Why not us? It was that mentality that has spurred on my chapter for the last two years, but we never really embraced it until very recently. In fact, it might just be our motto at this point, and it might even be the thing that made us so successful at the state and CDE Days this last year.
The Montana FFA State Convention, held this last March, and my chapter went into it with fifteen members all ready to make a difference and ready to make our name known. Corvallis FFA wasn’t on the radar, as we were hardly two years old, we had never competed at the National level, never had a state proficiency winner, never had a state star award winner, and had never had a state officer. But that word, never, was quickly eliminated from our vocabulary.
By the end of all of our state competitions, we had all of those things. Our chapter president had gotten an office as the State Second Vice President, two of our members were awarded proficiency awards in their areas, three of our members were star award recipient, and our AG Issues team was Nationals bound. We had plaques, pins, and certificates to show these things, but I saw much more than those. I saw baggy eyes from late nights spent studying and filling out applications, messy hair from the stress, memories of tears from past experiences of a mere second place, but finally, I saw the joyous smiles of those who had finally made their dreams, a reality.
So that brings me back to the first point. Why not us? As a second year chapter, we could have sat on the sidelines and watched others reach success. And yet, we didn’t. We didn’t because we knew that for some of our members, they were to take off the jacket for the last time soon. We didn’t because we knew that there were competitions we wanted to place in, and we didn’t because we had a thirst for success.
Had we stood by and not taken that chance, had we not asked the question of why not us, Abbey wouldn’t have achieved her dream of a state office and Morgan wouldn’t have become a Star in Agriscience. Allie, Kaylie, Michael, and Maddison wouldn’t be expanding on their AG Issues problem for Nationals, and I wouldn’t be on an officer team with Charlie and Chance, two freshmen that saw an opportunity to be leaders in our chapter and took it.
So now that we’ve established the “Why Not Us?” question, it’s time to ask, why not you? You can’t reach success until you take a step forward, even if you don’t quite know what will happen. So be prepared to take a fall every now and then, but never lose sight of what is really important, and why you are doing it.
Written by Emily Seifert, Montana Rep