But of deeds.

Today I reflect on my Sophomore year in high school and my second year as an FFA member in relation to the second phrase in the FFA creed. This year I became more active as several changes occurred within the chapter and my involvement.

No longer a Freshman, I moved onto the next level of CDEs:  the Prepared Public Speaking contest- and learned a few lessons looking back on the event. My speech topic? National Animal Identification System. The introduction to my eight minute long self-written and memorized speech? My very own made up version of the song Old McDonald Had a Farm. Lesson learned? It’s pretty much not a good idea to talk/sing an entire paragraph if you don’t want to get funny looks or laughed at. Made for some great judges comments though. Earned my way to the state level, but changed my tactics for the following years. Note taken as I progressed into this CDE well into my senior year (stay tuned for specific reflection on one of the most special moments of my FFA career).

This year we gained a brand new agriculture instructor and FFA advisor of the Livermore FFA who I would grow proud to call a mentor of mine. I was elected as Chapter Secretary and continued reciting the Opening/Closing ceremony, this time stationed by the ear of corn. I would attend my first Chapter Officer Leadership Conference (COLC) and catch the blue and gold bug for good, gaining more friendships everywhere I went from all over the state of California.

Another pivotal moment in my FFA career began when we started the Livestock Judging team back up from a dry spell and for the next three years I placed everything in a group of 4 by their best traits and worst traits. Appreciating things on the move and for their fancy eye appeal. Traveling to field days with the team also got me banned from energy drinks and made me a natural morning person. More details to come. I may have accidentally, on purpose, hit the high note of Christina Aguilera’s Ain’t No Other Man. You’d do it too if you were in the moment. Trust me.

That spring we attended the grand opening of the California FFA Center, and I still have the commemorative coin! I was also elected to serve on the North Coast Region FFA officer team during the Spring meeting. An experience I will never forget! Nothing feels crisper than a brand new FFA jacket on your back. Besides maybe a new $100 bill in your fingers. But I only know what the first feels like myself!

North Coast Region Jacket

I served as a delegate at the State FFA Convention and was able to cast a vote for the new state officer team. That year two state FFA officers visited our chapter- Matt and Kaytie. Good thing it looks like I may have grown just a tad since then! Maybe. Not.

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As per usual I continued raising hogs for the county fair. In my livestock showing career I raised a total of 17 hogs…that’s a LOT of bacon! But this year I would raise my first market steer. And name him Max, because of his large….round, of the glutial region. Here’s Lucy, of Ricky and Lucy. Ricky was the real pig in the relationship, as you can see Lucy’s a pip of a pig.

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Progressing forward into high school, now having relinquished my spot in the marching band on the clarinet for good, I was able to focus my studies in agriculture, the path I would eventually want to travel down in college.

There are two more FFA jackets to come from this story, and it will continue throughout the week. Thanks for reading! How do you believe in the future of agriculture with a faith born not of words but of deeds? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section of this blog!

~Mal the Beef Gal

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