Transform. Think about that word for a moment. Does anything stand out to you—does it make you reflect your time in the blue corduroy?
When I found out, back in August, that I had the honor of receiving my American Degree—I was thrilled. It has been a goal of mine, ever since I started my SAE project back in freshman year of high school, that one day I would walk across the stage to get that golden key. And now that time is here. Almost six years ago my journey in FFA began. Six years ago my passion and dedication to agriculture started, and now as I reflect on my time in the blue jacket—is it making me feel blue?
It didn’t hit me until I was sitting in class thinking about the trip I was going to take to Indianapolis, and I realized this was going to be the last time I wore that blue corduroy jacket. The last time I, as an FFA member, got out that black pencil skirt, donned that white button up, zipped up that jacket, and tucked my tallywacker in. I don’t mean to get sappy on you all, but where does the time go?
The moments I have had in this organization have been some that I will never forget– my favorite high school memories, some of the best friendships I have made, and some of the most useful leadership skills I have learned. It’s the moments like these that shape us into the individual we are today. That’s what the word, Transform, means to me. It’s looking at where I have started and then seeing where I am heading in the future.
If it weren’t for the moments I have had in the blue corduroy, I wouldn’t be sitting in this agricultural education class at Iowa State University. I wouldn’t be working towards a teacher certification in agricultural education, and I wouldn’t be writing this blog. That is where I have transformed–from that freshman in high with a dream to be on stage at Indy to working to be an agricultural educator and communicating the story of agriculture, and there is no doubt that my moments in the blue were well spent.
Each of us in FFA know how this organization has shaped us. It’s more than agriculture—it’s learning how to be the leaders of tomorrow; how to communicate about the food, fiber, and fuel of this industry; it’s learning about your strengths and weaknesses and more importantly, it’s about finding your purpose through the experiences you’ve had in this organization. It’s about the moments of being in the blue.
So as the 89th National FFA Convention commences, think back to the memories you made and share your stories with this organization. Whether you’re a member, advisor, alumni, or an agriculture enthusiast—there is not a better time to feel the love of blue and gold than right now. It’s a bittersweet moment for myself and for many others I’m sure, but I wouldn’t trade any of those long nights and early mornings of CDE practices, road trips with my crazy officer team and advisor, boxes of fruit sales to the community, or those five memorized paragraphs of the FFA Creed with anything else. I believe in the future of agriculture—so remind me again FFA members… why are we here?
by Hannah Pagel (Iowa State Univ. Junior, CAST intern, and proud FFA member)