I will never forget the time that someone recently told me that life isn’t all “fluffy clouds and cupcakes, Malorie.” Tough stuff. I happen to be a huge fan of fluffy! Fluffy is actually the name of my Cocker Spaniel stuffed animal I have had since I was four. And I choose happy over a lot of things. It’s a great decision to make!

Yes, “I believe… in being happy” is actually a part of the FFA Creed I mentioned in my Freshman FFA recollection blog~ That really awesome guy E.M. Tiffany wrote it. And it’s something that I really, truly believe in! Lots of things are important in life, but to me, happiness depends on everything. A new friend recently asked me if I was, “one of those people who can’t wait to get up in the morning to see what the day will bring.” I’d say he hit the nail on the head pretty well with that one.

Here, I’ll relate. If you missed my Facebook status this morning about one of my favorite ag van memories, take a look below:

“Ag Van Memory of the Day: In 2007 I was forever banned from consuming energy drinks, because on the way to the MJC Livestock Judging Field Day I accidentally, on purpose, hit the high note of Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man”.
Not a single drop of an energy drink has passed through my lips since then. Apparently I’m a natural morning person!
~Lesson learned at 5:30 a.m.~”

I also learned from that experience that I am more or less allergic to red dye #40. More than less, and it comes in products like Big Red gum, red licorice, and coincidentally, Go Girl energy drinks. Bingo. But that’s a little beside the point here.

Back on track– a little bit of “being happy yourself, and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon you” goes a long way! I’m telling you, E.M. Tiffany was a smart man! To meet him today…what would he say?

As is the order of things in this memoir, I have come to my junior year in high school and my third year in FFA in my FFA Week celebration. I’ll set out a few bullet points that come to mind on my third-time’s-a-charm year and recap with some old photos this time.

  • My junior year I was fortunate enough to be elected to serve the Livermore FFA as Chapter President, stationed by the rising sun. This would be the first of two terms I was honored to served in that position.
  • I was also elected and excited to serve as a North Coast Region Vice President, stationed by the plow, as a junior on a team made up of seniors. This would be the first year of two terms that I served as a regional officer.
  • I gave a workshop at the COLC (Chapter Officer Leadership Conference) on how to speak effectively and my mom made me a cape, complete with my made-up “Super Speaker” logo- the theme of the workshop. It was legit. I think it’s still in my closet at home actually. Might have to bust that baby back out!


  • My prepared speech that year focused on corn-based ethanol production. There was no singing involved, and I still made it to the state finals, but caught that nasty stress bug AGAIN, so I never made it out of prelims. There’s always next year…
  • That year was the Advanced Leadership Academy leadership conference–Knowledge is Power!
  • I also attended the Regional Officer Leadership Conference with my regional team in Bass Lake. That is a really neat place!
  • I raised a Hereford steer named Mickey and two pigs (their names escape me at the moment) for the Alameda County Fair.
  • We continued to get a little more serious with the Livestock Judging Team. It was no longer awkward to stick a notepad half way down the back of your pants for a “hands free” approach, as it was also the norm to speak to trees as if they were your friends and cared about the livestock you were placing to practice reasons.
  • At this point I think I was eating lunch every day in the ag room. There was always something to practice, study, or learn involving FFA or ag!
  • 005That year I earned my State FFA Degree. Kate, a state officer at the time, was one of those I mentioned in a previous post that I would eventually go to college with and become great friends with. Who knew? FFA did.
  • I also served as a committee chair for the State FFA Convention. I remember having no voice from that dang stress bug and having to stand on a chair and literally jump up and down to get people’s attention. You can’t imagine how difficult it is to be a short person with no voice in a crowd full of loud and excited peers! Needless to say I think I only fell off the chair once.

265How’s this for a throw back? Livestock judging team 2008. This was the day before State FFA Finals at Cal Poly, I do believe. At the Pismo Pier. Fantastic! By the way, I can accredit my eagerness to pursue Cal Poly for my under graduate career to the FFA and my FFA advisor, who is a Cal Poly alumni!

253Meet Mickey. See? I told you I like fluffy things. This picture belongs to a set that I included in my SAE project report. Supervised Agricultural Experience project. Each tri-mester we had to turn one in along with record book updates. I think these are the same overalls that I was wearing with Lucy the pig in yesterday’s post. And a picture I didn’t include Sunday of Me and Max on our first hoof trimming experience. Hey, overalls kept me clean! It was a good look. Maybe.

All in all, this year would round out to serve as a precursor to the most pivotal and memorable year in the FFA I would have. I can’t express enough how much this program positively worked to grow me into a young passionate professional and I will be forever thankful for each moment that I was able to experience throughout my time spent as an FFA member!

What was your favorite activity in FFA? How did you or do you believe in being happy yourself, and playing square with those whose happiness depends upon you?

~Mal the Beef Gal