Allie Abney, the 2013-2014 Indiana FFA president, gave a heartfelt and inspiring retiring address at the final general session of the 85th Indiana FFA state convention. Abney challenged FFA members to make each day the best day of their lives.
Allie Abney, the 2013-2014 Indiana FFA president, gave a heartfelt and inspiring retiring address at the final general session of the 85th Indiana FFA state convention. Abney challenged FFA members to make each day the best day of their lives.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — “What makes you happy?” Allie Abney, the 2013-2014 Indiana FFA state president, asked the crowd at the sixth and final general session at this year’s Indiana FFA state convention. 

“As FFA members, we can make each day our best day or we can choose to have a mediocre day or an OK day,” she said. 

Abney and the six other state officers took turns throughout the 85th convention to give retiring addresses.

It was during her retiring address Thursday that Abney shared some lessons she had learned. She told three stories in which she learned important life lessons.

The first was of her love of taking photographs and how that led to her researching the perfect camera and asking her parents if she could have it. Her parents finally told her that she could have the camera if she worked to make the money needed to purchase it — which she did through more than 100 hours of work. 

That camera now has been used to capture countless memories. The most important aspect, Abney said, is that every hour she worked for it was worth it, and she urged others to work hard. 

“We are a lot more thankful when we have to work for it,” she said. 

Abney said members should all be thankful they are a part of the “best student-led organization, at the best state FFA convention in an industry that is thriving.”

“Truly appreciate life and you’ll have more of it,” she said.

Abney next urged members to try new things. She recalled a family trip to the Costa Rica rainforest when she decided to go zip-lining above the rainforest. About halfway up, she thought about turning back, but continued onward and realized if she wouldn’t have done it, she never would have had that experience. 

“Try new things, try a new career development event and live more courageous lives,” she said. 

Her last piece of advice was that actions speak louder than words. She challenged members to think about what their character says about them. 

“If we continue to say we want change, but do nothing, our words are empty,” she said. “A FFA member that takes pride must pitch in and volunteer because actions speak louder than words.” 

Abney’s emotional address ended by her thanking FFA members and her team members. 

“I served with the best team, and because of all of you, the future is incredibly bright,” Abney said. “Thank you for making this the best year of my life and for letting me have great days.” 

“Don’t forget to make each day the best day of your life,” she said.