In today’s society it can be hard for an individual to get excited about the future of the nation when someone such as Miley Cyrus is the public figure who is plastered all over newspapers, magazines, television sets and Internet sites.

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I personally don’t think Miley dressing in hardly any clothes and dancing inappropriately will help solve the issue that currently faces the nation, as well as the rest of the world, of being able to feed nine billion people by the year 2050.

Quite frankly, I’m appalled that news stations continue to give Miley coverage and feed her need for the spotlight when real newsworthy issues are happening around the nation, such as the devastating winter storm Atlas that swept through South Dakota in October, killing tens of thousands of beef cattle, sheep and horses. The storm barely received any media attention.

This is one of the biggest reasons I am such a huge advocate, as well as a supporter, of youth agriculture programs such as 4-H and FFA.

Any individual who participates in either of those amazing agriculture groups stays dedicated, works hard and gives their heart and soul to the groups will be equally rewarded by getting as much out of, if not more, from the program.

Recently, I had the extreme privilege of traveling to Louisville, where the 86th National FFA Convention was held. I was able to witness more than 56,000 FFA members coming together from all over the country to celebrate their love, not only for their organization, but agriculture, in general.

All of the FFA members, staff and advisers I met were friendly and courteous. They helped restore my faith in the future of the nation, as well as mankind.

However, three young men from the Taylor County FFA Chapter in Kentucky made the biggest impression on me. I would like to go on record and say whoever thinks that first impressions don’t count would be seriously wrong.

I probably only talked with those three young men for less than 10 minutes total, but their overwhelming sense of pride, not only for FFA, but agriculture in their home state, as well as their country, at such a young age, shocked me and took me a bit aback.

One of the boys who was attending the convention for the first time shared with me that the night before the event started he barely slept a wink because he was so excited.

As he shared this, I watched as the other two young men nodded their heads in complete agreement. That is the kind of attitude Americans need to take about the future of the country.

We need to be so excited about where production agriculture will be 10, 20 or 30 years from now that we can barely sleep a wink — and barely blink when the name Miley is mentioned.