Tuesday, April 14, 2015

FFA 'ing

I spent three days at the FFA State Leadership Conference. When I got home the willows had flowered, that wispy light green smudge that appears across the dark branches and is always the first leafing of spring. It was a lovely greeting. But what I never realized before were the bees! As I walked home from feeding cows today a loud hum came from the trees. In researching, I found out that willows are important as a first food source for bees in early spring. Who knew our humble willow-lined canal had such an important job?

The kids put on another great conference. I helped select the new officer team as part of the nominating committee, or Nom-Com, as they call it. Students representing each of the nine FFA districts in Idaho serve on Nom-Com along with three adults. We put 24 candidates through a grueling interview process that I hope they appreciate later on as a character building event. Only six kids make it on the team. Now that it's history, I'd like to look each candidate in the eye and tell them how heroic they were, winners or not.  

Seth and Anna help run the conference each year since they've outgrown FFA membership. Seth hustles around with a mic in his ear and Anna, with script in hand, patiently guides the officers as they escort students, parents, civic members, teachers, etc. through the curtains and into the spotlight. When Nom-Com finished our work on the last day of conference, I stood in the darkness backstage and watched my kids do their thing. They were too focused to talk to me but I did get a heartfelt hug from each of them. I think I'm even more proud of them working behind the scenes than I was when they themselves were the stars of the event.

And in the final moments of the conference, as the officers were announced and they ran on stage, many in tears, I said a prayer for the kids who didn’t make it – to keep believing in themselves and to continue to grow and forgive. And to the ones who were selected, those who will wear the officer jacket this coming year, a prayer too, for discipline, humility, insight and integrity. Do us proud! 

bee heaven
credit Laura Wilder for the photo:
7 years of state presidents helping out with conference
- finally another girl!

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