Don't Forget Your "Why"!
Think back to when you first signed up to volunteer. What sparked you? What motivated you to continue? People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give back to the community or to make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.
I recently went and dug out my white flag. I was thinking about waving it, I give up. But wait, if I give up I can’t share my passion, my enthusiasm, my knowledge, and my experience of agriculture. Since I grew up on a farm, I often find myself taking the agricultural industry for granted. Everyone knows about agriculture and where their food comes from and the work it takes to get there, Right? Then as your county fair comes around and you walk around observing the general public. You notice their excitement, their curiosity, their fear, their amazement, and you listen to the questions they ask so they can learn what agriculture is all about. You can honestly answer that question now with NO, not everyone knows the importance of agriculture. At the IAFE Convention one year the keynote speaker was Dr. Temple Grandin. Her message plays on repeat in my head. “I got into an animal-based career because I was exposed to it. We need to expose more kids to farms, fairs, and expos so they can be exposed to animals…they may find a career with animals.” Exposure is the key, the best and most fun way to learn is by doing, by seeing, by touching, by smelling, by experiencing. The mission of our fair is to educate and involve the general public in our present and past agricultural and rural heritage, to promote the benefits of a strong agricultural industry, and to provide a unique blend of family-style entertainment and competition that people of all ages can participate in and/or appreciate. That’s my why.
Put down the white flag and don’t forget your WHY.
The Saratoga County Fair, NY