We Are The Lending Hand

We’re back to school, or at least some version of it. Surely a form that is unlikely to be preferred among students, school may not be fulfilling our ideal dreams that we’ve imagined for years. As FFA members, we have heard Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” so often. But with this virus forcing unique precautions and Oregon literally burning right before our eyes, it may not seem like we have anything to give at all. Lots of hands feel bare and worn right now, and too many physically are; but the truth is, there is always a part of each of us that someone else or other people need. 

When the evacuations started, my team and advisors jumped into action immediately. They opened the State Fairgrounds and started to take in animals that didn’t have anywhere to go, alongside other county grounds throughout the state. Species from house dogs and cats, to cattle have been brought in seeking refuge. And while many have been lucky enough to be graced with humanity, too many haven’t had the same privilege. Fires and Covid-19 do not discriminate against anyone or anything. Those who have been lucky enough to have missed their path have a chance to do so much good right now and offer humanity where these destructors have demolished it. If I could leave you with one thought, it would be: your ability to help is powered by the absence of humanity. 

There are so many helping hands actively working, but there are even more people and animals that are victims of this inequivalence of humanity. But that also means there is so much we have the ability to do. What you have to offer will look different than what your peer does, but whatever you can give is welcomed all the same. Your distinct skills are needed right now. As leaders in a world where it is difficult to be one, it is important that you stand when no one else will and simply be the light where the darkness is vast. My team and I are here to support you, physically and emotionally, as much as possible. 

As we take on this new rhythm of living and adjust to the mishappenings of ourselves as well others, OR FFA is adjusting and living this right along with all of you. We will continue to strive to empower our members and shed light on those around us as frequently as possible. The band Mumford and Sons sang,

“Keep the Earth below my feet

For all my sweat, my blood runs weak

Let me learn from where I have been

Keep my eyes to serve and my hands to learn”

May we live out those words now more than ever before. We are the lending hand. Stay safe!

With so much admiration,

Alivia Robbins

2020-21 Oregon FFA State Reporter

Learn to Live

A couple days ago while looking back on photos from our year, I started reflecting on the crazy year we have had so far. In March, schooling went virtual. In April, while we were in quarantine, we were elected as
state officers via Zoom. In May, we finished our last month of high school. In June, we graduated. And in July, many of us sold our senior year projects virtually. Through each season, I learned one thing: even though it is easy to see the negatives in these situations, we must adapt to the times.

Everyday, people ask me about what our year looks like and how we as a team feel about it. I always answer, ”This year is full of change.” Change can be scary, but once we step out of the mindset that it’s going to be scary and step into a positive mindset we…

Learn to live

In August we were supposed to attend Summit in Washington D.C., but instead we sat in our houses and met with state officers from across the country, via Zoom. Even though our only option was to attend Summit virtually, we made the most of the awkward situation. We had virtual dance parties, got to listen to icons (like Bill Nye the Science Guy), and had some pretty sweet giveaways. On top of it all, we got to meet 40 other amazing state officers in our small groups. Seeing all these people make the most of the situation made me realize that to truly live, you have to learn that change isn’t scary.

Going into leadership tours, camps, and competitions, we have to remember that this year is going to look a little wacky, but change will allow us to make our mark in history. Without this pandemic we wouldn’t know how to live, but now we have learned to live.

~Celilo Brun, State Treasurer

“The best is yet to come.”

My teammates and I just wrapped up a phenomenal training called “Delta,” led by Mr. and Mrs. Cant in the beautiful small town of Imbler. Part of our training was creating workshops we will present in classrooms. While we were each sketching out our workshop onto a piece of white paper with colorful markers, it was at that moment I remembered one of my favorite phrases… 

“The best is yet to come.” 

I had been eagerly looking forward to the Delta Training, because this is where we would create our workshops for students. The idea of myself creating an entire workshop for middle school/high school aged students was intimidating. Although with my five teammates, Joenelle, Mr. and Mrs. Cant, we all got it done!

Even though we may not know exactly how this year will look, as 2020 has been anything but “normal,” I do believe we all have something to look forward to. It may be a huge moment, or multiple small moments throughout this year. We all have the choice to look forward to the future, or to fear it. There will be bumps in the road, but it’s again our choice to remember in those moments that the best is yet to come. 

I hope just as my teammates and I have been able to continue preparation for this year no matter how it looks, you too can also look forward to the future. 

Stay safe, be kind, and remember, the best is yet to come! 

With gratitude, 

Raimey Brown

Oregon FFA 2020-2021 State Secretary  

Prone To It All

It seems as though in life there are some people exceptionally prone to accidents and mishaps. Someone specific just popped into your head, didn’t they? We all know someone that falls a little more than everyone else or who has broken a bone or two more than normal. I sure do. However, there are also those in our life who are prone to beautiful moments. Surrounded by my new family at our first training, I can safely say that my team and I are some of those people. Grace, Raimey, Celilo, Alivia, Colby, and I have spent the last week learning about what makes a great state officer and how we can be those individuals for Oregon FFA. 

We’ve spent over 30 hours training to serve the future of our organization: FFA members. From learning key traits, to how to invest our time in order to grow ourselves and members, every day we are closer to meeting and making amazing memories with all of you. 

Prone to accidents, the team and I have had our fair share of falls on this trip. From Celilo and I falling on the ground after slipping and sliding around the house in our socks to Raimey falling in Mirror Lake. We laugh, get back up again, and realize that some of us are especially prone to painful accidents.

However, I have realized in the short amount of time I’ve been with this team, that we are extremely prone to beautiful moments, too. We’ve laughed at the dinner table about some hilarious action Grace did, went on fantastic little adventures that Colby created memes about, have squeezed in every ounce of fun before Alivia had to go to bed early,  and have experienced true teamwork establishing the basis of our year and the actions we hope to accomplish to better the organization. 

Through our first training, I have learned an incredible amount of information about the people I am going to be spending the next year of my life with. I’ve learned birthdays, motivations, hardships, favorite TV shows, personality types, and everything in between. But what I’m most excited about this year, is that on this team each of us is prone to it all. Prone to accidents. Prone to kindness. Prone to adventure. Prone to imperfection. Prone to honesty. Prone to responsibility. And most of all, prone to absolutely beautiful moments. 

To be with each other for the first time made for a magical experience and we cannot wait to lead unconditionally with you this year!

Make sure and wish our State President, Grace Adams, a Happy 18th Birthday today!

With love,

Jenna Wallace

2020-2021 Oregon FFA State Vice President

“Four Years Down. One More to Go.”

As I sit here sipping my morning coffee, I reflect on just how crazy these past two months have been. First the cancellation of the long awaited 2020 Oregon FFA State Convention, then school, then graduation and with it, all the senior traditions the classes before us have carried on. Though not all was lost when this pandemic so graciously blessed us with its presence, as the election process for a new officer team quickly jumped to virtual. I don’t think it was how anyone imagined it, but nonetheless, the 4 crazy days of online interviews flew by. Each day, as my dreams came closer to reality, I began to realize that becoming a state officer wasn’t about the stage or the lights, it was about having the opportunity to impact and serve others. 

I was just a freshman in high school when I attended my first leadership camp, and I was lucky enough to have been put in a group with Kourtney Lehman, who was at the time serving as the  2017-18 State President. On the last day of camp, I received a letter from her that thanked me for my participation and overall gave me some words of wisdom. Since then, I’ve had that note taped to the upper corner of my mirror, as a reminder of how I wanted to use my words to positively  impact others, just as Kourtney had done for me. Now, four long and hard years later, I sit here writing to you as the newly elected 2020-2021 Oregon FFA State President, and it truly is a dream come true. My teammates, Jenna Wallace of Hermiston, Raimey Brown of Baker, Celilo Brun of Hood River Valley, Alivia Robbins of Burns, Colby Fairbairn of Roseburg, and myself are overjoyed with excitement as we begin our journey as a team. Oregon FFA, I am beyond grateful to serve you and I am looking forward to meeting each and every one of you this year! Four years down. One more incredible year in FFA to go. 

With Love, 

Grace Adams

2020-2021 Oregon FFA State President