Kansas FFA Blog

Relevance Over Time

One of my favorite things on the farm is the equipment. Tractors of all sizes, combines, grain carts, planters, drills, air seeders, and so much more! I would even like to pursue a career involving agricultural machinery. Recently, I have spent some time with local John Deere dealership, Concordia Tractor Incorporated, or CTI. It has been an awesome experience! During this experience, I learned about the many different aspects and functions of the dealership, from looking at the big picture with management, to the parts and service where the nitty, and gritty details are worked through.

While pulling up to the dealership, a piece of equipment caught my eye.  Along the row of massive, beautiful combines, there was one that looked out of place.  The paint had faded to a moldy green, and just by looking at it from a distance I could tell it was a machine from days gone by.

As much as I love talking and learning about equipment, I had never stopped to wonder where that equipment goes when the farmers of the area no longer have a use for it.  I mean, it still functions (although it might need some work!) and scrap yards taking on vast amounts of retired agricultural machines are few and far between.  So I asked, “Where will that combine end up?”

Most machines that are no longer useful in the area are shipped off to another country.  Usually they end up in South America or parts of eastern Europe.  Why?  While these implements have been used and are considered too old or obsolete for the farmers of the U.S., the equipment still has relevance.  In the many different countries the equipment is shipped to, the agriculture companies (if there are any) do not produce equipment of the quality or quantity of what is manufactured here in the United States.  Not all the equipment is as old as the machine pictured, more and more of the equipment that is leaving the country was manufactured in the 90s.

At SCCL, chapters created their vision; one component of  vision is establishing 2-3 year time frame.  Of all the components of vision, to me this was the most interesting.  The vision that was created and will be carried out will last much longer than your year service.  It may last longer than two years, and in many cases past three.  As officers, this means that we will not be the only officers or members to carry out our vision.

The fact that our vision will last longer than our time as officers cannot be overlooked.  If we get bored with our vision, or lose enthusiasm with it, the new leaders of our chapter may not take on the vision.  If this happens, our chapter will lose its vision and the progress that your team has made.  Just like I saw no use left in that old combine, we can’t look at our vision and decide that it is irrelevant.  However, for our new members and officers, our “old” vision will still be extremely relevant and provide them with a sense of direction.  That old combine can still do good work for another operation.

Living to serve,

Eli Ohlde
State President

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