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
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
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
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
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.