By: Abby Motter
You can’t help but be overwhelmed with powerful memories when you zip up that corduroy jacket for what will be the last time. You remember what it was like trying it on for the first time as a freshman, how much anticipation and excitement you had for the years ahead. How funny official dress seemed, how baggy the jacket was for your scrawny body, and how strange panty hose felt. You remember the trips, the contests, the friends, the funny moments, and the transformation from what you were, to what you are becoming. You hold on to the happy times and the exaggerated simplicity of life as a high schooler. You remember the first paragraph of the FFA creed, the rules for Division of the House, and to tuck in your tally-wacker. You know the impact you can have on a younger member, and the powerful influence your FFA Advisor continually has on you and countless other students.
Most importantly you recognize that when you take off that jacket for the final time you have a responsibility. The support of your family, friends, community, and school – anybody who ever once bought a case of citrus trio, bid up your feeder calf at the fair, attended your chapter banquet, or coached your soils team, gave you the gift of the FFA. There was only one catch – now it is your turn to give back to the organization that has given us all so much. Receiving the American FFA Degree is noteworthy, yes; it signifies over 5 years of dedication to premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. However, the American FFA Degree is an opportunity to sit on the other side of the desk, and serve the next generation of blue jackets.
This year I have the amazing opportunity to watch my sister begin her journey in the FFA. When I hung up the jacket a little over a week ago I held on to the memories, knowing my sister is already making her own. I am excited to serve this great organization as an alumna, and work towards fulfilling my dream of becoming an Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor. I know that my role as “Miss Motter” enables me to encourage more students to find their potential, chase after their dreams, and walk across that stage at National Convention one final time.