The year of serving at the helm is coming to a close for Idaho’s state FFA officers. And to say it was a busy one is an understatement.
“I would consider it a full-time job, but the best full-time job ever because of how rewarding it is,” President Saydee Longhurst of Shelley, said.
A state officer’s schedule is challenging but also rewarding, Vice President Harrison Jansen van Beek of Middleton said.
“The schedule has been full, but I’ve loved every minute of it,” Secretary Allyson King of Filer said.
Treasurer Melanie Searle of Burley said there is no time off as a state officer.
“I’ve been constantly on call, and I don’t regret one second of it. This is exactly what we signed up for, and I’ve gotten back from this year more than I could ever give,” she said.
Reporter Savannah Stroebel of Kuna said it’s definitely a big time commitment.
“Having time management skills is essential. If it’s not your talent before state office, you’ll learn quickly,” she said.
Sentinel Caleb Johnston of New Plymouth said he learned to just plug away at what needed to be done each day, making a list and checking things off.
That’s just some of the insight the outgoing officers have for the new state officer team that will be chosen at the state leadership conference April 3-6 in Twin Falls.
Be in the moment and be all in, Longhurst said.
“I learned to take in whatever place or experience was happening in that moment because it only happens once and I only get one year to serve,” she said.
“Don’t take yourself too seriously,” Jansen van Beek said.
There are high expectations for state officers, and that can raise the tension higher than it needs to be, he said.
“Take the time to relax and enjoy what you’re doing in the moment,” he said.
King would advise incoming officers to be humble and teachable.
“As a state officer, things won’t always go as planned or how you thought,” she said.
She would also encourage them to be themselves, be confident, be patient with themselves and their team and enjoy the experience.
“Be yourself and take in every experience because you only get 525,600 minutes in an association jacket,” she said, referring to the number of minutes in a year.
Stroebel would advise the new team members to not be too hard on themselves, wishing they had done more.
“What you need to know is that the little things matter just as much, if not more, as the big things,” she said.
She would also encourage them to take time to talk to the freshmen at the back of the classroom as well as the industry leaders with decades of experience.
“The conversations you have with them and the impact they’ll make on your heart are irreplaceable,” she said.
Johnston said state officers aren’t perfect and advises the incoming team to not act like they are or think they have to be.
“Take care of yourself — you can’t pour out of an empty cup. (And) have fun; this only happens once,” he said.