Thursday, September 27, 2012

Region III Fall Leadership Day 2012

As Shawna and I cruised through the beautiful fall countryside we had a lot on our mind. Shawna and I were talking about the next day. Tomorrow was Region III Fall Leadership day. We talked about what we were hoping the members would get out of it, how excided we were about meeting members and even how cool it was to be able to facilitate a workshop all by ourselves, with the occasional "Mic stop looking at the combines I'm trying to talk to you." As soon as we pulled into the location we were presenting, we flew out of the pickup to start preparing stuff for our workshops.  We soon became busy making numerous flip charts, preparing our activities and practicing our presenting, and of course joking around with Sabrina, Marjorie and the region III team.

Now for anyone who knows me they know mornings are easily my biggest weakness. Getting me out of bed in the morning is like trying to make a campfire out of bricks, there’s no fire. However, the moment I got up I was ready for a good day. I was awake, alert, and EXCITED! I proudly zipped up my jacket, tied my shoes and headed up to start presenting. At first the members trickled in, but following that was a flood of members. I was blown away at how many Greenhands and other FFA members came to attend the event, as we started out the day we tried our hardest to do the best we could in our workshops. And soon the members not only became involved but were extremely excited to be there as well. In my "Opportunities in FFA" workshop, members tested their leadership and teamwork skills untangling the human knot, defining what it means to be a leader and seeing how well they could communicate on a team. At the end of the day I walked back to the great hall and I thought I was excited for how well the day had gone. Before I even got to the hall where all the members were I could tell that my excitement failed in comparison to how excited all the members were. Seeing the excitement in all these members was a truly rewarding experience. Hopefully someday these members will look back on that day and say that they took something important away from that day. It was amazing to see not only how involved region III FFA members are, but how excited they are as well.

Stationed by the door,

Mic Skaar

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Region 1 Fall Rally

                After a four and a half hour drive, I arrived at Maplelag resort surrounded by the beautiful fall colors of Callaway, MN. As the student began to walk in, I began to worry that there simply wouldn’t be enough room for all of them. But Fall Rally began, they managed to crowd into the dining hall. The excitement was obvious throughout the room as Nicole began opening ceremonies and increased even more when we started the day dancing to Cotton Eye Joe and then split up to begin workshops.

                I facilitated on the FFA experience and had the opportunity to meet with 12 chapters from Region 1, largely greenhand members as well. It became quite evident that although the group was fairly new to FFA, the future of Region 1 was in good hands! As the day rapped up and lunch was served I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with some of the members. They told me about the things they learned and how several of them already have plans of running for chapter office, or other unique paths in FFA. I was also fortunate to have a conversation with one of the many Ag Business representatives who were in attendance at Fall Rally. Overall, the event was well worth the long drives and I am excited to see more from Region 1!

Stationed by the flag,

Jared Luhman


Region VIII Fall Leadership Day

I arrived at Region VIII Fall Leadership Day with Sabrina Keiser this past Wednesday and witnessed what was surely an incredible experience for over 200 students. I watched as the students were separated into two groups and began their experience. Half of the students went straight to workshops while the other half split into thirds and went to one of the available tours. I rode along on the tour to Leashes and Leads where we learned a little bit about the pet industry. One of the other tours that students were able to visit was a dairy farm where they learned about production agriculture, specifically in the dairy field. The third tour gave students a chance to learn about plants and horticulture. Following tours, students took part in a number of workshops developed for either the younger greenhands or the older, more experience FFA members. Region VIII Fall Leadership day went through a number of changes this year, and came out as a huge success. It gave a firm foundation for those just beginning their careers in the FFA, and building upon those already involved.  Congratulations Region VIII, well done.

Stationed by the flag,

Jared Luhman

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Great Minnesota Get Together

            At the Minnesota state fair you can find a wide variety of things, from a good livestock show to just about any food, deep fried or on a stick. The 12-day "Great Minnesota Get Together" really has a lot to offer and this year was no different! As a Minnesota FFA State Officer I not only had the privilege of attending the fair but working in the FFA Chapter House and CHS Miracle of Birth Center. During my time at the fair I got to engage fair goers in conversations about the many ways agriculture impacts our lives each and everyday. I had the opportunity to speak with people of all ages from three years to ninety - three years. During my time at the fair what spoke to me the most was not what I heard talking directly to fair goers, but what I saw.
            Thousands of people walk in and out of the Miracle of Birth Center each day. For hundreds of them, that was their first experience with farm animals. Watching the reaction to the miracles being born was truly spectacular! At the end of each day I would sit back and think about what I had witnessed. I remember one instance in particular...

            I saw a child standing by his mother in the middle of the barn. The child began to tug at his mothers shirt and shout, "Mommy, Mommy, MOMMY!!! Look at the puppy!"
            (For those of you that have been to the Miracle of Birth Center you already know that we don't have any puppies)
            The mom then calmly leaned down to her child and said, "No son, that is not a puppy. That is a calf."
            The child just stared in pure amazement and all he could say was, "Whooooahh!"
            Seeing perfect timing for an educational moment one of the veterinarians on staff chimed in and said, "Well actually this is a polypay lamb, She was born four days ago here at the fair and her name is snow cone."
            I thought the child was amazed when he realized it wasn't a puppy but his look was priceless when him and his mother found out that the "calf" was actually a lamb.

            The CHS Miracle of Birth Center does a great job at bringing the farm life to the city. Throughout the 12-days at the fair I am sure there were more experiences to be shared than just what I encountered that day in the barn. As agriculturists, it's our divine privilege to advocate for agriculture, for not only twelve days a year, but throughout all three hundred and sixty-five days. Just as the State Fair was a perfect opportunity, absolutely anywhere can be. One of my classmates mentioned something earlier this week and I believe it couldn't be more true in our roles as agriculturists. She said, "Don't wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect." As we go out and advocate for the greatest industry in the world, let us remember to make every moment perfect and seize the day!
            Thank you to everyone who helped make the Miracle of Birth Center a success and Congratulations to the FFA members that showed livestock this year at the fair. We were privileged to have over 450 exhibitors. A great turn out for the "The Great Minnesota Get Together!"

Stationed by the Rising Sun,

Shawna Conrad
MN FFA President

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dare to Do

Each year the Minnesota FFA Association selects a theme that each of the 9500 FFA members is encouraged to live their year by.  Last year that theme was “We Are,” and the year before that, “Give2Grow.”  But what is a theme?

A theme can serve multiple purposes—it guides our actions, sets standards, creates unity within the organization, or can even be a life motto.  Although these are all true, this year’s MN State FFA Officers has created the theme as a challenge for the determined and talented FFA members that have so much potential.  Now I’m sure you are asking yourself, “What is the theme this year?”  The theme is...(drumroll)…

Dare to Do

You are probably thinking, “Dare me to do what?”  The cool thing is, that is for YOU to decide.  This is YOUR FFA experience and you get to make it as awesome as you want.  Dare to Do means to challenge yourself beyond what you think you can do in FFA and in life.

Challenge your limits. For some of us it is competing in a Career Development Event for the first time, for others it is to run for an office, and for still some it means to apply their FFA experience after they hang up their blue corduroy. Dare to Do—what you think you can’t or what you thought you couldn’t, because if you Dare to Do, it will soon be done.

As you go through your first, second, third, or maybe last year as an FFA member, dare yourself to do something more.  Know that if you take that extra step Dare to Do you can change your life, your community, and the lives of the people around you.  It is all up to you.

What are you going to Dare to Do?

Stationed by the Ear of Corn,
Sabrina Kieser

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


The summer camps season started off with a bang on June 25th when over 120 campers arrived at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve for the beginning of State Greenhand Leadership Conference (SGLC). Throughout their five days at Deep Portage these campers learned about the National FFA Organization and how they can begin their journey in the FFA. They learned about Career Development Events, Supervised Agricultural Experiences, leadership positions and countless other opportunities available to them. SGLC campers went home with a better idea of where their place in FFA is and what they can do to reach their full potential.

                As summer went on we found ourselves at State Leadership Conference for Chapter Leaders (SLCCL) on July 15th. This year, SLCCL was different than most years. Rather than the 5 day camps that it has been in the past, we held two identical 4 day leadership camps which allowed us to reach nearly 50 more members than past years. Through their time at SLCCL, these campers worked on student development, chapter development, and community development through a several fun and interactive sessions. Campers also had an opportunity to serve when they worked at a variety of service projects such as clearing hiking trails or hauling wood for Deep Portage. Following SLCCL campers went home better leaders with a list of different ideas to bring home to their chapters.

                Overall, camps this summer was a huge success. Although we faced challenges, such as new curriculum and the change in SLCCL length, we managed to reach tons of members and develop their potential for Premier Leadership, Personal Growth, and Career Success.

Stationed by the flag,

Jared Luhman

Welcome to the New Blog!

We are excited to finally be starting our new State Officer Blog to track and share all of our adventures and experiences throughout our year as officers!  Check back often to catch up on where we are at, what we are doing, who we are meeting and to learn about upcoming FFA events and activities!!

2012-2013 State FFA Officer Team