Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What's Your Area of Expertise?

Today is day 2 of National FFA Week 2011! What did you or your FFA Chapter do to celebrate today? When I was at Little Wolf High School the officer team always planned exciting events throughout the week to create agriculture awareness within the student body. Activities that always seemed to go over well were: Barnyard Olympics, Ice Cream Social, FFA Game Night, Donate $1 to XX cause and get to wear a hat. We seemed to mixed it up every year with the help of our NEW Advisor, Mrs. Cordes, who started in Manawa my junior year, I believe the fall of 2004, and really opened the door of opportunity for Manawa kids to get involved in agriculture classes and FFA.
Mrs. Cordes introduced me to the phrase Supervised Area of Experience, meaning an area of agriculture a student wants to focus on and learn by doing. My two areas were Beef Placement and Agriculture Education (which is bascially agriculture leadership). Once these areas were defined I was able to apply for the Agriculture Proficiency Awards, that honor students for their SAE work and who have developed specialized skills to apply toward a future career. However this is not all glitz and glamour, proficiency aps are approx 10 pages, and I don't even want to know the number of hours we (Mrs. Cordes, Ms. Peterson, Ms. Erb, my parents, and I) spent rewording, proofing, typing, and analyzing these applications! However while doing it, I learned something very important about myself: while I knew I was passionate for the beef industry there were other areas worth exlporing. Which is where my Agriculture Education proficiency came in, I totally fell in love with this SAE and it fit me to a T (this area was based on leadership, fundraising events, student involvement, promoting agriculture to the public). Being the competitive, achieving person that I am I became totally focus and was determined to succeed. As I posted last night hard work, dedication and committment pay off this case was no different as I ended up winning the State Agriculture Proficiency Award in 2006! Although the joy of winning was rewarding and gave a sense of accomplishment, there was one more step: submitting my application for the National level. One of my proudest and highest achieving moments in FFA was then being a National Finialist (top 4) for the Agriculture Education Proficiency Award and recognized at the National FFA Convention! While that was 5+ years ago it does seem like just yesterday I was stressing about the application, having everyone review it and then celebrating the big win!
So here's to all the FFA Students who have worked hard these past 2+ months filling out applications! Good luck & please share your results.
For my FFA Alumni readers what was your SAE and what proficiency apps did you apply for? What was your proudest/highest achieving FFA moment?
N. Starr

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