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A few days ago, the Idaho Press-Tribune got this email: “Hello there! I am Sydney Anderson and I am from Nampa, Idaho. I recently returned from the International Leadership Seminar for State (FFA) Officers hosted in South Africa. This was a 12-day experience that was absolutely unforgettable and life-changing. I would like to share this with my community about the experiences I was able to endure.”

Our response was something along the lines of, “Please do.”

So here we go. Sydney is the Idaho FFA state secretary and a freshman at the College of Southern Idaho. There were 74 past and present FFA officers from 24 states at the conference, which happened in the middle of January.

According to the press release she sent us, “The group traveled throughout South Africa while surveying the agricultural landscape. FFA officers met with government and U.S. Embassy officials to learn about U.S. and South African trade relations; toured crop and livestock operations; met with business and industry leaders; and explored a private game reserve that is home to lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo. The group also met with fruit exporters, abalone producers and more.”

(Because I had to look it up: An abalone is a type of edible mollusk.)

The cool thing about the whole experience is that it shows FFA members the importance and vastness of international agriculture. They see food culture and production practices.

I think that in some cases, particularly vacations, photos give a wonderful overview of an experience. So I’m going to leave it at that and thank Sydney for sharing her adventure with us! (My favorite, by the way: That bridge. My goodness. Keep looking at that beautiful mountain instead of down.)

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