As a rising high school sophomore, my first Texas FFA State Convention was exhilarating yet frightening at the same time. During the four days our officer team was there, I was met by a lot of enjoyable things and, more specifically, events, that helped carry me through the social-anxiety aspect of being a part of such a large crowd. Although the week had stressful factors inside of it, the convention was more enjoyable than anything else, and I learned far more about Texas FFA being at the convention than I would have reading about it somewhere online.
Throughout the week, our officer team went to several sessions to help vote for the 2016-2017 Texas State FFA Officer Team, as well as help pass three new amendments at the Business Session. Along with these business-related conferences, there were also fun-oriented meetings, such as Fun Night and the dance. Even though the fun-oriented meetings were obviously more exciting, each session, whether it was serious or fun, was full of new experiences that helped me grow as an FFA member and as an individual.
At each meeting our officer team went to, I learned more about Texas FFA and its officers and members. I also got to experience being in a room full of several thousands of people for the first time. Each meeting had over 8,000 FFA members and guests, which was extremely daunting to me considering that I’m still young and that I’m definitely not a crowd-person. However, each meeting was great and helped me get-out-there and be a part of something I love and enjoy.
Overall, I had an outstanding time at my first Texas FFA State Convention. I had a great time at each meeting, and our officer team had fun doing things and going to places together. This experience has made me want to go to next year’s convention, as well as go to the conventions years to come, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do so.
What is the FFA truly about? Walking your pig? Playing with your cow? There is a common misconception that those things are what FFA members do. The 88th annual state convention truly changed my misconceptions about FFA.
At the convention there were no little pigs running around on leashes; no long boring meetings about corn and agriculture. The true heart of the convention was the spirit of everyone that went. All around you were people from around the state talking about anything and everything. The true goal of this convention was to get a bunch of high school students to get together and have a good time. Throughout the general meetings the retiring officers all gave speeches. These speeches were all about empowering ourselves and becoming better people and leaders.
The retiring president quoted the last line of the FFA motto a lot “living to serve”. The real goal of the FFA is making everyone in the community feel safe, comfortable and like a giant family. The officers definitely made me feel at home especially my fellow officers. They held a concert on Tuesday, this was definitely a fun time for everyone; it was so awesome to see everyone get up from the stands and go have fun dancing. My fellow officers actually got me up and took me to dance. The state officers also made it feel like home because wherever I went I always saw someone smiling because of all the effort they put into making it fun. I loved exploring the exhibit hall with my chapter and just sharing a bunch of new fun memories with them.
One of the biggest moments was when President Brooke Williams and Sentinel Jordan Rosenhoover crossed the stage to receive our charter. This was so exciting for everyone because we were officially recognized and from now on we can become more competitive as a school and further develop our FFA chapter.
Brooke Williams our president was awarded one of the highest forms of recognition for Texas FFA. She had fulfilled the requirements for her Lone Star degree. This is a major achievement for anyone in the organization because she has truly devoted herself to serving the community and pursuing her passion within the FFA. When Brooke crossed the stage to receive the award me and the other officers were bursting with excitement; we yelled and cheered for her as she crossed the stage with the biggest smile on her face. We were one of the loudest cheering sections for sure, even though we were one of the smaller chapters.
On the final day of convention the retiring state president Jason Edmondson gave a speech about building a legacy with the people around us. This speech really struck home with me because spending all that time with my chapter and everyone else at convention made me realize that the best memories we make are decided by the people we are with. If you surround yourself with amazing people you will be able to do impossible things and will build a legacy that will live on forever. This state convention is the foundation for me and my chapter because we have made many fun memories and from here on we are gonna make bigger and better ones