Mark Timm of Putnam County took time out this week to visit the National FFA Center and thank a small group of contributors who gathered to help celebrate National FFA Week at the Center itself in Indianapolis. Timm is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National FFA.
Now the father of six, attending with his bride, Ann, he told those gathered about his experiences, and his brush with fate that determined the direction of his life.
"Back when I was entering my freshman year I chose agriculture on the signup sheet as an elective," he says. "When I got my course schedule, agriculture wasn't on it. Instead there was Latin, and I hadn't even signed up for it. I went to my counselor, and found out that since I was on a college track, they thought Latin would do me more good, so they clicked the box for Latin instead of ag – both classes met at the same time.
Fortunately, his dad, Larry, didn't see it that way.
"He's not afraid of too many people so the next morning he made a quick appointment with the principal, took me in, and said, 'I believe this young man signed up for agriculture, not Latin.' The principal scratched out Latin and checked the agriculture box, and I was in agriculture.
"If it wasn't for the check of the box thanks to my dad, I may have never found out what FFA was all about. It has truly made a difference in my life. Our two oldest are now in ag and learning about things like the FFA Creed."
We need adults out there to support their local chapters and students, and if called upon, to be the one that says I think this person needs to be in agriculture, because they could benefit from FFA training and leadership development."