California FFA News Summer 2017 - Page 3

SACRAMENTO LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE Sacramento, March 7-10, 2017 As I walked through two large antique doors into a room full of crafted desks, red curtains, and vaulted ceilings, I was able to comprehend the venture I was beginning in our state’s capitol. by Beth Noel At Sacramento Fortuna FFA Chapter Leadership Experience 59 senior FFA members and I were assigned a district, party, and mock bill. As Senator Noel representing District 24 and sponsoring Senate Bill Two, Section 04 (Sweetened Beverage Tax), I lobbied other assembly members and senators on behalf of my constituents, bill, and party. I enjoyed serving on the Senate Education Committee which allowed me to sit in the committee hearing room and amend bills before they reached the senate fl oor. In the committee hearings we were challenged to come up with debate on the spot after being rebutted. Outside of the actual capitol building we built connections with FFA members, FFA alumni, agriculture industry professionals, and government offi cials. As the capstone of the California FFA Conference Continuum it was the most memorable, personable, inspiring conference I have experienced. I cannot wait to apply the skills from SLE as I work towards becoming a high school agriculture teacher. Sacramento Leadership Experience: A Transformative Four Days Tuesday, March 7: I’m sitting around a table in the ornate Silver Room at the Capitol Plaza Hall in downtown Sacramento, surrounded by 59 passionate FFA members from around the state. Sacramento Leadership Experience has just begun, and I’m fi dgeting in my seat in anticipation of events over the next four days. Friday, March 10: We’ve just adjourned the conference after an emotional session. It’s by Cole Ibbotson over; these transformative four days passed so Elk Grove FFA Chapter quickly, and as we exchanged goodbyes and returned to our hometowns, I began to refl ect on my experiences. In just four days, I learned about California’s government, met my own representatives, researched and debated bills relating to food, agriculture, environment, and education, and challenged my own beliefs by assuming the perspective of my district’s 57 constituents. In this environment an inner confi dence I didn’t realize I possessed manifested itself. Every time I volunteered information, asked questions, partook in caucus discussion, and debated passionately, I stepped further out of my comfort zone. On Tuesday, I came to Sacramento with a desire to pursue a career in politics, yet also with an uncertainty about the political environment. Four days later, I left SLE with the realization that I have the potential to thrive in this atmosphere, and I plan to do just that. California FFANEWS • PAGE 3 • Summer 2017