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There are leaders in blue and gold.

There are leaders being born in blue and gold, actually in National Blue and Corn Gold.  I have witnessed it. In a time when we hear many people talking about Gen Z’ers that can’t put down their phones, live in their parents' basement and have zero social skills; I can attest to the fact that those statements are not true for every teenager! 

Judging

Last week I had the opportunity to be a judge at an FFA Public Speaking Career Development Event. I will admit I felt the butterflies fluttering as I prepared to walk in the school to judge just like I did before my first Conduct of Meetings event as a freshman in high school.  Things came full circle as I walked into the school to gather with others to prepare for the judge's meeting.

The first person I laid eyes on was my former FFA advisor. FFA and my advisor provided me opportunities that I would’ve never had and made me the person I am today, you’ve heard me say it and you’ve read about it. This post isn’t about me though, it’s about the young men and women that I had the opportunity to observe on a cold, blustery February night in Northern Iowa and those that I have had the opportunity to follow in the last few years.

Leaders

The young men and women I am referring to are leaders, leaders in those beautiful colors, and they are everywhere. They know how to shake a stranger's hand appropriately, Robert’s Rule of Order, the skills needed to land a job with a smoking job interview, and how to share their passion through public speaking. They are your future employees, entrepreneurs, future fair board members,  future educators of the next generation and above all they are leaders.

FFA and agricultural education are curating a group of leaders that has the potential to use the skills they have learned to make their mark on this world! And the world better prepare themselves because the teenagers that I had the opportunity to meet last week in Iowa and those that I know are sporting corduroy jackets across other parts of the country (or have sported jackets not too long ago) are going to leave their mark and it’s going to be gigantic.  

My nephew after receiving his State Degree

FFA Members,  keep “dreaming big and huge” and Advisors keep seeing the great things your students are doing and use the best skill you have of finding those leadership qualities in each and every one of them. 

From the gravel road,

Jen

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Last week we were blessed to have some visitors come to the farm! They couldn’t have come at a more perfect time because it was “birth” day for Charlotte’s fourth litter! 

My friend, Lisa, works at NIVC Services, Inc. and had contacted me a few weeks ago to see if she could bring some clients for a tour! Lisa has the fabulous job of getting to do all sorts of fantastic activities with clients and is a top-notch chicken wrangler! NIVC Services, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization providing employment training and support to people with disabilities. 

From the NIVC Services website “Activities Group, our clients have opportunities to have rich experiences and active lives by meeting friends, building relationships, and participating in their communities. Rather than staying home watching TV on their days off work, Joblink Activities clients can choose opportunities to go out with a group of friends for a couple of hours or a full day. With plenty of suggestions from clients, each month is packed with fun and interesting things to do.”

Our guests from NIVC Services, Inc. had chosen one of their activities to be touring a farm so you can imagine my response when Lisa asked, I couldn’t have been more excited and knew just the week they needed to come based on when I knew we should be having baby pigs! 

Waiting to catch a piglet entering the world.

Although Charlotte didn’t actually deliver a piglet while we were impatiently waiting she delivered one while we were out of the barn looking at the calves so our guests did get to see a brand new piglet.

We wandered around the farm, talked about what pigs and cattle eat, looked at tractors, gave a few pats to Mouse the calf, looked at field corn and most got to pet Moose the chicken. We looked at straw and hay and discussed how straw and corn stalks become like a big bed for the animals. It was a blast!

Looking at straw

It absolutely made my morning to share what I love with this group that are all doing great things! I just know it based on their smiles and their fabulous questions. I can’t wait until Lisa calls for another visit! 

Our group picture, minus the chicken wrangler, she also served as the photographer. 😉

Have you been on a farm tour or given a farm tour?

From the gravel road,

Jen

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