Sunday, August 4, 2013

What Time Is It? SUMMER.

It has been a CRAZY summer filled with adventure, laughs, and of course FFA.

Our team has been extremely busy this entire summer with camps, partner visits, and planning days. We haven’t been able to find a time to write a blog after every single event so as the summer is starting to calm down - here is a nice big summer update on what the state officer team has been up to the past couple of months!

June 3: Timberland Leadership Camp - This event was one of the first activities we were able to participate in outside of our officer team with members from the Marshall, Tracy, and Sleepy Eye FFA chapters. Mallory, Stuart, Brooke, and I had the chance to meet tons of new friends, introduce some fun icebreaker games, and even lead a session on what FFA has to offer for its members. The four of us had to leave early, but did get to come back on the 5th to hang out a little bit longer for the camp banquet, talent show, dance, and end-of-camp slideshow. Timberland was a fun introduction to all of the people we will have the opportunity to meet this year!

June 4: AgriBank - The four of us left early from Timberland to meet the rest of our complete state officer team at AgriBank for a breakfast with some of their staff. We sat down and shared some of our personal stories being involved with FFA and what our thoughts were for about 5-10 years down the road. After the breakfast, our team spent the rest of the day prepping for the leadership conferences we would be hosting in the summer. As we finished up our camp preparations for the day, some of us ate together at Old Chicago for supper and finished up the day with some frozen yogurt creations!

June 5: MN Department of Ag & UMN Ag Ed Dept. Visits - The next day we started out at the Department of Agriculture to meet with the Deputy and Assistant Commissioner to discuss the agriculture industry. We talked about some of the hot-button issues in agriculture and they shared with us some government initiatives as we finished up our visit. Next, we headed to the University of Minnesota to meet with a couple of ag education professors to discuss the growing need of agricultural education teachers and industry professionals.
June 17-21: National Leadership Conference for State Officers (NLCSO) – After the visits on June 5th and Timberland later that night, we also gathered to work on sessions for the summer leadership camps June 10-13. The next week, the constitutional officers met with state officers from the states of Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and South Dakota. We were even able to steal a few ideas from other states.

We got to celebrate Brooke's birthday, NLCSO-style.

June 24-28: State Greenhand Leadership Conference – Around 139 first year members attended MN FFA’s first summer leadership conference. Members learned a lot about the basics of FFA including Supervised Agricultural Experiences and Career Development Events. Members also got a chance to learn about goal setting, character, personal growth, and stereotypes. Each night, members gathered to listen to a personal story from a state officer and reflected on how they could relate it to their own personal. All of the Greenhands and state officers left the camp feeling satisfied with the experiences FFA provided that week!
Personally, I loved watching my own chapter grow the whole week – I found out a couple of things I never realized about them. Look at these Sleepy Eye FFA rockstars!

July 8-9: MAAE Conference & Strengths Training The constitutional officers stayed at Brooke’s house the night of the 8th after a day of camp planning. Our night included delicious apple crisp, a reenactment of senior pictures, and some videotaping shenanigans! The next day we traveled to the Minnesota Ag Teacher’s Conference to engage in some strengths training with Paul Hansen of Cargill. We also had the chance to meet with different teachers across the state and give them an update on the latest greatest happenings of the entire Minnesota FFA state officer team!
July 14-20: State Leadership Conference for Chapter Leaders – This week was just another great week that flew by way too fast as our officer team got to know 200 fantastic Minnesota FFA all-star members. There were two sessions of SLCCL, four days each learning about agriculture issues, how to advocate, team development, and most importantly – ideas of activities to bring back to their chapter. I always love hearing about all of the cool events FFA chapters put on across the state, and I hope that I will be able to participate in all of the awesome events across the entire state of Minnesota. I cannot wait to hear in six months how Minnesota FFA members put ideas from camp into action!

I met one really cool little camper....
Ok fine....I met a lot of really cool campers!

July 25: MN FFA Foundation Golf Tournament – Mallory and Stuart were off at State President’s Conference in Washington D.C. having all sorts of fun meeting with state presidents from across the country and discussing some issues and proposals that should be brought forth at the National FFA Convention in Louisville while the rest of us had a chance to interact with Foundation partners. Brooke, Dylan, Heidie, and I attended the Foundation Golf Tournament in Belle Plaine with region officers Dalton, Gavin, and Jack and national officer candidate Sabrina Kieser. I also got a chance to see an old friend from last year at SLCCL and a new friend from this year at SLCCL, Anna and Courtney from the Sibley East FFA chapter! There were plenty of people to interact with FFA partners and make the golf tournament a huge success. We didn’t have enough people to stop a fifteen-minute storm, but we did have enough persistent people willing to overcome it!

We might have had a little bit of fun running errands on the golf cart....
July 30: Metro FFA Alumni Picnic – Our state officer team met to have a fun day with Metro FFA Alumni supporters at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. We met with tons of FFA supporters and industry professionals to celebrate FFA. After the picnic, our officer team thought it was only fitting to head to a fro-yo creations shop for a tasty treat.
July 31: CHS Miracle of Birth Center Training – The next day we headed to the Libby Center on the state fairgrounds to meet with 35 other FFA members on how to best share our story when working with fair-goers. We learned about some controversial agricultural issues and how we can best inform others on the safety farm-owners put into their animals and land. Farmers are committed to nutrition for their animals and assuring that the public has healthy and wholesome foods.
As you can see, we have been at a lot of different events this summer! We are excited for some of the final events of summer including Farm Fest, the Minnesota FFA Summer Board Meeting, and of course-----the one…the only… the Minnesota State Fair. We are excited to be a part of the largest attraction at the Great Minnesota Get Together and share the story of agriculture with over one million people!
We will try to keep you as updated as possible within the next couple of weeks on what is happening in Minnesota FFA. We do want you to know that if you have a question or want a state officer to attend one of your events – don’t be afraid to contact us.

Fuel Your Fire. - Keep our theme in mind as you start to prepare to return to school this fall for another year of chapter activities or as you begin another fiscal year in the agriculture industry.
Stationed by the Flag,