So your FFA kids didn't win...

April 20, 2023

So your FFA kids didn't win...

This time of year brings a lot of highs and lows

And I’m not talking about the temperature outside (Seriously, Mother Nature, can we pick a season already?)

I’m talking about this season of CDEs, State Conventions, and Banquets

Maybe you have a team that has been hoping to make it to the Final Round…or even up on stage. 

A kid that has been practicing their speech so much that even you know it by heart. 

A Proficiency Application that y’all poured your heart, your soul, and more than a few emotional outbursts into. 

Spring is often the culmination of months of sweating deadlines… 

…and listening through closed doors 

hoping to hear your kids nailing their interview or their oral reasons 

…or simply being as good in front of the judges as they are at practice.  

They’ve been working toward this goal…

for the whole year…

or maybe even the last 3 or 4 years

You're invested. 

Shoot, you probably want it as badly as they do (if not more). 


Some of them aren’t going to win. 

They won’t make it on stage or even to the final round. 

They won’t get elected to that officer position they've been dreaming of having stitched on their jacket. 

Someone else’s name will be called for the Proficiency or Star Award.  


As heartbreaking as it is in the moment to see your kids fall short of a goal or not realize a dream…

It can be better than actually winning. 

I had more students learn more, grow more, and achieve more from failing. 

So many times my students got more out of the effort and discipline it took to compete or to prepare for an election, then they did out of winning. 

When you win, you think the pride you feel is from the outcome…not necessarily the effort. 

By not winning, your students can look back and take pride in the hours they put in

…and the relationships they forged along the way that have nothing to do with the outcome. 

They can stay hungry for the next goal and they will be far more resilient for it too. 

Maybe there are opportunities that wouldn’t have become available if not for failing at that initial goal first. 

So I hope you get to be as excited as Jamie Lee Curtis was for her friend at that awards show…

But for your kids that don’t get their name called, I hope you’ll get to say “Good. What’s next?
Alicia Tomlinson, owner, creator and still failing as often as winning