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Discovery is key in FFA

FFA Corner: Push yourself to grow and change through exploration and discovery.

May 7, 2024

2 Min Read
Erin Padgett, Indiana FFA
NEW WAYS TO GROW: Some people learn and grow by leaving home, while others push themselves to embrace change by adopting new technologies. Indiana FFA’s Erin Padgett has found that gaining new experiences helps her grow. Tom J. Bechman

By Erin Padgett

It seems inevitable that those growing up in small, rural Midwestern towns have designs on escaping their hometowns and venturing out into the world to discover what else exists. Like many, those were my grand plans once upon a time.

Those plans changed, like so many do, when I found other ways to explore and discover the world at large. I am quite happy to say that I have had multiple opportunities to travel to many other countries and to many states, both near and far. The one thing that has not changed throughout my travels is my curiosity to see something new and to experience things that are not the same as they are “back home.” Travel allows me to learn and grow.

It does not matter if the adventure was as grand as trekking through the Dandenong Ranges in Australia or as simple as driving past vegetable fields in Arizona. The discovery remained the same: I learned something new.

As a teacher, I was sometimes able to bring that information back to my students and help them expand their views of the world. Often, what I experienced did not exponentially change anyone else, but that does not mean it was any less important just because I was the only one growing.

Embrace discovery through FFA

Discovery, exploration and growth go hand in hand. I would venture to say that most involved in the agriculture industry would agree that they are tasked with keeping up due to technology and innovation.

Author and life coach Tony Robbins said it best when he said, “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”

How easily do you accept change? What do you have in your life that allows you to learn and grow?

As we prepare for the 95th Indiana FFA Convention at Purdue University in June, we are fully embracing the theme of “Discover.” Indiana FFA will continue to unearth new leadership opportunities for members and professional development for teachers, as well as expand offerings for alumni and supporters to get involved.

We are always in need of qualified judges for events, so you could volunteer to judge and be inspired by the members to think outside of the box. Our state’s 220-plus local chapters are always in need of support, whether it is time spent coaching a group or through financial assistance. You can join the Indiana FFA Alumni and Supporters to share your talents with members and advisors even if you were not an FFA member in school.

Through discovery comes new thoughts and experiences. May you find yourself welcoming change and allowing yourself the opportunity to grow, just as the over 14,000 Indiana FFA members have done all year.

Padgett is assistant director of youth development for the Indiana FFA Association.

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