Five minute phone calls with family during a hustle from one stop to another. Sleepless nights balancing the day’s to-dos. Driving, driving, and more driving. Showing up to school with bags under your eyes but still being ready to face the day. 

These are some of the not-so-glamorous aspects that pair with the absolute honor and privilege of our year as State Officers. I never really thought about these parts of our day as a possible challenge until I was asked, “Kylie, how do you guys do this?” My first thought was “Do what? I am having the time of my life. I love you all.” 

But this question resonated with me, and I couldn’t help but reflect on what my answer would be. Do I overlook things that could possibly build up to create stress?  How do we do it? How have past state officers done it? 

After some thought, I firmly believe that it all boils down to purpose. Purpose is what drives us as an organization, a community, and leaders. It’s the why behind all of our actions. 

The purpose of FFA? That’s easy, to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. 

Our purpose as a community of agriculturalists? Support the ever growing demands of an increasing population. To do this, I believe a shared value across our community is to advocate for the agriculture industry in any way we can. This looks different for all of us when we put it into action, but the roots are the same. 

My personal purpose? Through ups and downs, I continue to remind myself that my purpose on this Earth is to walk by faith, hope, and love while creating an environment where those around me know they are valued and they matter. I can remember a time where I felt so small, wandering aimlessly in a big world. I questioned if my actions were even noticed or if I even mattered. During this time I wish I had someone give me a reminder that the things I do and say have an impact. I wished I was reminded that even if I didn’t perform at my highest, I still was valued. In honor of this, I choose to be the person I wish I had.

Understanding what our purpose is can feel simple for some, while for others it might feel daunting. Regardless, I encourage you to search for your purpose. No matter what your background is or who you are, you have a purpose. Once you know your purpose, use it as your foundation when making decisions and you will notice a difference in the fulfillment and satisfaction you feel afterwards. I promise. 

The next time I am asked, “How do you do it?” my answer will be, “My purpose guides me. As long as I’m following it, I am confident I’m headed in the right direction.”

If you were asked the same question, what would your answer be?

~Kylie Temple

State Vice President