunday, July 8, 2018

In One Word...

The month of June brings forth some meaningful opportunities for us as State Officers to get to interact with members from across the state. One of these opportunities is the State Leadership Conference for Chapter Leaders (SLCCL), where students have the chance to meet each other and ultimately discover new ways to grow their chapter and strengthen their chapter’s program of activities. The members we interacted with were engaged in the material, passionate about sharing the good word of FFA, and excited to bring home what they learned. Before reading any further, please watch the video to hear what they had to say about what FFA means to them.

As you may have noticed in the video, I posed the same question to several 
different members, but each gave a different or unique answer. Although we each do have a different answer - and with that, a different perspective and personality
- we each have an answer. This illustrates that our organization -  and the world
beyond it - truly does have a place for each of us.

At SLCCL we discuss a chapter’s program of activities and guide members to 
understanding and wanting to better their own. One of the fifteen quality 
standards included in the program of activities is Chapter Recruitment. As FFA 
members and supporters, of course we want others to experience the joy and 
growth our organization has to offer, but at camp we realized this is usually easier 
said than done. Often times, it’s hard to get students interested in and excited 
about becoming members, and sometimes it’s just as hard to get current members
to feel the joy in being active. By the end of our time together at SLCCL, the 
members helped me to realize an important truth about engaging others.

Instead of trying to get others to be at the place we are – where we find purpose
and growth  – let’s invite them to find their own place of purpose and growth in 
this organization. An organization that, offers members a chance to discover 
careers in agriculture at various competitions, presents opportunities to travel, 
share musical and other talents, conduct research, and meet friends across the 
state and country but also presents opportunities to grow in self confidence, 
find motivation and support, and to understand the impact of and need for service.

In the upcoming weeks as we begin to prepare for the school year ahead,
let’s remember we all play a role in making others feel welcome in the blue
jacket. How can our chapters reach others and help them find their unique place inour organization? How can we bring value to the relationships we have with our 
alumni, stakeholders and community while helping them find their place 
supporting those in the blue jacket?

Let’s make it a goal this year to work together to help others - existing members,
potential members, alumni, and community members - see their place in FFA! 
As we do this let us remember that sometimes to share our story, we must first 
listen. Sometimes to come together, we must first embrace our individuality, and
to ultimately grow our chapters, we must first ask others how they wish to grow

Stationed Beneath the Rising Sun,

Grace Taylor
Minnesota FFA President

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