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(New post: Oct. 17, 2011) State FFA officer experiences Washington D.C.

Posted Monday, October 17, 2011, at 2:33 PM

When I became a state officer, I knew that I would get to do many things and go many places I never imagined that I would. However, I did not expect that my journey would take me to the most important city in our nation: Washington D.C.! At the end of July, the State President and I flew halfway across the country for an event called State President's Conference (SPC). This conference is sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland and Dow AgroSciences, and is a special project of the National FFA Foundation. For SPC, each state sends two state officers to participate in this leadership training opportunity. Not only is this a chance to grow as leaders, SPC is also the beginning step in the delegate process that concludes at the National FFA Convention.

Going to D.C. was truly one of the best experiences of my life. While I was there, I met state officers from all across the nation: Alaska, Maine, New Mexico...almost every state. I got to experience how different FFA is in every state, and learn new tips and ideas to help make our state association better. While at SPC, we got to meet and work with some very outstanding individuals in agriculture, agriculture education, and FFA. One of the highlights of my trip was getting to visit the United States Department of Agriculture and listen to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. He took some time to speak with us, but then stopped to let us ask questions. He told us, "I can learn more from you than you can learn from me. I want to hear what you have to say." That statement was one that I was very impressed with. He truly wanted to know what we thought were important issues facing agriculture and agriculture education.

Now, my trip wasn't all work. We did get some time to tour D.C. and see all the sites. We went to the Lincoln Memorial, The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. I really enjoyed those, but the places we went that had the most impact on me were the war memorials. We visited the World War II, Iwo Jima, Korean War, and Vietnam War memorials. Visiting these memorials was a very moving experience. It is because of the sacrifices so many men and women made that I live in a free country and that I am able to wear my blue corduroy jacket. I left D.C. with 100 new friends, new leadership skills, and left even more thankful to live in the country that I do.

After wrapping up my D.C. trip, it was soon time to head to the Missouri State Fair! It was an eventful time, helping with livestock shows, running the FFA Building, handing out ribbons, and spending time together as a team. I love being at the fair and seeing the hard work FFA members put in all year long finally pay off. Now, my team is getting ready to head to Indianapolis, Indiana for the 84th National Convention and Career Show! It will be a busy week, but I am very excited to see the achievements of FFA members across the nation! I will tell all about our newest adventure when I return! Be looking for my next post soon!

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A 2010 Malta Bend High School graduate, Kelsey Forqueran is now serving as the 2011-12 state secretary for the Missouri FFA Association. She has agreed to share her busy year with us in a blog. Kelsey just began her freshman year at Central Methodist University, where she is majoring in communications.