Friday, August 31, 2018

"The Importance of Livestock" by Madison Sittig, State Treasurer

         September Blog

Life without animals is a life none of us want to live. Have you ever stopped and thought about what the world would be like without any animals? Think about farm animals especially. Without them, we would not have milkshakes, omelettes, Raising Canes, or bacon. We would all be hungry! Animals that are raised to provide food are called livestock. Livestock is a major part of agriculture, and students are even able to be involved in it through livestock shows. Where are they held? How do I participate? What do I need to start? Where do I start? These questions and more may be running through your head. Since show season is just around the corner, I’m here to help guide you through the world of livestock shows. This will be your one-stop shop for all things livestock!
Livestock shows are events that are held all over the United States. They are a place where FFA and 4-H members, parents, grandparents, family and friends gather and spend some quality time together. Members can show swine, cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens, and even rabbits. Some of us only exhibit one specific species, while others may show multiple. In order to show livestock, we must begin by deciding which animal we would like to exhibit. For example, I own a pig operation so I prefer to show swine. After we pick out our animal or animals, we take them home and raise them. Showing livestock is a huge responsibility, so we have to be fully dedicated. Everyday our animals need to be fed, watered, and exercised. We also have to bathe our animals a few times a week. After our animals have been raised and taken care of, we prepare for the best part... livestock shows. Livestock shows are a time to see all your friends, show your animals, and have a grand old time. At the shows we exhibit our animals in front of a judge and then are ranked according to various factors.
To add onto all of the fun, showing livestock is also my SAE. Yes, doing what I love is also my supervised agricultural experience in FFA! Showing livestock has taught me many valuable lessons. Responsibility, time management, and dedication will come naturally as a result of your hard work. In order for us to succeed, we must put in the work. Showing livestock requires a lot of time and energy, but when you love spending time with your animals, you won’t even see it as work. You will have to find a way to balance your time. Between feeding before school, exercising and feeding after school, studying for school, and doing extracurricular activities, you are going to be busy.Time management will play an important role in raising and showing livestock.
The livestock industry is a vital component of the agriculture industry. What would the world be like without any animals, especially livestock?
I hope many of you want to start showing livestock and discover its importance! Ask a parent or your FFA advisor how you can get started! I promise, you won’t regret it!

Stay involved guys, 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

"Greaux through Leadership"by Zachary Mayfield, State Sentinel

August Blog

The lights are dimmed. The Chicago Bulls theme song starts. You’re sitting in the crowd impatiently awaiting nominating committee’s report. Minutes later the report is finished and confetti is covering the individuals on stage. In these moments, thoughts are running across your mind, and you are thinking to yourself, “I want to be up there one day. What do I have to do to be up there?" You have now become so motivated to run for office but then you think to yourself, "But what if I lose? I’ll make a fool of myself. I’ll be left in that circle and everyone will think I am a failure.” I started off just like you worrying about what others would think, better yet what I would think if I failed. Then I ran for area office for the first time, with my confidence through the roof, only to feel disappointed as my name was not among the eight called. My mind was racked with thoughts, questioning my confidence and worth. I was sitting in the back seat of my advisor's vehicle heading home with my headphones plugged in thinking I am not good enough, thinking to myself that I should just give up. I let those thoughts get in the way of thinking what I can actually reap from serving as a leader in the FFA. 

That is the first mistake we make. We allow what others think of us to discourage us from doing something we have always dreamed of doing. And by doing this, we will never know what it's like being an officer in the FFA. Time passed and I got over the tough loss. I worked tirelessly throughout that year and it came time to turn in my area officer application again. I doubted myself, but I ran anyway. I went through the process and it was time for the report. “For the office of Junior Vice President…… Zachary Mayfield of the Creekside FFA Chapter!” I could not believe it. I finally had done the unthinkable. All of those thoughts running through my mind were now gone and things of the past. Moments like these are something we will never forget - that feeling that you actually did it. But how would you know what these moments feel like if you do not take those chances, in this case, running for office? If you take the opportunity to run for office, bountiful growth is prone to happen. If you believe you can, you’re halfway there. Do not let anyone keep you from running for a leadership position in the FFA or achieving your goals. You never know what lies ahead if you simply take those risks. Your potential teammates might become your closest friends, or you might find your future career through these positions. I challenge you to take that chance, even if you’re just thinking about it. Take a chance because this organization can lead you to some pretty amazing places like it's led me. I hope that if you are a member, you seriously consider running for office. It will be one of the greatest experiences of your life, I guarantee it. 

Stay high quality,