The 84th Indiana FFA State Convention was one of the craziest, busiest, sleepless weeks of my life — and the funny part is that it isn’t even a weeklong event.

A few weeks earlier, I agreed to volunteer as the media manager for the newsroom during the annual convention held at Purdue University.

When I was an FFA member myself, I always had thought of signing up to work in the newsroom during the event and help write or take photos for the newsletter that is handed out daily during the general sessions.

However, because of timing and the career development events in which I participated, along with not being sure if I would be good at finding the scoop and taking the perfect pictures that other members wanted to read and see, I never signed up to be a member of the newsroom crew.

That was one of the big reasons I decided to volunteer to oversee the media room, so I could help leave a positive impact on other young, aspiring agriculture writers and photographers.

Although I knew running the media room would keep me on my toes, I didn’t realize how much time that past media managers and FFA members put into making sure every session, banquet, workshop and community service project was covered.

Even though there were a few moments where I was afraid I was going to go bald before my 25th birthday, from pulling all my hair out, I would not trade the experiences from those four days for anything.

Not only did I have the opportunity to help build the raw talents of a new FFA member who decided to participate in the newsroom this year because he liked to take pictures, but I also was able to publish two of the pictures he took during the event as cover photos on the newsletter.

The look of astonishment and pure joy on his face truly was worth every minute of sleep I gave up staying awake until 4 a.m. the night before to make sure the publication got finished in time to meet the print deadline.

Plus, despite the several Indiana FFA conventions I have attended over the years, I was able for the first time to be out in the lobby prior to the state officers entering the convention halls for the first general session.

Not only did I get some incredible pictures of the team, but I got to experience the feeling of closeness that the group had developed over the past year and how truly dedicated and passionate each of them are for FFA.