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There is no school room like the lessons learned on the milkin’ end of a cow at 3 a.m. in morning. As the wind blows the sweet smell of freshly cut hay, the clouds begin to paint the sky with pink light as the sun prepares for its grand entry. Working the family farm at an early age, I learned that the livestock depend on you to be there every morning, the cows can’t wait on the milker, the crops will die in the field without the harvester and the good Lord made it all.

Hard work, leadership, faith and dependability are the lessons thousands of Oklahoma kids learn every day as members of the FFA. When they put on the iconic blue corduroy jacket, they wear the pride, the achievement and commitment to agriculture that the FFA has embraced for 90 years.

I love this organization and its mission to forge a pathway of premier leadership, personal growth and career success through the lives of America’s rural students. Every Spring, the Oklahoma FFA gathers for several dynamic days of learning at their annual State Convention in Downtown Oklahoma City. It’s been my joy to stand with these young leaders on their journey and support them as each carves out a unique future for themselves.

Once called the Future Farmers of America – the FFA fosters and helps develops global ambitions far beyond the boundaries of any one industry or nation. Today, the FFA Members dream, develop and prepare to be biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs and self-starters.

On the farm, hard work, hands-on skill set building and experiential learning never ends. This environment also applies to the market place. And at the end of the day, individuals drift asleep knowing they have accomplished a good day’s work and a job well done.

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