As I reflect back on this year and specifically State FFA Convention this past week, I am so thankful to be a part of such a wonderful group. I had the opportunity to spend time with several former state officers who had not attended the convention since it moved from the FFA Camp. It was great to see the convention fresh through the comments they made. Each one was truly inspired and captivated by the degree to which our program has grown--both in quantity and quality. Ultimately, though, I think each one was grateful to know that the foundational principles our organization was founded on are still alive and well in today's agriculture education programs.

We are truly blessed and I am thankful for all of the great agriculture teachers we have that are making opportunities come to life for their students. I remembered a poem I saw years ago and saved, called "Excellence."  I encourage you to print the copy I have attached here and share it with your students. It emphasizes that excellence just doesn't happen--people make it happen! 

As I watched the various awards sessions this past week, I realized that there are many chapters out there that have created a culture of excellence---it is expected in those programs. This yields more excellence in those chapters. The students know that it is expected of them, and at the same time, they know they have an agriculture teacher who is going to give them 110% so that they can achieve their fullest potential. Thank you to each of you who have worked and are working to create that type of culture!

If your program has not yet achieved a culture of excellence, I encourage you to spend some time before the next year starts in specifically planning ways and setting goals to achieve success. If there is anything I can do or anyone in our office can do to assist you, please let us know.

Lynn Barber, Ed.D.
South Region Agricultural Education Director
Georgia Young Farmers Executive Secretary
Georgia Department of Education
ABAC 34, 2802 Moore Hwy.
Tifton, GA 31794
229-386-3428 (office)
912-584-8442 (cell)

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"Making Education Work for All Georgians"