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Gaelan Combs - Sentinel
Verona FFA Chapter - Section 5
gcombs@wisconsinffa.org
Supervised Agricultural Experience:
Diversified Livestock Production Placement and Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management.
What was your favorite tradition or annual event from your FFA chapter?
One of the events I loved as a member was our Helping Hands Toy Drive. Every year my chapter worked with our school's social workers to donate Christmas presents to families in need in our community. What was so fantastic about this event was how it brought my community together. All over Verona there would be paper mittens hung up, and families would go and buy a toy for another child and leave it at the store for us to come pick up. After we had received donations, we would send members out to go shop for more toys so we would have enough. What made this toy drive so special to me was that I saw how the FFA had the potential to touch the lives of others far outside of just our students, but our entire community. As FFA members, we can continue to leave our marks in the communities by what we do for others, and for me, our toy drive allowed me and my chapter to leave our mark in the best way possible.
What is one thing you are looking forward to doing as a state officer in the future year?
I can't wait to be able to interact and hear the stories of members across section 5 and the state over the next year. I remember when my state officers would sit and eat lunch with us during their chapter visits in high school. Now, I get to learn how to best serve my state by learning and interacting with members, whether it be at a workshop or over lunch at a chapter visit. Every FFA member has a story, an idea, or a characteristic that makes them shine, and I am excited to listen to these facets of you all so I can serve Wisconsin FFA to the best of my ability.
This year's state theme is "Our Tradition. Our Future. Our Legacy." What are some ways that everyone can contribute to the legacy of FFA and agriculture?
My first ever FFA event that I remember helping out at was at our alumni toy show. As I walked in to set up, I didn't necessarily remember the grumbling about moving tables, or that it was late because the basketball team had a game that night. What I remembered was how passionate the others were to be there, to be spending time with their friends and getting something accomplished. Even though it was menial work, everyone was excited about what they were doing. When I think about how everyone will leave their mark on the FFA and on agriculture, I think about how anyone can have a legacy by being passionate about the work that they are doing. We don't always have the most glorious jobs, or get the recognition that we may deserve, but the FFA and agriculture thrives on the energy and excitement that members bring. Whatever your passion may be, if it is teaching others about the proper technique to stitch a wound, practicing for the extra minute before your LDE event, or finding one more person to tell about joining the FFA, everyone's excitement is waiting to shine. If we can harness that, and direct eagerness into education and advocacy, every FFA member will leave their mark on the agriculture for the future.