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How We Spend Our Days.
Nov. 30, 2017

Amelia Hayden - Vice President
Big Foot FFA Chapter
Section 10

As we are nearing the holidays, it can only mean one thing: relatives. Family. We all have a few: the ones we don’t really talk to, the ones who are always giving you more food (even though we’re still working off what we ate at Thanksgiving dinner), and the ones who always seem to have some kind of joke or prank up their sleeve.

In the family of my FFA chapter, I seemed to always fit into the last category. Oops. Now, I liked making sassy comments and puns with fellow FFA members. But I always seemed to “accidentally” be drawn to teasing my advisors. Specifically, by changing where they set things. Except (like most advisors it seems) their desks are always filled with a million papers to grade, registration for the next conference, fruit sale sheets, and random notes about their to-do lists. Which meant they would never notice if you changed something. Luckily, for jokester-high school Amelia, one of my advisors was super organized & would notice. Now, most of this moving of stuff happened during lunch, so everyone who ate lunch in the ag room was in on it. It depended on the day, but our favorite things to move around were the computer mouse, lunch boxes, carrots, and the iPad. Of course, we always revealed where it had been hidden after about a minute. One day, as I was packing up after lunch, my advisor blamed me for stealing his iPad (which I honestly had not done – this time). Although, I was notorious for moving things. My other two advisors practically died of laughter; finally my moving things came back to bite.

The thing I did the most was instantly related back to me. I was the student who constantly teases our advisors. What we do repeatedly is what we are known for. Author Annie Dillard once remarked, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” What we do as individuals each and every day, is what our lives are about. I spent a lot of time moving things, and therefore, it was assumed that I moved the iPad. Was my advisor wrong? Yes, I hadn’t moved it that time, but how I spent my days was how I spent my life. I was known for moving it around.

What are you known for? Do you like it? I didn’t mind being the jokester of my FFAmily – but I also knew I was known for being more than that. Whatever you are doing today, that builds up to be what you habitually do in life. Are you spending your days being kind, selfless, grateful, or genuine? Spend your days being who you want to be remembered as. Whether it’s being joking, like I was, or something completely different. Be intentional about your actions each day; they’re how you spend your life.

The positive difference
Nov. 30, 2017

Sam Pinchart - Vice President
Luxemburg-Casco FFA Chapter
Section 9

As I near towards the end of my chapter visits I have started to reflect upon the activities I have done. One of my favorite activities I did was "sell me this spoon." I started this activity by instructing the class that all they had to do is sell me a plastic spoon. It started off simple as a few students gave me their best sales pitch. After a little while I broke the spoon and continued asking the students to sell me the spoon. I gave every student one chance at selling me this spoon while I kept breaking it. At the end the spoon had been reduced to a tiny piece of plastic. I then asked "what is this?" as I held up the plastic. Eventually they would come to understand that it was still a spoon. It may be mangled and broken but I had not chemically changed it. At the end of the day a physical change does not change what an object is at its core. Now I will admit that the appearance of the broken spoon made it look pale in comparison to what is used to be. However looks can be deceiving at times. Even though the spoon was broken some students still found unique uses for the spoon as they tried to sell me it. Bottom line if the student wanted to be successful they needed to focus on the positives and not the negatives of the spoon. The successful one's focused on what the broken spoon could do rather than what it couldn't do....How many times in our life do we meet broken spoons? People who have had challenges in there lives or people who just don't have certain skills. How many times have we walked by without helping or being that positive influence/reinforcement in their lives? Now I admit it is harder when the "spoon" is an actual person and not just a piece of plastic. I've got a little taste of that this past week....Last week one of my aunts was told she has breast cancer and she might have to have chemo. That's scary! Even scarier is the idea she might have to go through that alone. If that doesn't qualify for a "broken" situation, I don't know what does. Life sometimes just plainly explained is not fair. Life sometimes is just cruel and life sometimes doesn't care. Maybe you have had a similar experience. An experience where you have had to watch someone's life be shattered and broken. At times like that we need to look towards positives, look towards hope, and be the positive in their life. Every thing that is broken was once whole. A person is at their core the same person throughout their life. No matter what travesties happen to them. And if you've loved them when their life was have to love them when their life is broken too. My mom has come to a similar conclusion and I'm so proud of her. She has decided that she is going to take whatever time necessary to be with my aunt through this "broken" time in her life. My said it best when she said "no one should have to go through this alone." At I broken time in someone's life they shouldn't have to be alone. However do we take the time to be the positive difference in someone's life when they feel broken? Or do we sometimes tear them down because they are different? Instead of poking fun of and ignoring someone's issues we need to help them. We need to be the positive difference. At the end of the day success is measured in the number of lives you have touched and positively affected. Don't look at someone as a "broken spoon" or a "piece of plastic" because everyone is still a spoon, no matter their background or how broken they may seem. Look towards the positives and be the positive because in life you will be far more successful.

5 of the Best Holiday Movies
Nov. 29, 2017

Elisha Riley - Treasurer
Waupaca FFA Chapter
Section 8

As the Holiday Season is fast approaching, its easy for us to get caught up in the idea of food, family, giving, and buying stuff that we forget about another important part of the holidays...MOVIES!!

This is one the best activities to do at any Christmas gathering with family, friends, or yourself for that matter. Because they are so important, I complied a list of the top Five best Christmas movies to watch this holiday season!

1: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Clark Griswold wants to have a perfect family Christmas, so he pesters his wife and children, as he tries to make sure everything is in line, including the tree and house decorations. However, things go awry quickly. This is a unique, yet completely relateable movie about all of the holiday struggles. Its a sure way to laugh until you cant and make good memories!

2: Polar Express
When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

3: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Version of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a all-time family favorite Christmas film. We will all enjoy seeing the Grinch in motion as he attempts to stop Christmas from coming, and ultimately fails as his heart grows.

4: Home Alone
Left at home accidentally while his family heads off on a Christmas vacation in Paris, Kevin is left to defend his home against two bumbling burglars who are taking advantage of the fact that so many families are out of town.Be impressed by Kevin's ingenuity in protecting his turf, we can all alternate between laughing and cringing at the acts that occur.

5: Elf
The story of Buddy, a human raised among elves, who journeys to New York City to find his true identity and his biological father (who is on Santa's naughty list) after learning he's not actually an over-sized elf. This is a great movie for great laughs, dreamy Christmas decorations, and a sweet story line.

None the less, we can always opt for the Christmas classics on the Hallmark channel like Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, or even Frosty the Snowman.

The Holidays are all about spending time with the ones we love, eating good food, and making life-long memories; and all of these are amazing movies to assist with all of the memories to be this holiday season!

Seasons Greetings,
Elisha Riley
WI FFA State Treasurer
Section 8

Back in the Kitchen
Nov. 22, 2017

Kathryn Lampi - Parliamentarian
Owen-Withee FFA Chapter
Section 7

Over the past couple days, I have an opportunity to slow down a bit and really enjoy those special people in my life. One person that really stands out is my Grandma. We have worked together the last couple days in the kitchen preparing the Thanksgiving meal and baking delicious treats for the holiday season.

While working with Grandma I couldn’t help but thinking of all my time spend in that kitchen throughout my childhood and how it was my favorite place to be. When I was small, baking with Grandma was the best! I can remember watching her cook and bake and thinking that I wanted to be just like her in every way. I wanted to be able to make great food, take care of a family and show love to all just like Grandma. I always really wanted to emulate her can-do spirit and her ability to make everyone feel loved and cherished.

I can remember her reading recipes to me, because I was just learning to read and we then would practice reading together. She would also take the time to let me measure the ingredients and then double check them. I learned so much from her from life skills to life lessons. Now some years later I now help her by reading the recipes and help with measurements. Although some of the roles have been reversed when it comes to working together in the kitchen, she is still someone that I look up to and I believe that I have so much yet to learn from. Grandma still has that strong determination and ability to make everyone feel loved and I still strive to possess those qualities.

There are so many times that we take those role models we had as children and not give them much thought as we grow older. We have so much yet to learn and those loved ones that we look up to are the best people to teach us. Who is that role model your life that you still have more to learn from?

With a full heart and lots of love,

Kathryn Lampi

A season of Thanks
Nov. 18, 2017

Sam Jesse - Sentinel
Lodi FFA Chapter
Section 6

It seems cliche, but we are nearing the season of thanksgiving, so I want to encourage you to give thanks. I have been reminded again this week not to take anything for granted and to be thankful for everything even when it may not be obvious or easy.
Over the last few weeks, I have had the privilege to visit many different chapters around Section Six and the state of Wisconsin. Time and time again this year I have seen ag teachers who are giving it their all before school, during class and after the bell rings as they dedicate themselves to our ag programs, FFA chapters and their students.
So often we take our advisors and the countless hours they put in for granted. This week and in the weeks ahead I want to challenge you to thank your advisor for each and everything they do to provide you, your members and your fellow students with opportunities to succeed. Thank your advisors for all they've done and will do for you today, yesterday and tomorrow.
Thank you Wisconsin FFA for all the opportunities you have provided me over the last five months as a state officer and for the last seven years as a member. Thank you to every member of this organization for pushing yourself to grow and for representing our organization with pride. I hope you don’t take these opportunities for granted and are just as thankful for your experiences as I am.

Thank you,
Samuel Jesse

212 Growth
Nov. 11, 2017

Liz Grady - Secretary
Oregon FFA Chapter
Section 5

What happens at 212 degrees? Water boils. At 211 degrees, the water is just really hot. At the National FFA 212 Conference, we learned how to make the 1 degree difference and take our leadership to the next level. This weekend I had the opportunity to experience my first 212 Conference which focused on personal growth. Throughout the conference, we broke down personal growth into 4 sections: mental, emotional, social, physical.

We learned that we can grow by developing personal and professional relationships, having a positive self-image and by making healthy life choices. By the end of the conference, we set personal growth goals and found a mentor to guide us through our growth. Overall, it was a great conference and another opportunity to develop our leadership skills while meeting FFA members from across the state of Wisconsin! I am so happy to have been a part of it!

Let’s all follow through with our personal growth goals and reach out to our mentors!

With a grateful heart,
Liz Grady

Nov. 06, 2017

Morgan Fitzsimmons - Vice President
Mineral Point FFA Chapter
Section 4

Many times, we have failed in life. No matter what the situation might be, or maybe we struggle with a new concept in school. Whatever the case it happens to us all, including me. Growing up my father always tried to instill in myself and my siblings, “If the horse bucks you off, you need to get back on.” That was it, get back on, no excuses or what if, try your best and try again. This valuable lesson has always stuck with me, and continues to influence the choices I make.

Recently I watched a Ted Talk featuring Angela Duckworth, a phycologist with the University of Pennsylvania. Her research caused her to ask what is the driving force behind students. Her answer was, grit. Duckworth says, “Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term goals.” Goals such as graduating high school, graduating college, becoming a state officer, or reaching a goal set in our career. Duckworth compares Grit to running a marathon. It means having the stamina to achieve and reach our goals. We may stumble, take a wrong turn, or become slowed down. Grit is what gives us meaning for our goals and our passion to achieve them. It can even be said that it allows us to live our why.

I want to challenge us all to become gritty. When the going gets tough, we keep on in the pursuit of our goals. Grit is about setting goals, and sticking with them to achieve them. As always, the future may change, and we may face setbacks, but if we have grit we can overcome any obstacle. Duckworth says, “Talent and luck matter to success. But talent and luck are no guarantee of grit. And in the very long run, I think grit may matter as least as much, if not more.” FFA members continue being gritty, setting goals, and achieving success! Live out your passions with perseverance, and “Live Your Why.”

Until next time,
Morgan Fitzsimmons

Digging Deeper!
Nov. 05, 2017

Ciara Koboski - Vice President
Black River Falls FFA Chapter
Section 3

Have we ever thought that we couldn’t make a difference? What can I do just one person what difference am I going to make? Maybe I could um no that’s impossible. These are phrases that may run through are minds at one time or another. Have we ever taken the time to change these phrases? I can make a difference. I may just be one person but I can get my friends and community to help. It may be impossible now, but I will make it possible.

It wasn’t until National FFA Convention this past week did I think about changing some of my thoughts. After listening to some of the motivation speakers to attiring addresses, I have thought it was time to take some time to do some digging. Have you ever dug into to yourself and thought about whether you were making a difference or just going with the flow. I want to make a difference I want to be the change in the world do you?

We may just be one person or a group of friends but we could come up with the impossible and make it possible by sharing our idea with or FFAmily until it is possible. When I was younger I always want to make a difference or be the change but I never knew the difference that I could make. It’s time to ask for help, work on ideas, work towards being the change you want to see. I challenge you to make a difference this year and don’t be afraid to ask for help or tell us the change you are making and we can help.

Ciara Koboski

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