Howdy, Texas FFA!
The week of National FFA Convention is an exciting one for all who attend. At the 86th National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, KY, state CDE winners competed for national titles, business was conducted and a new national officer team was elected. From competitors to delegates to convention attendees, the experience is one that can change your life. However, there is no experience quite like that of the national officer candidates. I can honestly say that my experience at National Convention as Texas FFA’s National Officer Candidate is one that I won’t soon forget.
The National Officer Selection Process is one of the most rigorous interviews that our organization conducts. The process consists of seven interview and role play rounds that place you in situations similar to what you would see as a national officer. The five day process is designed to foster premier leadership and personal growth. It is designed to not only choose the very best National Officer Team, but also to make each and every candidate the very best version of themselves. This year, 42 candidates from all across the United States competed for six spots on the new team. Most of the candidates had prepped, studied and trained for the better part of six months. From the Sunday before the start of convention to the Thursday of convention, we underwent every round with hope and butterflies. However, on Saturday November 2, 36 people went home with broken hearts, and six people stood on stage living their dreams.
Even though I wasn’t one of the six who was fortunate enough to have their name called, that week was one of the best of my life. Not to mention, the entire process taught me more about who I am and who I want to be than any other thing I have ever done. The greatest lesson I learned came from 2012-2013 National FFA Central Region Vice President, Brennan Costello. At a dinner on Sunday night, he told the National Officer Candidates that this process was simply a direction, not a definition. He meant that this process simply determined where you would serve, not if you would serve. What a great lesson for all of us to learn. Even though we may not be in a leadership position, we still have the opportunity to make an impact in our schools and communities.
The FFA is simply our training ground. It prepares us for a lifetime of success and service, no matter where life might take us. For me, the FFA has brought me to Texas A&M University. Because of my time in the blue and gold, I have chosen to pursue a career in the agricultural industry, and I have found my heart for service. After my time in Louisville, I have no doubt that the FFA will continue to do that for students in our great state and all across the nation. More than anything, I am proud and honored to have had the opportunity to represent the state of Texas, but I am looking forward to where I’ll go next. Wherever it is, I’ll go with the lessons I’ve learned.