Who knew a blue jacket and the experiences that it brought could impact your life so much? I remember being a freshman in high school. My ag teacher came to me and they had an opening on the National Dairy Team, and he wanted me to participate. At first I was a little nervous but it didn’t take long for me to jump on that team. That experience got me excited about the FFA and all my future would hold. As I walked into convention and saw all of the other students wearing blue and gold I could not help but be excited for what was going to happen. I learned confidence, leadership and being a teammate at a very young age because of National Convention. Plus, the connections that were made were endless. I was able to experience convention as a student three times and each year I fell more in love with the organization.
The only greater experience of going to National Convention as a student was going to convention as a teacher. I was able to take students to convention on three different occasions when I taught Agricultural Education in Colorado. As a teacher it is amazing to see your students succeed not only in competition but also in participating in workshops. You may be asking yourself how can they succeed in workshops… and by this I mean success in making the next step in progressing themselves in their leadership. As a teacher it put a smile on my face when my students were successful in prepared speaking, extemporaneous speaking, livestock judging, and farm business management. Each of these contests took great work and diligence and when the students were successful it made them appreciate all that they had worked for.
National FFA Convention is a great experience and the students always come back with a new outlook on life. It is my hope that each student across the nation will take the opportunity to experience this as they will never have anything like it cross their path again. Blue and Gold can truly transform you!!
Casseday (Lohr) Marshall taught ag in Colorado before moving to Wyoming where she now ranches with her husband Lance and their young son Carson.