Many people would think that the National FFA Center would be buzzing with activity this week, since it is National FFA Week. Actually, about 90% of the staff and all the National FFA officers are on the road all over the country, helping chapters in as many states as possible celebrate FFA Week locally.
"We invited some local people who have supported FFA in for one evening to have them hear from some members who have excelled at that they do and from teachers," says Dwight Armstrong, CEO of FFA. He is the top leader in the organization.
One of those speaking was Marshall Perkins, a current Indiana State FFA Officer from Prairie Heights High School on the LaGrange/Steuben County line. He explained how he started out FFA only wanted to do certain contests. His advisors challenged him to do new things.
"I finally agreed to do entomology judging," he says. "As it turns out, I missed 75% of the bugs I was supposed to identify in the contest. I was dead last by a whopping 200 points. At first I said I'll never do this again – then I realized I had learned from the experience even if I wasn't good at it.
"I started doing other things that I hadn't done before during the rest of my FFA career. It led to my being a state officer, and getting to travel the state and see many great individuals who have grown through agriculture and FFA, just as I did."
Perkins will have an article appearing in FFA Corner in the March edition of Indiana Prairie Farmer which further explains how he has developed as a state officer, working with his teammates to train other individuals who start out as scared freshmen and leave high school as polished leaders, and ambassadors for agriculture.