Tradition of Inclusion

Miss Geritz - Camas County FFA

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In the 5th and final paragraph of our FFA creed, EM Tiffany talks about the best traditions of our national life.  What comes to your mind when you think of these best traditions? Hard work? Equality? Honesty? Maybe something else.  For me, as both a student and now as an advisor, inclusion has been one of these traditions. In the three circle model of agricultural education, there is space for everybody in every circle. In my personal classroom, I look for ways to innovate and be sure everybody has a place at my table.  Perhaps my favorite way to do this so far has been working with a junior named Logan. Due to a lot of medical challenges, Logan has often times been prevented from being fully included. Here, in Fairfield at our school, he is included in everything, even SAE. Logan’s team sat down and found the best ways to incorporate what he is interested in into an SAE.  He has a keen sense of smell, so making hand sanitizer and soap out of Logan’s unique blends of essential oils seemed like a good way to help him build his knowledge of food and aroma science, and marketing and business. Logan and his team will also be selling these items to our community members, to help fund his experiences in class and the FFA. Last week, I had the opportunity to use my FFA jacket to help measure Logan for his own and I am excited for him to participate in our life changing organization throughout the year.  Take time in your own life and look at all the tables you belong to.  Church, sports, classes, and even your friend group and family. Are you making space for everyone to join? I firmly believe EM Tiffany would take great pride in the level of inclusion in our programs and find, just as I do, that making space for everyone is one of the best traditions of our national life.  If you see Logan around, give him a high-five! He can’t wait to meet his new FFA family.

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Miss Geritz, Idaho FFA would like to thank you for challenging our members, advisors and supporters to be inclusive to all students; Logan’s story is an inspiration to our association.

Why FFA?

Naia Evans, Rockland FFA

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My FFA experience began when I was in 8th grade. The first event I participated in was Creed Speed. I had memorized it fairly quickly and my advisor, the infamous Mr. Andy Nelson, had suggested that I compete in the upcoming Creed Speaking LDE hosted at the American Falls High School. Eager to impress my teacher, I quickly agreed. Sporting a borrowed blue corduroy jacket, I set out to show the judges my knowledge of FFA and my presentation skills. Needless to say, my lack of experience showed through and I did not do very well. Even though I was bummed about the results, I was suddenly aware of the amazing world of FFA, and I wanted to be a part of it. 

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My freshman year began, and I was excited to become more involved in FFA. I ordered my very own jacket and competed in the first competition that I actually did fairly well in: Floriculture. State Leadership Conference that year was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I decided then that I wanted to compete in as many different events as I could. In June of 2018, I competed in the Vet Science CDE. I learned quickly that even though I loved animals, I was not destined to become a vet, after that, most of my competitions were plant based. 

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In the fall of 2019, my advisor introduced me to the world that is Rangeland Management. Wanting to follow in my older brother’s footsteps- who had been on the team that placed first at state and third at western nationals the previous year- I was eager to give it a try. I learned all of the plants and their forage values, how to solve a stocking rate, and all of the other components of the competition. It was at that time I learned of my love for plants. I became fascinated and determined to learn more about them. When my team and I went to state, we placed third, which was a surprise to all of us since we had only been learning about Rangeland Management for roughly two months. We went on to compete at the Western National Rangeland competition in Logan, Utah and came in ninth overall.

My dreams of being an Ag teacher suddenly came to an end. Rangeland Management, I decided that was my calling. I would be able to work with plants and math! It was a dream come true. 

Throughout the following year, I participated in as many plant related competitions as I could; doing better in some than others. The competitions included: Floriculture; ENR and Forestry. I also signed myself up for as many plant related classes as I could, which due to the size of my school were few and far between. I learned that I didn’t only want to work in Rangeland Management, I decided I want to get my Doctorate in Plant Biology. 

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So when I am asked, “Why FFA?” I respond that it is because of the welcoming environment, the ability to try new things and always be able to connect with people... and because of a blue corduroy jacket. Most of my friends have been made through FFA, it is a new family that spreads across the nation. 

I will always be grateful for that Spring when I borrowed that blue corduroy jacket and braved the judges to become a part of something bigger than myself.



Naia, thank you for sharing why you choose to be involved in FFA! We are proud to have you as a member!


BLOG SUBMISSION RULES

Hey Idaho FFA! Thanks for your interest in submitting a post to our blog! Here you can find information about how the blog will work and also the rules you will need to follow. 

How the blog will work: 

At the beginning of every month we will post what the prompt is for following month. We will take submissions until the very last day of the month and then when the following month begins, we will post your submissions!

For example: At the beginning of May we posted that the prompt was, "What is your FFA Story?" You will have until May 31st to send us your submission to that prompt. Then when June begins, we will post your submissions on the blog as well as put out a new prompt for the following month! 

When you are all done with your writing, make sure to attach some pictures that go with your story! We also ask that you send in the following information: Name, Chapter, Title of your Submission, and a picture of you! 

Members, Advisors, Community Members and Supporters are all welcome to submit to the blog. 

You will email your submission and pictures to sydneyp.idahoffa@gmail.com 

Clear as mud? If you have questions you can contact sydneyp.idahoffa@gmail.com

Rules for the blog: 

Every person who wishes to participate in the blog has the opportunity to do so. However, there are some guidelines to follow. If you fail to follow the rules, we will NOT publish your submission and we WILL contact your FFA advisor. 


1. Keep it Appropriate- No bad words, references or inappropriate language.

2. Be Respectful- In FFA we encourage you to lift each other up, not put each other down. Simply put: do not be mean to anyone in your post. 

3. Spell Check- Make sure that you have someone check over your post for grammar errors! If you have errors, we will send it back to you for you to fix. 

4. Word Count- Keep your submission between 400-1,000 words.


We are excited to read your submissions! Remember, when you submit a post you are representing not only your home chapter but also the Idaho FFA! Keep it clean, respectful, and fun. Happy blogging! 

 

Cass by the Corn

What are you most excited about for your state officer year?

I’m very blessed that I have a whole year to give back to such an amazing organization that has given so much to me! This year I’m excited to get to hangout with the coolest high schoolers in Idaho and learn more about the agriculture industry.


What college, major, and future career are you planning?

I plan on becoming a Vandal and attending the University of Idaho this fall where I will be double majoring in Agricultural Communications and Leadership and Agriculture Education. I’m not sure yet if I want to be an ag teacher or start a career in the agricultural communications field. But, either way I plan on an ag related career path, so stay tuned to see what decision I make on that!


Tell about a meaningful experience you have had in FFA

One of the most meaningful FFA experiences that I have had was my time at the Washington Leadership Conference. I attended WLC the summer going into my junior year of high school. Throughout the week, not only did I get to see our nation’s beautiful capital, but I also got to take time to create a service project to bring back into my community, and reflect on the opportunities that we have as FFA members. My week in D.C. really showed me the true meaning of service, I made some amazing friends and found even more passion for FFA.


What do you do outside of FFA?

I love being busy! When I’m not doing FFA stuff, you can find me boating, four wheeling, playing beach volleyball, or running. I love spending time with my spectacular group of friends and family, a good car jam session, and hanging with my dog Remmington.


What is your SAE Project?

In the spring of 2016, my sister and I started our lawn care business that we have ran for three summers now. It was pretty cool to see our own urban twist to SAEs come to life and develop throughout the years. This past summer I really wanted to get “the full FFA experience” and show an animal at the fair. So, with the help of advisors and fellow FFA members, I showed two sheep (Ben and Ivanka) at the Western Idaho Fair. It was a great learning experience and I am very glad I was able to take advantage of the opportunity.


What is your mission for the year?

My mission for this year is to live in the moment, especially when with FFA members! I am starting a year full of meeting and interacting with some of the most intelligent high schoolers in the state and I want to make sure I am taking advantage of every opportunity to learn more and serve members.


Is there something else you would like FFA members to know about you?

You can always catch me throwing up peace signs obnoxiously in any situation, oh and I am DEFINITELY the cooler twin (don’t tell Sydney).


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