As the 2022 Oregon State Fair comes to a wrap, I start thinking about all of the amazing new connections I have made with members and visitors here at the state fair. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to members from all over the state these past two weeks.

I have always loved getting to meet new people. Learning about what interests others fascinates me. The State Fair was just a world of fascination for me. I never grew up showing or raising livestock, so seeing members show the dedication and passion they have in their animals is amazing. All the hours and hard work they put into getting ready on top of getting ready for school to start, just makes me more excited to get to know them more. I had the opportunity to speak and spend time with a lot of members. The conversations we had are something that I’ll never forget.

Thanks to the Salem-Keizer and North Clackamas FFA Chapters, I had the opportunity to show a llama through an obstacle course and shear a sheep for the first time. I am grateful to the members of both chapters for letting me have these new experiences. When trying to get the llama to go through the minivan, I struggled a little. That llama did not want to go through. After a few tries, I finally succeeded. The next day is when I got to shear a sheep. I was handed the shears and I went with it. I had only ever seen others shear sheep briefly, so I had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully the members were graceful with me and gave me some advice along the way.

While being at the State Fair, I learned how to swing dance. I am not a dancer, but swing dancing I can get behind. Thanks to Dale, a member of the Molalla FFA and my teammate Grant, I learned a few moves. Kinsley and I have been practicing those moves for quite a while now, I’d say we’re starting to get the hang of it. I never realized that swing dancing was simple and yet so much fun. I always thought it was complicated because of all the fast movements.

I am grateful for all of these opportunities I had while at the State Fair. All of the new friends I made, things I learned, and the experiences. These are all things I will always remember. Now, Leadership Camps and Tour start soon! I can not wait for all of the new connections and experiences I’ll get to make with members all over the state!

Your friend,

Uriel Aguilar Torres

Oregon FFA State Sentinel