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Gaelan Combs - Sentinel
Verona FFA Chapter - Section 5
Supervised Agricultural Experience:
Diversified Livestock Production and Environmental Science & Natural Resource Management. My Diversified Livestock Production SAE consisted of running the day to day operations on my show animals, including my market turkeys, laying hens, meat chickens, show pigs, and the 7 horses I have at home. Aside from care and managing feeding routines, I also trained my show animals. My Environmental Science & Natural Resource Management SAE involved keeping a garden of pollinator plants at my town hall to showcase local sustainable agriculture as well as beekeeping.
What was your favorite FFA opportunity that you participated in?
In FFA, one of my favorite opportunities was attending National FFA Convention. When I attended my first national convention my sophomore year of high school, I was in Louisville, Kentucky. After stepping off the bus and arriving into the Kentucky Expo Center, I saw the "sea of blue" FFA jackets below me and I realized connected all FFA members are under one blue jacket. I got to attend convention in Louisville and Indianapolis, and now as a state officer coming back I continue to meet new people and see what the agriculture industry means to so many FFA members. Many of my best friends I've made in the FFA have been made at national convention or I've reunited with them there, and I couldn't wish for another way to show what FFA is about quite like convention.
What was your favorite holiday tradition growing up?
The holiday season is such a great time of year, naturally I couldn't decide on one singular tradition I enjoyed the most. One of the traditions I loved was my dad and I were the ones who always go to get our Christmas tree. We were never the family to set our tree up the day after Thanksgiving, and so around the middle of December, my dad and I were the ones sent out to get a Christmas tree. I always loved walking around the tree yards, seeing what they had and choosing one with my dad that was just right. The other tradition I loved was my sister and I's Christmas Eve gift exchange. Our family didn't travel for the holidays, and continuing on my mom's tradition with her brother, on Christmas Eve Aidan and I get to choose one of our gifts to give to the other to open before Christmas morning, and then after that one gift, we wait until the next morning for the rest. I hope that when I have children that they get to go through the same traditions as a family.
Looking to the future, what is one goal you have for the rest of your year serving as a state FFA officer?
For me, I had absolutely loved my interactions that I have had with ag ed students and FFA members through workshops, chapter visits, and convention. Moving into the rest of the year, I hope to continue those interactions with members as much as I can and to develop those times that I can continue to lead FFA members not only as a state officer, but as a mentor and as a friend. The interactions that mean the most to me are the times that I can see how I help those who I work with, and I hope to continue to help FFA members understand and reach their potential this year. I want to make our state grow as much as we can, but most importantly, be a friend to those disenfranchised or anyone who believes that they can grow. So by attending impromptu FFA events, getting to as many banquets I can, or reuniting with as many as I can at conferences or conventions, I hope to make this year the best it can be.