How Lucky are You?
Apr. 21, 2018
For me this moment occurred a few weeks ago on my home farm, where we were just finishing up our calving season. The “busy” frame of mind was all I could focus on as I checked items off the afternoons ‘To Do List’ until I decided that it was time to take a break and search for the joy in something simple. As I walked out to the cattle pasture to check on all the new momma cows and calves I noticed one of my past show heifers was showing the signs that she was getting ready to have a calf. She was standing off from the herd, udder swollen, and tail up, I then sorted her into a calving pen and sat back to make sure things would go smoothly for her. As the time passed by I focused less and less about the daily “busyness” in my life, and more on the simple joy of being able to watch an animal in which I spent countless hours working on deliver a newborn calf. It wasn’t long before she was laying down in the clean bed of straw pushing to deliver her calf, all while I had the chance to just sit back and watch her do her job.
One, Two, Three big pushes and the calf was born… As the cow mothered up to her calf, I called my dad to tell him the news! He answered his phone and said something to me that I won’t soon forget: “Isn’t that just amazing! How lucky are you that you get to experience that simple joy… some people never get that chance.” It was in that moment that I realized how fortunate I am to have the chance to do what I love, with who I love on the family farm each and every day… all thanks to that simply beautiful reminder.
Wisconsin FFA, as you work to finish out a strong school year, plan an eventful summer, and take on the many opportunities presented to us through agriculture, be sure to take the time to step back and find the joy in something simple, because it might just make you think: “How lucky am I?”
Apr. 15, 2018
During these unexpected Winter snow storms, it is unwritten rule in my family household that we all go out to work together. As I am bundling up to head out into the storm to help my dad on the farm when I was originally supposed to be heading to a banquet, I realized that Wisconsin weather teaches us something very important. How to be flexible. There are many times when it is hard to adapt to these unexpected changes, when something does not go our way and we become frustrated. Although the banquets that were originally planned had to be rescheduled, and I had to postpone doing my homework to go outside to fight the storm, being flexible was a necessary part in order to finish all of the work so my family could go inside early.
Being flexible is not important in just the agricultural industry, but in our everyday lives. So the next time you feel frustrated because the assignment turned in did not earn as good of a grade as you expected, or your FFA banquet had to be rescheduled, know that it is all going to be okay in the end. Being flexible allows us to bounce back from those curve balls life throws at us, particularly with those two unpredictable words.
Coffee & Kindness
Apr. 14, 2018
I’m not sure if it was the early mornings, many miles on the road, college, or just the wonderful smell and taste of coffee itself, but these past couple of years, I have definitely become an avid coffee fan! And today as I was sipping my afternoon coffee, I decided to take a little break from checking emails and homework and found my way onto Pinterest.
And yes, as much as I love coffee, I probably love Pinterest even more! You can find so many ideas, tips and tricks, inspiration, and so many cute things on Pinterest – including the cute quote I found today about coffee:
“Kindness is like coffee.
It awakens your spirit and improves your day.
Fill your cup with both.”
For me, drinking some coffee in the morning certainly does this: it wakes me up and gives me some energy, but also it prepares me for a good day. Drinking a cup before I leave home gives me a moment to relax, reflect, and get ready for a great day ahead! Something just as simple as a cup of coffee, honestly warms my heart and does make me happy.
And as much as I love coffee, it’s even more important to fill our cups and others' cups with kindness.
You can never spread kindness around enough! Being kind to someone by saying hello, giving someone a compliment, offering a helping hand, or even smiling at someone as you pass by – that is more important than any cup of coffee! That even small act of kindness can energize another person, can fill their bucket or their cup up, can bring positivity to their day, and truly can make all the difference! Plus, kindness is contagious! If we can show kindness to others, they, in return can continue spreading that kindness, and soon enough everyone’s cups can be overfilling with kindness!
May your cup be filled with Coffee and Kindness,
What we Bring to the Table
Apr. 11, 2018
What do you have that the people around you need? It doesn’t necessarily have to be foregoing a meal, or material items. There are 4 important things that we can bring to the table and give to others, without missing out on any bacon and eggs. 1) Knowledge. We all have knowledge that we can impart to others. Maybe we competed in an FFA competition and can now help younger members learn the ropes. By sharing what we know, others can grow. 2) Encouragement. How can we encourage the people around us to accomplish their goals, and even also help others along the way? Consider giving positive feedback on a project they’ve been working on, offering help, and working with them. This is one of the simplest things that we can give, but certainly has a profound impact. 3) Opportunities. What opportunities can you give to others? Whether it is a leadership position, a ride to an FFA event, or giving them a way to grow, we all have a connection that we can share with those around us. 4) Responsibilities. This one is last, because it is the hardest to give, the hardest to bring to the table. It can, however, be the most rewarding. How can we give out responsibility to the people around us? Perhaps through letting them chair an event, asking them to help you with something, or encouraging them to bring what they have to the table to give others. By giving up what makes us important, what gives our positions value, we show the people around us trust & their own inherent value. By bringing what we already have to the table, we help both ourselves and the people around us.
Mr. Holler knew he would be more gratified if he gave his breakfast to his grandson. When they went swimming, his grandson was happier & able to make his older sister laugh, because his grandpa gave something to him. In the same way, when we give what we have to others, it enables them to be stronger leaders & people. And with a result like leadership, we’re really not “giving” up anything.
Listen to what the people around you need, and if you have it, give it. In the words of Mr. Holler, “That’s alright, my coffee filled me up.” When we give what we have to others, what we have is twice as fulfilling. What will you bring to the table?
Cocoa The Steer
Apr. 07, 2018
Life has a funny way of reminding us about It’s many lessons.Sometimes life doesn't go exactly the way you wanted it. Maybe you didn’t make that team. Or maybe you didn’t compete as well as you thought you should have. Maybe your project didn’t turn out well. Or maybe you’re struggling to get a goal accomplished. There is a lot of scenarios where we simply just need to make the best of a bad situation, learn from the past and improve the future.
Well I now check the semen straw a couple more times to make sure the cattle is being bred with the right bull. And as for Cocoa. He is becoming a fine show steer. I’m glad I have the pleasure of training and walking him. Even though he’s not a purebred beef steer, with a little adjustment to his feed ration he is looking really good for his show class. It just goes to show “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
Wishing you the best in life,
Easter Eggs and FFA
Apr. 01, 2018
In my family it is tradition to hide over 450 Easter eggs around my grandparents farmhouse and yard and compete with cousins to find as many as possible! Its always the highlight of my day, even with the minimal bruising (kidding). In many ways, I find that an Easter egg hunt can be similar to us FFA members finding our perfect pathway in the FFA organization!
1: Sometimes you'll Find it in be the oddest Places
If it be a garden, an old hay rake, or even on the roof; Easter eggs have an odd way of making their way to odd places to be found. Much like in FFA, sometimes our niche is found in odd and unknown areas. None the less, these eggs are just as important and need to be stowed away in our baskets!
2: There is always other people with you
Now some of these people will be our best friends, allies, in this great hunt. Although, others will be our friendly competitors, opponents, in many competitions. But all the same, these people all have the same mission; to achieve a common goal.
3: Sometimes our Eggs will get stolen or the Basket will Fall
We all know this has happened to us at least once, you trip, or drop your basket and every eggs falls to ground. It can be the same in FFA. There are times in all of our lives when it can be really difficult. We can be stressed, overloaded, bogged down, whatever it may be. But as we always do at times like these, we get up, collect our eggs again, and keep marching on.
Although I can only name a few, i'm sure we can all think of many other ways FFA can correlate with the Worlds Greatest Easter Egg Hunt. I encourage all of us to always search for opportunities in hard places, know your competitors and appreciate them, always get back up after hard times, and of course...Have a HAPPY EASTER!!
Wisconsin FFA State Treasurer
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