By: Stacie Seger
As an FFA member himself, the Keynote Speaker for the 3rd Session felt very passionate about our organization. Rick Metzeger raised rabbits for his SAE, served as a chapter and state officer, and is still very active in the National and Ohio FFA Alumnus. Rick first found his ability to speak when his Ag teacher encouraged him to try the extemporaneous speaking contest. Rick reminded the 83rd Ohio FFA Convention that “This organization constantly taught me how to learn” and that we must recognize the same opportunity we have been giving. Potential, passion, and passionate were Rick’s three “Big P’s” he emphasized to the FFA members.
Rick first declared that we must have a target in life. Bringing Ellen Gilliland, 2010-2011 District 4 President, to the stage, Rick taught Ellen to use the imaginary targets in front of her to learn how to judge. Ellen struggled a couple times to connect the sequence correctly, and we laughed when she dropped the balled. Rick quickly interjected that we must not judge others.
“How many times do people try things that may be out of their comfort zone, and rather than giving them encouragement, we laugh at them. We discourage them. Instead we need to step up and help them find their infinite potential.”
With a little encouragement from her fellow FFA members, Ellen never gave up and used every ounce of her potential to proudly juggle for the first time. Together Rick and Ellen showed that we must use our potential to succeed at what we are capable to do.
“It’s the potential you have. It’s your passion for what you want to succeed at. We all have the ability to succeed at what we want to do.”
Rick then proclaimed that we each have the chance to use our potential to change lives in a very positive way. Rick is a gold metal athlete but his passion is making a difference in other’s life. Whether we are driving around with an extra large fountain cup on the roof of our car or singing three verses of Old MacDonald to our parents in the morning, he stated that we can make others laugh and enhance their day. Starting by changing the way we wake up, we can figure out how we can make a difference.
Although the State Convention is about honoring member’s accomplishment, Rick recapped that we didn’t have to have a title to be successful.
“We watched individuals come across this stage. There are many of you that may never have an opportunity to come across this stage to receive an award. But it doesn’t make any difference whether or not you finish in first or finish in last. It’s the choice you have made about giving it your all to be the best that you can be is what truly matters. It’s the choice that you make that will impact your life forever. What matters are the abilities inside us and how we use those abilities to be successful in life.”
Metzeger closed his speech by reminding the members they must follow the 4 Rules of Success- to Drink, Steal, Swear, and Lie.
We must all Drink from the fountain of happiness to change our attitudes. We must all Steal a little time to do an act of kindness for another human being and don’t ask for anything in return. We must all Swear to live our lives to do our job, whatever it maybe, the best way we can by using our potential to have the passion to reach success.
“If you Drink, Steal, Swear, and Lie, only then will you lie down at night and be thankful that you’re alive in a country called America that isn’t perfect, but it’s the best there is. If you live by the Rules of Success you will truly have an opportunity to become a gold medal winner of life.”