Wednesday, February 22, 2017

An FFA Love Story

Happy FFA Week! In this family, FFA Week holds special significance since we wouldn’t exist without FFA. That’s right; over a decade ago FFA introduced me to this stud:

Back off Ladies, he’s mine!

Here’s how the story goes: My Junior year of high school I boarded the bus for National FFA Convention along with peers from area schools. On our first stretch-break, this goofy guy from Marion (Nate) handed me a newspaper clipping of me running cross country that was over a month old. He had remembered me from the year prior, cut out the photo, and held onto it for me. Such smoOOoth (and bit creepy) moves! What can I say? He’s a guy who knows how to get what he wants. After handing me the newspaper clipping, he proceeded off the bus to purchase five pounds of cheese…swoon!

Years later I asked him what attracted him to me, thinking it was my deep brown eyes or dazzling smile (or let's face it- my 16-year-old body!).  He said it was because I was “wholesome.” Ha! Just what a young girl wants to hear!

Alas, the trait of “wholesomeness” doesn’t fade with age, but rather can be cultivated over time, so I guess we both won-out.  And FFA sure is a great place to meet wholesome, down-home people.

As for me, I fell for his kind heart, ambition, and lighthearted humor. Soon I was In Love with a Boy of the FFA, and the rest is history.

For both of us, FFA was instrumental in our leadership formation. Sure, we learned about agriculture and the fact that there are many more career opportunities in agriculture besides “farmer.” (This broader scope of agriculture is the reason "FFA" no longer stands for "Future Farmers of America") But our experiences taught us confidence, professionalism, optimism, teamwork, public speaking, and goal setting. Our marriage, our children, our careers, and many of our friends have come to us by way of the FFA. Isn’t it beautiful how God can use human institutions as conduits for His plan? How great thou art!

So, I think we’ll celebrate with Culver’s at some point this week as they’re running promotions to support local FFA chapters. We’ll also look into paying our lifetime alumni dues and remind ourselves, “To practice brotherhood, Honor agricultural opportunities and responsibilities and develop those qualities of leadership which an FFA member should possess.”

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