"Here by the owl" GlobalP/iStock/Thinkstock
ADVISOR RECOGNITION: The Missouri State FFA Convention is this week, and advisors are working hard to ensure students realize success and have fun. The advisor answers “Here by the owl” during the roll call of officers. Have you thanked your advisor yet?

Thank an FFA Advisor Week

State FFA convention reminds us of all the things FFA advisors do for members.

It’s “Thank an FFA Advisor Week.” While it may not be an official holiday week, anyone who has kids competing in the Missouri State FFA Convention at the end of this week should make it one.

The 90th annual Missouri FFA Convention is taking place April 19-20 at the University of Missouri Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo. More than 8,000 FFA members take part in the annual event. Some compete in contests, others attend leadership events.

During the two-day event, much of the focus is on the students as the entire state celebrates their successes and accomplishments. However, somewhere hidden in the crowd are their FFA advisors.

Little attention is given the advisor. Still without that one individual, many kids would not make it to or through convention, let alone stand in the spotlight.

So here are a few reasons to thank an FFA advisor this week. An advisor:

1. Provides transportation. Many advisors not only gather the group of teenagers, but also drive the bus. So, thank you for never raising your voice when 30 kids bombard you with “Are we there yet?” “How much longer?” “I need to go to the bathroom!” “Is it time to eat?” You are succeeding where many parents have failed.

2. Offers style assistance. When a wardrobe malfunction — think ripped pantyhose, split pants or lost shoe — happens, not every member is prepared. Thank you for running to the Walmart and paying for replacements, since we as parents did not send enough money — or more than likely, our child ate through the spare money while at McDonald’s.

3. Multitasks for multiple students. I believe there is a third dimension in Columbia allowing an FFA advisor to take students from the soil pits to Forum Christian Church to Hearnes Center at warp speed. Thank you for being able to get so many children to contests and sessions on time, when often we fail to get one kid to school before the end of first period.

4. Feeds the masses. Our kids never go hungry at convention. FFA advisors know just where to the park the bus to offer variety for each kid’s taste. Thank you for dealing with picky eaters. However, a huge tip of the hat to those advisors who convince kids that eating in a grocery store — Gerbes, Hy-Vee — is a great idea. While it never works when they are home, you all are pure genius.

5. Supports his or her students. Behind many great FFA members is a great FFA advisor. Often the advisor is the one not searching for his or her own limelight, but pushing students to stand and shine on their own. Advisors spend hours helping students prepare for this one week. Thank you for putting students before yourselves. The advisor is there to pick up the pieces when a speaker forgets a paragraph, console livestock competitors who forgot to put their names on judging cards, or prop up a proficiency award winner who failed to step into the light. Thank you for standing in that gap when we as parents may not be able to.

The role of an FFA advisor should not go unnoticed. They invest in the lives of students not just for this week or the next, but for a lifetime.

During this unofficial Thank an FFA Advisor Week, reach out and thank your former or current advisor. Parents, take the time — whether putting your children on, or taking them off, the bus — to express gratitude to your children’s advisor. After all, you do not have to cook, wash clothes or transport your child for two days!

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