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,”
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
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
“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
“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,”