Auditorium Full of Blue Jackets Inspirational

FFA members' accomplishments make us proud, but key shortfall is a challenge.

It was my absolute joy today to attend the 81st Kansas FFA State Convention in Manhattan, present a proficiency award to an outstanding young man and soak up the promise for the future that filled the atmosphere.

Micah Harmon of the Holton FFA Chapter received the Forest Management and Products Proficiency Award this year and it was my honor to present his award. Kansas Farmer traditionally sponsors the Ag Communications award, but there was no state winner in that category this year.

There was, however, no shortage of ability to communicate in the touching speeches of the retiring state officers who said good-bye to school administrators and FFA sponsors or in the outstanding remarks of National FFA President Paul Moya, a New Mexico native attending Notre Dame.

Moya challenged the 1,300-plus FFA members in attendance to think about what is stopping them from going after their biggest dream and then challenging "don't let it."

It made me think a little. Something is holding back Kansas Farmer from being able to congratulate a bright, young star of ag communications. For the second year in a row, there was no state winner.

I heartily commend FFA for not just picking "the best of the lot" and calling it a state award. Sticking to a standard is something that one rarely sees these days. But I wonder: what is it that professional ag communicators, like me and my colleagues at Farm Progress publications, need to do to help bring our next generation up to the level required? How can I help FFA advisors, high school and college teachers and others encourage ag communications excellence? Is there something we need to rethink?

Please share your thoughts with me, either on this blog or at my email address [email protected]

I look forward to hearing from you.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.