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District leadership contests are the Super Bowl of FFA

Doug Abney and Anna Woods
LEADERSHIP QUEST BEGINS: FFA students from all over the state will compete in district contests this year, hoping to make it to state convention. Doug Abney and Anna Woods, Franklin FFA, performed there last year.
FFA Corner: District contests are a great chance for members to let their lights shine.

On Jan. 15, 1967, our world was changed forever. On this date, the first Super Bowl game was held. Since that day, countless Americans have spent time enjoying the same game each year. This year will be no different.

Each time I watch the Super Bowl, I wonder what thoughts are running through the players’ heads. Like any other game day, players tie up their cleats, put on their gloves and proudly represent their names and team logos on their jerseys. Think about how much that day must mean to those players. I am sure their minds are filled with nervousness, excitement and pride.

FFA's Super Bowl: District contests
The same is true of Indiana FFA members as they compete in district leadership contests. Just like any other day, they put on their official dress, tie their ties or tighten their scarves, and proudly represent their names and chapters stitched on their blue corduroy jackets. On the day of district contests, the feelings students exhibit parallel those of the NFL players. They are nervous, excited and proud to represent their FFA chapters. 

My first time playing in the “FFA Super Bowl” was in seventh grade. I had prepared a Discovery Degree Food Science Demonstration about microorganisms. After nervously talking to my FFA advisor for what seemed like decades, it was finally my turn to compete. I went in that room, and like any engaging football game, there were scores and there were fumbles.

I was proud of how I did in some areas, but other times I seemed to forget how sentences worked. At the time, the fumbles discouraged me, but the next year I did not make the same mistakes.

Proud coach moments
Let’s fast-forward to the end of the Super Bowl game; confetti flies, players cheer, and the camera shows a proud coach. The joy on the face of the coach from the winning team speaks volumes.

My senior year I had the chance to experience that same joy, and that was when I truly understood the importance of these district leadership contests. The first time I sat down to practice with eight individuals who would be competing in the FFA Quiz Bowl career development event, I was worried. I was their coach!

In this contest, participants take a test about their FFA knowledge and history. Like all great athletes, these students worked harder and gradually became more skilled. When the FFA Super Bowl came around, I had my proud coach moment. My heart filled with metaphorical confetti as I realized how much these students had grown. Both teams come away with a district championship.

As my state officer teammates and I travel to district contests, we cannot wait to see students showcase their skills. Some will win, and some will lose. But in the end, all students will grow. I became an individual who is now more comfortable talking in front of others, and gained leadership skills that will benefit me throughout life. The same is true for the students I coached and the nearly 12,000 members of Indiana FFA.

Jacobs is the current Indiana FFA state reporter. She writes from Trafalgar.

Jacobs has worn many hats and even
different FFA jackets during her FFA career.
She currently wears a state officer jacket.

Meet Leah Jacobs

Name: Leah Jacobs
Chapter: Eastern Hancock
Parents: Scott and Cindy Jacobs
FFA advisors: Scott Jacobs, Sarah Williams, Diana Arellano, Natalie Schilling
FFA activities: Livestock Skillathon; various state and national judging contests in livestock, meats and crops; District 8 vice president
School activities: National Honor Society
Community activities: 4-H, Riley Hospital volunteer
Future goals: continue education at Purdue University
Career goal: become an ag instructor and FFA advisor









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