The past couple of months have been an absolute whirlwind of activity. Between getting settled in with my college courses to preparing for national FFA officer candidacy rounds, it seems as though someone requested to have time pass in the blink of an eye.
Every year, the month of October holds a certain excitement for those who own a corduroy jacket. October means that they get to spend multiple days with their friends from around the United States learning about agriculture at the National FFA Convention. From hearing keynote speakers that give you goosebumps with their inspiring messages, to visiting the trade show, students and adults alike know that convention is a sight to behold. However, what some members may not realize is what goes on before convention.
About a week before convention kicks off, each of the 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, can send a candidate to vie for national office. These individuals will be put through multiple rounds that will test them on a pre-determined list of competencies. These rounds can range from giving a speech, having a one-on- one interview or facilitating a workshop to group of students.
This individual is someone who is incredibly passionate about the National FFA Organization because not only are they willing to go through multiple days of intense interviews, they're also willing to defer a year of college should they receive an officer position.
In July I was very blessed and incredibly humbled to learn that I will represent the Indiana FFA Association as our national candidate this year.
There is plenty of ground work leading up to convention that needs attention. Keeping informed on current agriculture issues is one of my foremost priorities. I've been able to down with numerous individuals to learn about current agricultural trends. One particular visit sticks in my mind.
Before I left, my mentor shared a piece of advice: "Do me a favor would you? Be a river, not a flood. In your preparations be consistent, but don't try to do it all in one day and burn yourself out. Just remember that a river cuts through a rock not due to its power, but its persistence."
Oftentimes during this process I think of all I want to accomplish before October and I get that sudden urge to attempt conquering it all in a day's time, but that thought is quickly trailed by this advice.
October holds a certain excitement for those who wear the corduroy jacket, and I am certainly not exempt from that. However I will continue to be a river.
Jacobs was a 2014-2015 Indiana FFA state officer