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Every morning when I walk outside and look at the sky, I can’t help but think of the president’s opening ceremonies part where it says “the rising sun is a token of a new era in agriculture.” The rising sun helps us realize that there are more opportunities to come; in this organization and in our lives, and it helps us realize that no matter what we are going through, joy comes in the morning.

Think back with me to the summer of 2013 at the 85th Florida FFA State Convention – my very first state FFA convention! I remember seeing the state officers on stage during the first session. I remember how they all looked so poise and distinguished. I distinctly remember how I could see the joy in their eyes every single second they stood on that stage, and I said to myself, “I could see myself up there one day.” I had a dream, but I didn’t act on it until it was almost too late! I didn’t decide to run for state office until one month before screening at the State Leadership Summit! It was by the grace of God that I was able to pull it together, become a candidate, and get elected to serve with six other individuals on July 4, 2014. I had a dream, I believed in myself, and I acted on my dream to make it a reality. I encourage all of you to do the same. At the National Leadership Conference For State Officers in July, a North Carolina state officer shared this quote: “You don’t own success… you rent it, and it’s a payment that you have to put in every single day.”

“You don’t own success… you rent it, and it’s a payment that you have to put in every single day.”

One thing that I know for sure is that time truly does fly when you’re having fun! It seems like it was just yesterday that we were elected to serve as state officers, when in all reality we have already past the one month mark! Within our short month of state office so far we have traveled to Orlando, Gainesville, Haines City, and even Fort Myers, Florida for the Citrus Expo! My favorite events so far would definitely have to be the two camps that we had the opportunity to be a part of. Both Florida Outdoor Adventures and Florida Leadership Adventures were great experiences for all of us. I love getting to spend quality time with members at camps and conferences because it gives me the opportunity to see where they came from and how they plan to progress and keep moving forward as they grow as leaders is this association. I have learned so much already from the members, past state officers, national officers, advisors, and even my own teammates. I have enjoyed every single second of my state office year so far and I look forward to the rest of this year as we continue learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, and living to serve!

I was recently asked by a middle school student why I joined the FFA, so here is my answer…

The reason I am in FFA is because I believe that I was put on this Earth for three reasons: To lead, serve, and give people hope. Just like all of you, I have gifts that should be used to help others. I am an officer simply because it is my calling. The members have needs, advisors have desires, and this association needs leaders. I saw the needs of this association and knew that I could help!

To the potential members, I would advise you to not focus on the awards or the titles but just focus on one thing: serving others and being a role model for others to follow. Don’t try to do everything, just be the best you can be in what you do. Members – think about the reason that you joined FFA, advisors think about why you are involved with the FFA, and other stakeholders think about why you support the FFA. If you believe in the future of agriculture, then don’t just say it. Show it!

God bless,
Jacobi Bedenfield
Area I State Vice President

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