An Open Letter to the Greenhand's

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Dear Greenhands everywhere, Congratulations on joining one of the best organizations around. Sure right now you are worried about taking your Greenhand Quiz and public speaking. You are sitting in your seat twisting around hoping that you won’t have to give the creed first, and hoping that you won’t have to do very much public speaking. You are watching the upper classman wishing you had their confidence and getting excited because one day you will get to be the big dog in FFA. You probably don’t really know your Agricultural Educator, and don’t realize how important he or she will be in your life.

I’ve been in your shoes. When I joined FFA my freshman year of high school, I had no idea the impact that the blue and gold would have in my life. I joined FFA because my dad had been in FFA and I wanted to keep the tradition alive, and never really thought that some organization with a dress code could help me find my calling in life and give me the skills needed to pursue whatever career I would want one day. Without FFA, Raised in a Barn would have never happened.

My agricultural educator was the best around. Mr. Dearl Cunningham pushed us all to be the best we could be, and gave the best coming to Jesus talks when needed. During your four years of FFA you will get to spend many hours, and travel many miles with your advisor. You will be pushed to get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to try the thing that scares you the most. Maybe you have grown up around livestock, but horticulture looks fun. Maybe you’ve never touched a welder in your life. Try new things! Sometimes your calling in life is something you wouldn’t have ever dreamed about. Try everything out, and don’t be afraid to run for an office!

That jacket you just received, it’s full of endless possibilities. Right now it’s just a blue corduroy, but you will meet many people and travel many miles in that jacket. You will complain about having to wear official dress, when your panty hose starts ripping and your tie is making your neck itch. Don’t complain too much though, that jacket is your golden ticket. It can take you anywhere, with a little handwork of course.

FFA is where you develop your own FFA family. You’ll laugh together and cry together, you will win together and lose together. In fact, there will be times you will be with your FFA family more than your actual family. You and your FFA family will bleed blue and gold together, and be able to have conversations about cows, welding, and public speaking. All the things that your second cousin just doesn’t get.

You will start out by listening to your FFA President. You’ll grow close to your officer team, and they will help guide you through your first year of FFA. They’ll be your friends, and family. When the time comes the President will stand on stage and give his or hers retiring address. Watch their emotions when they give it, and listen to everything they have to say. 4 years sounds like a long time, but it happens in a blink of an eye. You join FFA without a clue in the world about what you are getting yourself into. You might hear friends and family talk about it, but you won’t truly understand it until the day you hang your jacket up.

So to all the Greenhand’s out there, you might be the underclassmen now and not think twice about how fast the whole experience will be over. There will be a time where you go from member to alumni. The only time you will be in the classroom, is when you visit with your old Ag Teacher. Take it all in, make tons of memories, and don’t wish for life to speed up. Enjoy it!

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