This is from one of the essay winners, Noa Taipin. Nine years ago I made one of the best decisions of my life by deciding to become a 4-H member. To this day I am still doing the same project I fell in love with and that is raising pigs. After six years of participating in 4-H I decided to broaden my horizons by joining FFA as well. By becoming involved in both of these magnificent organizations, there has not been a day, month or week where I have not learned something new and grown as a young agriculturalist. The FFA and 4-H have taught me lessons that not many other organizations ever would.
As a young elementary student, I came into 4-H simply looking for fun. However I got much more out of it than just fun. At a young age, 4-H was teaching me how to become a responsible person. Taking care of another living thing is not an easy task and that's what was being instilled as a child. I learned that in order to succeed in raising an animal you must maintain and care for it as if it was a family member. I learned that diligent labor must be done everyday in order to do this project right and that is what did, and have been doing now for nine years.
Looking past the responsibility of taking care of a living thing, 4-h taught me some more valuable skills before entering high school. Realizing that if I work as hard at school as I do during the summer working with pigs helped me succeed in all aspects of school. My work ethic was better than it would have been without raising pigs. I put maximum effort not only in the classroom but on the field and the matt. Work ethic is a valuable trait that is not only important for personal success but a trait that needs to be passed on for generations to come.
Once I entered highschool my real agricultural education began. After raising pigs for six years I wanted to take my education to the next level. I wanted to know anything and everything I could about the show pig industry so I dedicated myself to the Ag room. Here I learned a lot about what it took to be the most successful showman and owner I could be. I learned in my few years of highschool that agriculture was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. FFA was teaching me how to become dedicated to achieving my dreams.
Through my experiences in the FFA I learned an immense amount of science and purely agriculture. Fortunately my learning experience did not stop there. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to become an officer. Here I learned how to communicate, keep accurate records, and be a leader. Without becoming an officer I would not be able to cooperate and communicate with others as well. Being an officer has made it possible for me to be able to be a leader in any group circumstance or a hard worker when I'm alone.
More importantly, however, beyond the leadership qualities and communication, FFA and 4-H has taught me the importance of passing down agriculture to the youth of America. The future of America lies in not mine, but all the other young agriculturalist in my generation's hands. It is our duty to make sure that the generations to come, and the generation after us, do not forget the importance of what the 4-H, FFA, or any other agricultural organization do for our community, our country, and our world.
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