10 Convention - National FFA Convention was an experience every time I went. But especially the first time. Seeing an entire session of Blue and Gold jackets and feeling the electric atmosphere is something I will never forget.
9 South Rowan FFA Chapter Meetings- And, man, did we put on some good ones. There were fashion shows and Ag Olympics and skits and food. Good times! And, I have photos!
8 Winning - I was a smart, non-athletic kid growing up so the only winning experiences I had involved spelling bees and class ribbons. FFA was the first time I was able to truly "win" in a competitive setting.
7 Traveling - First time to DC. First time on a plane. First time out of the country. First time crossing the Mississippi River. The list goes on and on.
6 Friends - I found a place I belonged through FFA and found friends I still treasure.
5 Family - Some of those friends developed into my "family" - especially when I went off to college.
4 Exposure to Agriculture - Growing up in a housing development in a "bedroom community" of Charlotte, my ag class was my only connection to agriculture. Before getting involved, I had never planted anything or seen livestock (other than at the fair). I had never been on a commercial farm. Afterwards, I worked in commercial greenhouse operations and even had a summer job on a drive-thru ranch in Mooresville. I am thankful every day for American Agriculture.
3 White Lake, NC - Whether as a rec camper using the bathhouse (seriously just got chills thinking about that place. ewww), as a leadership camper, or as a camp staffer (2 summers, baby!). Or just as an advisor sitting in a bouncy chair by the water.. .this place is filled with priceless memories.
2 Getting Elected to State FFA Office - tears. joy. and then the realization that the work wasn't over, it was just beginning. What a year!
1 Finding A Career- I only took an ag class and became an FFA member in 1994 because Mr. Traywick kicked me out of band on the first day of high school. Seriously! I think it had something to do with sharing a last name with an older sister who could strike fear into even the oddest band director. They put me in 4th period "Intro to Ag" and the rest is history. I found leadership experience which lead to scholarships for college which lead to teaching high school ag and being an FFA advisor myself. And, now it has lead to a PhD and the chance to teach the next generation of teachers who can give opportunities to the next "band reject" who walks through their door.
Happy National FFA Week!