T-minus 30 days until the first tap of the gavel at this year’s Texas FFA Convention. That sounds absolutely crazy to say; it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was preparing for my incoming state officer speech in Dallas. Time flies when you are having fun. That goes for anything in life, just ask any senior that just graduated.
This year has been full of exciting events, especially when you travel the same distance that equals driving from Texarkana to El Paso 43 times. This year has allowed me to realize that life is about the little things in life; such as crazy laser tag games in Katy, random games of baseball with 8th grade members in Dalhart and getting to check things off of Josh Abbott’s “My Texas” list.
Traveling from one end of the Lone Star state to the other really opened my eyes to the diverse agriculture backbone that Texas has to offer and I believe that it is something we should not take for granted. I mean yes, we have a lot to be proud of as Texans, for example we were our own country at one time and we are the largest state in the lower 48, but what about our agriculture?
Texas is the top producer of cotton, hay, sheep, goats, mohair and horses. Texas also ranks first in the nation in the number of cattle, accounting for 13% of the U.S. total. The total food and fiber sector of the Texas economy is greater than $100 billion and the agriculture industry employs one out of every seven working Texans. We have many things to be proud of, but we have to make sure we are advocating for agriculture. With many people trying to diminish the way agriculturalists make a living we as Texas FFA members must fight back. The key is not fighting back with big elaborate scientific terms and facts, but simple heartfelt answers on why we do what we do. We must use the simple tactics that we learned in English class; ethos, pathos, logos or in simpler terms; credibility or ethical appeal, emotion and logic.
That is my challenge to not only the Texas FFA members that read this message but to anyone involved in agriculture. Find a way to get involved in your community and advocate for agriculture. For example, my chapter brings the kindergarten through fourth grade classes to our county fair to tour the livestock pavilion. They stop to look each species of animal and discuss what they are used for in our every life. It can also be as simple as setting up a day at local restaurant to create an assembly line for cheese burgers that explains the process that each item of the burger goes thru to get to the plate. No act is too small.
I hope to see you in Fort Worth at the 86th Annual Texas FFA Convention where we will all realize that no matter the situation we are put in that we can all say “I CAN”
God Bless Texas.