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National FFA Convention: Opportunity of a lifetime

Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at 10:40 AM

It is almost every FFA member's dream to be able to attend the National FFA Convention. I went to a small school, so as a member, got the opportunity to attend National Convention four times as a member.

This past convention, I found out the experience of going as a State Officer is completely different, and is one that I feel blessed to have been able to take part in. Convention suddenly went from a three-day affair, to a week long adventure meeting members from across our country, awarding the achievements of members and people who support our organization, and of course making memories with the other Missouri State FFA Officers that will last me a lifetime.

Our adventure began on Monday, Oct. 17.. Our officer team all piled into four vehicles to begin the seven-hour journey to Indianapolis. After driving most of the day, we arrived in downtown Indianapolis. After dinner and a meeting to prepare for convention, we all went to sleep, ready to begin our week. The first major difference in attending National Convention as a State Officer was being able to have a voice in National FFA business. This was our job the first two days of convention. Each state gets to send voting delegates to convention, and during business sessions, we got to vote on issues that would affect our organization in following years. It was so cool to realize that we were helping shape the future of our organization! Hearing the debate on the issues from other State Officers from across the country was also very interesting. It was great to know that the decisions we made would help make FFA better for future members.

One of my favorite parts of convention this year was being able to attend all of the convention sessions. This means we got to see each National Officer's Retiring Address, all of the keynote speakers, and got to be able to see each FFA member from Missouri that made it on stage. As the State Officer that represents Area 6, one very special moment for me was to see Heath Snider, a member of the Sweet Springs FFA Chapter in Area 6, win the National FFA Creed Speaking competition. I got the opportunity to watch him compete in the final round, and was in awe of how talented Heath is. He truly believes in the FFA Creed, and it is members like Heath who are an inspiration to me. One of my goals as a State Officer was to change the lives of members across our state, but I have been blessed to meet numerous members who have actually changed my life.

Now of course, convention wasn't just all work. We did get the opportunity to explore the FFA Career Show, tour downtown Indianapolis, witness some awesome entertainment from the National FFA Band and Chorus, and be amazed by the National FFA Talent participants.

It's amazing what FFA members can do!

The 2011 National FFA Convention was an experience that I will never forget. The theme of convention was "I Believe." There are many things that I believe in. I believe that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. I believe that FFA members are capable of changing the world. I believe that no matter how big or small the town you come from, you can make an impact, just like Heath Snider, from the small town of Sweet Springs, who used his talents to win the National FFA Creed Speaking contest. Last, but definitely not least, I believe in the future of agriculture.

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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.