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28 Oct 2012 - My Batteries are Charged for Another Year

I have just completed my annual ‘battery charging week’. Why do I call it a ‘battery charging week? Because I spent four days in Indianapolis rubbing shoulders with some of the greatest young people in the world at the 85th annual convention of the National FFA Organization.

It was a record-setting convention with more than 56,000 people, most of them FFA members from across the country in attendance. Along with them, parents, friends, FFA Advisors, school administrators and agri-business corporate executives were there to also rub shoulders with these young people and provide funding and encouragement for the many programs carried out by FFA members in 7,498 local chapters. In addition to setting a convention attendance record, it was also a year of record membership, 557,318 members in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

It truly is a ‘battery charging’ week for me and any concerns I might have about the future leadership of this country and this world are put aside when I talk to these outstanding young people. In our four-day gavel-to-gavel TV coverage on RFD-TV, I get to visit with many of them, from the FFA Stars to the American FFA Degree winners to the National FFA Officer team elected at the close of the convention.

I have attended FFA Conventions since 1958 and I continue to marvel at the accomplishments of these members who, at a relatively young age, have already set their goals and beyond that, have laid out the roadmap on how to achieve those goals. That is one of the reasons I entitled my new book ‘You Can’t Dream big Enough’, because these young people, despite their excitement and enthusiasm, really can’t dream what is going to happen as they move into the adult career world. They move into that world well prepared because of the training and the hands-on work with their Supervised Agricultural Experience projects in the FFA.

If you have never attended an FFA Convention, do it some time. I am convinced you will come away feeling the way I do. If you have the opportunity to support FFA as a member of the Alumni Association or a member of the community or the school board, by all means, do so. It is truly one of the greatest youth leadership building organizations anywhere on the planet and I guarantee your battery will be charged!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.