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On May 1, 2018 the Oklahoma FFA Association graciously awarded Bob Funk, Sr. the VIP Award—the highest level of public recognition and appreciation bestowed by this impressive organization.

At the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City and in front of 12,000 young agribusiness leaders from all 77 counties in Oklahoma, Mr. Funk presented a scholarship contribution of $50,000 and delivered these acceptance remarks (excerpts):

As a “milk boy” working on my family farm in Duvall, Washington, FFA has always been dear to my heart. At the very core of this organization is the mission to “make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.”

As I look around this room of future professionals, I know these crucial skills that FFA instills in each one of you will give you the best opportunity to be successful throughout your lives.

One lesson I’ve learned throughout my career is you are only as good as the last person you’ve helped. I’ve been blessed throughout my life to help millions of people realize the power of hard work, self-determination, and self-worth through employment.

Having a personal vision statement is important to keep you focused on your life goals. At Express, our vision is to help as many people as possible find good jobs by helping as many clients as possible find good people. At the heart of this is that we simply want to help others. We want to serve the communities where we work.

You would do well by following FFA’s Motto: “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.” I want to challenge you to commit to these four truths that are at the heart of FFA.

  1. Commit to be a life-time learner—It doesn’t matter who you are or how old you are, we all have room to grow.

  2. Get your hands dirty—We learn by doing. Have a strong work ethic which will help propel you to greatness.

  3. Work to live and give—Working toward financial goals helps us be better contributors to our community and offers us opportunities to give more of our resources.

  4. Embrace a servant’s heart—Understand why you are here. Do you want to be a consumer or a contributor? We need to give in and of ourselves. That’s the mindset I’ve had throughout my life, and by humbly serving others, I’ve been blessed by the countless stories of changed lives.

I am excited about the future for each one of you, and I look forward to seeing you blossom into the professionals you are striving to become.

Once again, thank you for selecting me as this year’s Oklahoma FFA Association’s VIP Award winner.

I am truly honored and vow to represent you well.

Thank you and God bless. – Bob Funk

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