For the past 5 years, I’ve spent the first week of June at the Kentucky FFA State Convention.
As an high school sophomore and junior, state convention was a chance to compete in a career development event and represent my chapter on the state level.
As a senior, I was competing for the chance to become the face of Kentucky FFA: a state officer. As a college freshman, I was retiring from state office and the most amazing year of my life thus far.
Following retirement, I came back to state convention as an “intern.”
Interns are past FFA members, not all past state officers, not all agriculture education majors, just alumni who want to give back to FFA by donating their time to making state convention a success.
The state officers are the ones on stage, poised and perfect.
What no one realizes is that there’s an intern backstage making sure that they go on stage when they’re supposed to, stand where they’re supposed to and are ready to say what they’re supposed to.
As a state officer, I realized just how important interns are.
By the last session I was so exhausted that I couldn’t even think straight. I was so thankful for the interns backstage reminding me what I was supposed to do next and to just take a deep breath and enjoy my last session.
Interns are truly the unsung heroes of state convention.
They’re the backstage crew, the contest organizers, the registration clerks and the good old fashioned gophers.
They run in heels, they sweat through their blazers, and cry right along side the state officers, state officer candidates and members at the election session.
Each intern brings their own special skills to the convention so I’ll be handling public relations for the week.
I’m writing press releases, shooting photos and helping news media set up interviews with state officers.
I’m also the convention “Roaming Reporter.” Basically, I take a video camera and interview members from across the state about their convention experience. The short videos are shown during the convention pre-session and give a chance for every member to get a moment in the spotlight.
In addition, Aaron and I are presenting a workshop called Blogging Blue Jackets. We’ll be discussing different forms of social media that FFA members can use to advocate for agriculture online.
I’ll expand more on that later, right now I’ve got to pack up extension cords, memory cards and battery chargers and gear up for what always promises to be a memorable week whether I’m wearing a blue jacket or a business suit.