The four years I spent in FFA always will be a huge part of
my life. From the first time I zipped up my corduroy jacket, I became a member
of a lifelong brotherhood.
Whenever a tragedy strikes, no matter whether they are
current members or alumni, the organization mourns the loss.
Sadly, the Indiana FFA recently suffered a shocking loss
when a horrific traffic accident claimed the lives of three members of the South
Ripley chapter and injured three more.
Before the accident occurred, the youth had been working
together serving breakfast at a church to farmers and ag leaders who were
attending a soil and water conservation meeting.
The day the wreck happened, I saw pictures on the news and
online. Police said speed was a factor, along with both trucks running a stop
After seeing the damage to both of the vehicles, I couldn’t
believe that any of the students made it out alive. The bed of one of the pickup
trucks came off completely, along with the rest of the truck being
My heart goes out to the families of all the students
involved in the accident and the members of the FFA chapter.
Although the students did leave the breakfast early — why
isn’t clear — and speed appears to have been a big factor, it’s important to
remember that these were good students and members of the community that
apparently made a bad decision that cost three of them dearly and will forever
change the lives of the others.
Those not involved in FFA or the agriculture industry may be
quick to pass judgment on the students involved in the accident, believing if
they had not left the event or missed school in the first place that the
accident wouldn’t have happened.
But from my days in FFA and all of my siblings also
participating in the organization, I know there are a lot of activities,
contests and meetings that take place outside of school hours that because of
limited transportation required us to drive ourselves or have our parents drive
us if we were not old enough.
That was the case for the members of the South Ripley FFA.
They had to be at the church where they were serving breakfast at 5:30
FFA is a brotherhood, and the bonds and the memories that
one builds will last forever, which includes serving breakfast early in the
morning, not getting home until 10:30 p.m. because your chapter just won first
in a contest and giving up your weekends to attend leadership camps with your
As the days, weeks and months eventually pass and this
accident fades from the headlines, I hope that other FFA members remember they
are not invincible and anything can happen in just a matter of moments. Cherish
each moment now.