Cove FFA members learn from Dirty Jobs host, Mike Rowe, at state FFA convention
By WENDY SLEDD
Special to the Leader-Press
More than 15,000 Texas high school students interested in the field of agriculture converged on Fort Worth for the 94th Annual Texas FFA Convention. Students attended the general sessions and served as voting delegates for the new 2022-2023 Texas FFA State Officer team. They also enjoyed a Mike Ryan concert, voted on Talent Teams, and had a fun team building night at The Main Event.
This year’s theme was “Amplify” and it encouraged students to amplify their opportunities in the FFA and capitalize on their pathway to success. One of the highlights of the weeklong conference was keynote speaker Mike Rowe, star of popular television show, Dirty Jobs, who shared his S.W.E.A.T. Pledge with the sea of high school students now joining the workforce.
“11.3 million jobs are open. That is a lot of opportunity,” Rowe said. “I am worried that we are training a whole generation of people to look at an opportunity and go, ‘Eh…why would I do that if I can sit home and people pay me to play video games versus going out and crawling into a list pump?’ I worry about that. It is not just jobs. And, it is not just training. It is values. If you are entering the workforce and your head is not screwed on straight, then you are going to look at The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge and make fun of it…I worry that a lot of people don’t have a code. They don’t have a creed. So, they get lost. If that keeps happening, then our opportunities are going to keep growing and there’s going to be no one to fill them.”
The S.W.E.A.T. Pledge shares 12 beliefs that include avoiding debt, personal responsibility for safety, no whining or complaining, and distinguishing oneself at work by showing up early, staying late, and cheerfully volunteering for every “crappy” task there is.
“Mike Rowe had said in one of his answers that he never been around ag before, but he made his own decision to try new things that aren’t always an ideal of what ag is,” said Copperas Cove FFA Chapter Reporter Mya Rogers. “You don’t always have to come from an ag background to join FFA.”
CCHS FFA Member Tucker Dobbs attended the FFA convention for the first time this year.
“One speech that resonated with me stated we don’t have be afraid to shine our lights and show our true selves,” Dobbs said. “I am going to strive to bring that to our chapter and show each one of our members to stand out in a crowd.”
With a recorded record high attendance of more than 15,000 members and guests, the Texas FFA Convention is the largest state convention in the nation.