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  State Officers Attend State Presidents' Conference in Washington D.C.
By: State Secretary John Brian Kirksey
Monday, August 6, 2012
When you think of America, what do you think of? Do skyscrapers in New York come to mind, or how about the Hollywood sign in California, maybe even images of a small southern town appear? Well, when I think of America, Washington D.C. immediately comes to my mind. This is our nation’s headquarters for power and leadership, and a center of influence for our nation and the world. This city has served as a central hub and shines a light of hope in a time where darkness and desperation appear so abundant.

The week of July 23-28, Dausen Duncan and I had the opportunity of flying to our nation’s capital to spend a week with 100 other state officers from all 50 states, including Puerto Rico. We participated in the final training conference for state officers, State Presidents Conference (SPC).

Each year, the current National FFA Officers conduct this conference where we focus around a theme. This year’s theme centered on “Founding The Future.” We as state officers gained knowledge on founding our future as leaders, and founding the future of our association’s and organization.

During the week, we had many occasions to meet and become acquainted with fellow state officers from across our nation. Dausen and I had the chance to learn about agriculture and FFA in different states, and were able to get a better understanding of how others make substantial impacts in their areas. We had an outstanding group of state officers and were able to make new acquaintances that will last a lifetime. That week, we got to know the National Officer team a little better, as well as their families and the National FFA staff.

One day, we had the opportunity to head to Capitol Hill where we met with Representatives and Senators about legislative bills and issues facing agriculture today. This included meetings with Representative Mike Ross, Senator Mark Pryor, Representative Tim Griffin and Senator John Boozman.

Being in the city where the most famous National Monuments are anchored, we had the privilege of seeing our National Mall, Memorial Park housing landmarks and monuments that included; WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, Korean Memorial, Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and even the Newseum. The most humbling experience was visiting Arlington National Cemetery and experiencing the Changing of the Guard ritual. We are so fortunate to live in America where every day, men and women are willing to give their ultimate sacrifice to protect this nation.

Although SPC did not entirely consist of sightseeing and city exploration, Dausen and I, along with the other state officers had work that needed to be completed for the National FFA Convention. We had to decipher through 32 proposed delegate issues, down to six issues that would go through the process at National FFA Convention in October. Dausen and I served on two different committees. These committees had to work quickly and effectively to insure that all states had representation on the issues they felt most strongly about. We will have the opportunity to serve in leadership roles in our committee during the National Delegate Process at National Convention. These committees will take appropriate actions to ensure all parties will be represented and can accomplish our end goal of making a positive impact on our organization and its members.

It has truly been an honor for Dausen and me to represent our state in D.C. and the upcoming privilege of guiding the process at National Convention. Plus, seeing how what we achieve makes an impact on FFA members across our great nation, was great.

SPC was an inspiring experience that was filled with learning opportunities that will impact us forever. We both look forward to serving this year and “Founding The Future” as we serve FFA members all across this great state.

State Secretary,
John Brian Kirksey

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