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 

“Aren’t you sad your year is over?”

I’ve been asked a lot lately “Aren’t you sad your year is over?” I answer the same way every time; No. This usually equates to a confused look. 

As I’ve had time to reflect on why my year of service to Oregon FFA has looked like over the last year, I can’t help but be grateful it ever happened. Part of the magic of being a state officer is knowing you only have those 12 months to create your legacy, a footprint that will last forever. This has been, without a doubt, the best year of my life. That’s something that will never go away. I’m not sad it’s over, because it’s never really over. This year I’ve discovered that serving as a state officer is a starting point, not a finish line. It’s the jumpstart to the rest of our lives. While our time of physically wearing the blue jacket may soon come to an end, I know Oregon has an outstanding bunch of leaders ready to fill the association jackets as state officers. When we were elected, we signed on for the long haul (in more ways than one this year). I will remain an FFA alumni, supporter and most importantly remain a positive figure, encouraging members after me to begin the same adventure I started five years ago.

My hope is that their years of membership and service might just change their lives the same way it’s changed mine. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to serve and to be part of a legacy that’s as strong as ever. My heart is full that the 6 of us had the opportunity to experience this year together. As I’ve had the chance to meet the candidates vying for a state officer position, I have never been more confident in the future of our organization and agriculture as a whole. 

So no, I’m not sad this year has come to an end. It’s been pretty great creating our legacy. 

For the last time, 

The 2019-2020 Oregon FFA State Officer Team 

Josiah, Riley, Deidre, Keegan, Olivia and Ellie 

(Post written by Deidre Schreiber) 

It’s been a crazy month!

Though the 2019-2020 state officer team didn’t think we’d still be around, we’re happy to be continually serving a state association that’s making the most of this time.

The difficult circumstance we find ourselves in isn’t what we would have chosen. We couldn’t meet at state convention, many of us won’t have graduation ceremonies, and for some of us fear and anxiety may seem crippling as we’re stuck at home. Despite this, tough times also have the potential to grow us and bring us together.

Though we’re all physically separated, in many ways Oregon FFA has never been more united. Our opening session at the first ever virtual state convention had far more viewers than it would’ve in person. We’ve heard stories of FFA members serving their communities in practical ways. Members, advisors, and supporters have organized Zoom calls to stay in touch and keep moving forward.

We’ve also realized that the coronavirus hasn’t stopped FFA members from achieving amazing personal growth. Members have used their extra free time to prepare for virtual Career Development Events, learn new skills, and deepen relationships.

Oregon FFA has done our best to adapt given the current stay at home order. State staff continues to work hard from home as we make several changes:

Almost all of our Career Development Events will be happening virtually. Farm Business Management and Coop Quiz awards were announced today. Public speakers are currently using Zoom calls to speak to a panel of judges. Other Career Development Events, which would usually take place at CDE Days in Corvallis, will be happening virtually as well. Talk to an advisor for more information if you or someone you know would like to participate.

Our social media pages are far more active than they usually would be. We’ve started highlighting Oregon FFA’s seniors in daily posts in a time that’s especially difficult for them. Additionally, the state officers are making fun weekly videos from their homes. Catch up with Olivia on Mondays, Keegan on Tuesdays, Riley on Wednesdays, Ellie on Thursdays, Deidre on Fridays, and me on Saturdays!

As we look into the future, plans to elect a new state officer team are still coming together. Though the Oregon FFA Constitution and Bylaws state that in the absence of a state convention, the current state officers serve another year, all six of us believe Oregon FFA deserves a fresh team of student leaders. State staff is working to arrange for a virtual Nominating Committee to meet. They will select six leaders and report their slate at a State Executive Committee meeting. At that time, the state officer team will resign to allow the Executive Committee; made up of the district presidents, the state officer, and the Board of Directors, to fill our vacant positions.

Thank you all for continuing to stay positive and push forward with us! We’re looking forward to the future. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone who’s being affected by the current pandemic.

~Josiah Cruikshank

What is your Legacy?

Oh my goodness it is already March! When did that happen? It feels like time has flown by. To think a year ago all six of us started a journey that has forever changed our lives. This past year has felt like a blink of an eye, but also a lifetime. The journey has gone way too fast, but we’ve gained what feels like a lifetime of memories. We have experienced so many amazing things. From leadership camps to school visits and from business and industry tours to international travel, we’ve grown and learned so much along the way. I speak for the entire team when I say we will forever remember those experiences. But I believe most of all we will hold onto the legacy that has been created this year. 

Throughout this year we have tried to create a legacy within Oregon FFA. We have challenged each of you to try new things, be yourselves, be kind to the people around you, take risks, seize opportunities, and find how you can impact others. These are the legacies that we’ve tried to leave. Most remarkable, however, are the legacies we’ve seen each of you create. From actions like backpack programs, reading to middle schoolers, and food drives all the way to conversations, brief encouragement, and little moments of leadership that often go unnoticed, you are creating the legacy of our organization. The service, dedication, passion, kindness, leadership, and inspiration that each of you have brought to this organization is truly remarkable. You have inspired us and shown us how powerful our legacy can be. 

As we prepare for the 92nd annual Oregon FFA State Convention, I know I am excited to get to recognize and build our combined legacy. Every member, advisor, and supporter has a role in creating this legacy. While the four days we spend at convention are where we get to highlight our legacy, in reality it’s built 24/7. So let’s remember and be excited to continue to build our legacy as we get ready for March 19th in Redmond for the 92nd Oregon FFA State Convention!  

With excitement and gratitude, 

Ellie Hanson

2019-2020 State Sentinel