Fulfilling My FFA Dream? by Beth Pagel-Foundation Board Member & All American Co-op Marketing & Communication's Director
Fulfilling My FFA Dream?
Last month Donna Moenning, Minnesota FFA Foundation Chair, posted a question asking us what motivates us to support the FFA. I took a moment to think about how there could be so many different responses to this question. For most of you, your response would lead back to a very personal story about one of your own experiences with FFA. For me, it is a bit of a different response.
FFA For Everyone!
You see, when I was a student at Mayo High School in Rochester FFA was not available. Thankfully, FFA is back and going strong in Rochester. But for me and my siblings, the Ag Education curriculum had been cut from the Rochester Schools. Part of my responsibilities today as a recruiter for All American Co-op is to reach out to students and have a conversation with them about the future of agriculture and how important they are to the success of that future. I tell them that I am a bit of an FFA Stalker! I talk about how I used to feel a little cheated that I never got be a part of such a great organization that is centered on Agriculture. Growing up I loved to see that shine in my dad’s eye whenever he would talk about FFA. His roots were deeply embedded in production agriculture and that is where most of my learnings as his youngest daughter were founded. He would tell me stories about the meetings, shows, events, competitions, and of course the fairs that were all connected to his FFA Experience. So, when Donna asked what motivated ME to support FFA, it is a multi-level response that ultimately directs me back to the first line of the FFA Creed which reads, “I Believe in the future of agriculture, with faith born not of words, but of deeds…” Whenever I hear the FFA Creed being recited I look around the room and I see the pride that everyone has and I find myself standing a little taller. Hearing the FFA Creed sparks a fire inside of me that wants to find a way to ensure that every student has the opportunity to be a part of the FFA Experience.
I Dare You!
Being a member of the Minnesota FFA Foundation Board I feel I am fulfilling a little bit of my FFA Dream. I am honored to be a board member and sometimes I wonder, what do I have to bring to the group? The words of William H Danforth author of “I Dare You!” come to mind, he writes “I dare you, whoever you are, to share with others the fruits of your daring. Catch a passion for helping others, and a richer life will come back to you.” Thinking about Mr. Danforth’s challenge I am quickly reminded that everyone has the potential to help. There are several opportunities to support the Minnesota FFA Association on many different levels as individuals, groups, or businesses. As I am writing this, we are counting down to our 2017 State FFA Convention in April and we still have some openings for specific sponsorship to different events and awards. If you would like to give more of an all-purpose gift, we have the opportunity to make a donation of $100 and you will receive a beautiful framed limited edition Bonnie Mohr print titled “We Live to Share” that was specifically created just for the Minnesota FFA. Maybe you, similar to me, have a special place in your heart for the blue corduroy jacket? If that’s the case, do we have the fit for you! Why not donate to the Blue Jacket, Bright Futures fund that makes it possible for students to own their own blue jacket. Want to support chapter success, learn more about the Legacy Club.
I guess what I am trying to say is, no matter how you give, your support is appreciated by a very large group of the nearly 11,000 FFA members, 300 Ag Education teachers, and over 3,000 FFA Alumni members across the great state of Minnesota that are all working to help make it possible for students to have the chance to experience FFA and carry that leadership training with them no matter where their future takes them. I guarantee you that FFA Students are the individuals that you will seek out. These are the individuals you will want to hire and you will want to work shoulder to shoulder with no matter the industry you are a part of. These students are our future leaders not only in Agriculture, but in Government, in Technology, in Medicine, in Research, in Entrepreneurship and Big Business.
If you are already a supporter of the FFA, then I dare you to tell your story of what motivates you to support FFA to your peers, your friends, and business associates and let your light spark something in each of them to motivate them to support FFA.
With gratitude and appreciation,
Minnesota FFA Foundation Board Member
All American Co-op Marketing & Communications Director