Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Recently during my Global Food Systems class, my entire class was reading a book all about world food shortages and hunger.  In the very first chapter, the author talked about his trip to Columbia.  During his trip, he was trying to help the people there become more sustainable so they could better feed their families as well as have a surplus to send to market.  One of the people who wanted his help the most was a man named Julio.  He worked with Julio and his wife, Imelda, to make their land more profitable.  His help made the family prosper and in turn, gave him the opportunity to buy two piglets to raise and sell or eat.  When the author returned a few months later, one pig was already sold, and he asked what Julio would do with the other.  Julio told him about a widowed neighbor woman who had two children, one of which was sick.  He was selling raffle tickets for the pig in order to raise as much money as he could in order to get the woman’s garden started and fix a leaky roof.  While I was reading all of this, it made me think about the sacrifice Julio was making.  He could have sold or ate the pig, and it would have made a difference because even though he was doing a lot better, he and his family were still well below the poverty line.  I wondered if I could have made the same sacrifice if I were in his shoes.
   After our class discussion about that story and topic, I thought about my time in South Africa only a few weeks ago.  I thought about two young boys that were in a very poor part of the town of Soweto named Kliptown.  When we arrived, we saw how little these people had.  We got the chance to play with the children there for a while, and I played football with the two boys.  To be honest, the reason I was teaching them football and not playing soccer was because I fell twice when trying to play soccer.  Nevertheless, we were playing football with a ball the FFA had brought, but our time in Kliptown ended faster than any of us wanted.  I hugged the boys and as I was walking away, they ran after me, giving me the ball back.  They could have easily taken it without any trouble.  I was amazed by what the boys had done, but the ball was supposed to be given to them.  When I told them it was theirs, their faces lit up with joy, they hugged me, and they proceeded to play the game I had just taught them.  They had shown almost the same giving desire as Julio but in a different way.  They wanted to give whatever they could to their neighbors and even the people they just met.  In this case, what they gave me was a combination of happiness and pride in the youth of the world.
            One final story I think you should look at is this video.  I think there is no need for any description. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUBTAdI7zuY

            All three of these stories involved people with little or no money.  However, these people didn’t let circumstances dictate who they were and the person they wanted to be.  Each one showed true compassion toward other people through giving.  I even question myself if I would do the same in their shoes.  Would you do the same?  If a camera followed you around, would people be moved by your actions?

Stationed by the door,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oh! The Places You Will Go!

Climb in an airplane. Fly 16 hours. Land in another country. Repeat. Although that was basically the process, it was much more than that the past 2 weeks in South Africa.

If you had told me 7, or even 2 years ago, that I would go to South Africa, I would have laughed. There would be only a little piece of me that believed in the crazy idea. I am happy to say that I did go to South Africa and less than a week ago I was standing on the top of one of the Natural Wonders of the World reflecting on my adventures that I have had through FFA.

Region leadership events, school Ag Olympics, National Convention; adventures have been spread throughout my time spent with FFA and continue to build. As a freshman in high school, I often fell behind the shadow of my two older sisters only wanting to do what Sara and Jill did. Through encouragement of my advisor and 4-H and FFA friends, I began to explore other options in FFA, specifically leadership activities. Having the privilege to serve as a chapter, region, and now a state officer, I can ensure you, my friend, that adventures are bound to happen. What adventures will you uncover?

“You have BRAINS in your HEAD. You have FEET in your SHOES. You can STEER yourself in any DIRECTION you CHOOSE.” –Dr. Seuss

The common Dr. Seuss quote describes my philosophy on adventures. YOU have it in you to take on adventures… and you don’t have to sit in a plane for 16 hours to make it count. I look at Dr. Seuss’ book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” as inspiration. We are the ones in control of where we want to go in life. We are able to choose our own adventures.

And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains!

You’re off to great places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so… get on your way!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Grandpa

My Grandpa, Leonard Wulf, has always been one of my biggest role models. Although I was only seven years old at the time he passed away, he left behind a legacy that has helped guide me through many situations and is one of my biggest inspirations. I hear from family, friends, the community, and members of the beef industry about how he was a man of integrity, trust, and humbleness. Grandpa Leonard used a series of his own quotes throughout his lifetime, so after his passing our family compiled a list of his most popular quotes. This list of quotes has served me well through life and I kept the list in my FFA jacket pocket all through State Officer interviews. I would like to share a few of my favorite quotes. Being seven at the time, there is not much I can remember about Grandpa but the little that I do remember, and the many stories from the ones he inspired, have taught me many lessons.

“It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, and one mistake to lose it.”
Celebrities all over the world prove this quote true time and time again. A prime example would be Lance Armstrong; he won many awards and was very well respected but with one dishonest mistake, he lost it all. When thinking of him today, people remember only the mistake rather than all the things he has achieved. Every choice we make affects our reputation, and one bad choice can take many years of good choices to overcome. My father makes sure this saying rings through my head every day, and it serves as a good reminder!

“Keep your dealings honest and your words true.”
If every person in the world lived by this quote, it would be a much better place. Lies and broken promises never have a positive outcome.

“A job ain’t worth doing if it ain’t done right”
This is my favorite saying I have from my grandpa; I use it with every little task I do. It says a lot about commitment and how if we are given a job or accept a responsibility, we need to do the best we can and put our whole heart in it!

“Three things that are difficult to do in life- climb a fence leaning toward you, kiss a women leaning away from you, and help someone who doesn’t want help.”
Along with my grandpa’s wisdom, he had a good sense of humor! Although this saying isn’t much on the serious side, there is a lot of truth to it. Not only do we have to remember that we can’t help ones who don’t want help, we always have to have the humbleness to accept help from others. With only an 8th grade education my grandpa was always willing to accept help because the more help he received, the more he could learn to help him be successful.

Grandparents are a great role model in our lives. I never had the opportunity to connect with either of my grandpas at a mature age level. So if you have a grandparent with you today, give him a hug and never take him for granted.

Stationed by the Emblem of Washington,

Brady Wulf