So many Farm Bureau and ag t-shirts, so many memories to go with each one. T-shirts and polos from Farm Bureau trainee programs, agriculture in the classroom, fundraisers, and all kinds of agriculture based events. Today’s t-shirt was John Deere green encouraging teachers, farmers, and those passionate about agriculture to “Plant a Seed, Grow A Mind.” Throwback Thursday transported me back to Rock Island County fairgrounds. Someone had a sense of humor because I taught sheep to hundreds of elementary school students. If you know me, you know I grew up on my family’s grain farm, no livestock there, save a black Labrador farm dog.
No one could have predicted I’d sound like an expert to first graders…and their curious adult chaperones. A few awkward questions later and I let chaperones in on the secret; I was a farmer fraud when it came to sheep.
Admittedly I didn’t always appreciate hotel rooms across Illinois or moving counties each month as a trainee. As a trainee, I also landed in a pig pen teaching pigs, helped run a tractor pull, learned to shoot a pistol, participated in a dairy tour, and facilitated a Congressional Forum. When I look back, I experienced so many opportunities not available in other positions. In hindsight, I worked hard and gained many manager mentors that still support me today.
Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Now I treasure those memories and learned so much. I evolved and adapted in the three years I’ve spent with Farm Bureau.
To all those who work so hard and diligently on projects, keep lessons learned, friends made, and awards earned with you. I understand your hard work with projects and care for your animals; hard work pays off and leads to opportunities beyond your imagination. Good luck to all showing at the fair!