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Sarah MacVey Munson
Rolfe, Iowa

attended RHS through her junior year
graduated from Pensacola Christian in Florida in 1976

As I sit here in our greenhouse on a cool, rainy day gathering my thoughts and winding the clock back to 1974 to recall what it was like to be a girl studying agriculture, it causes me to wonder, "Have we progressed or not?"

How well I remember Greenhand Initiation! I donít believe any amenities were presented for that first girl. I also remember learning to yell "Cover" in welding. FFA field trips were such great fun. I truly enjoyed being accepted by the guys and enjoying the love of agriculture we had in common. Some of the fellas that were in my ag classes and FFA chapter remain as good friends to me today.

Originally, when asked to write this comparison, I didnít see progress for girls over the span of time since my years at Rolfe High School, but now nearly a year later, I do have some joys to share.

My daughter, Stephanie, became a member of Pilot Creek FFA Chapter in 1995 - 21 years after her mother had joined! Her time as a girl in FFA wasnít as joyful in friendships as mine. Sometimes it takes more time.

Stephanie loved agriculture so very much that she strived to be a success in ag and FFA even without the support or encouragement of her fellow students and FFA members. She craved their acceptance and often times lamented about the guys leaving her out. It was tough for me - being a mom and remembering with smiles the fun I had - while she wasnít smiling.

In the past year, Stephanie continued her path to FFA goals. She got her Iowa Degree in FFA, placed second in the state in project proficiency as well as having received several ag scholarships for college. Just last week, we received word that she had made the final climb - American Farmer Degree. You donít climb any higher in FFA than that. Sheíll receive her award in November 2000 at National Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

She is a woman of firsts! The first girl from Pilot Creek to do all of these things.

But to come full circle back to the issue of relationships with classmates and friends - acceptance waited for Stephanie to be a student of agriculture in college. I treasure the comment from her - "Mom, the guys Iím in college with like me, and weíre friends."

Thank God - he led her to where she would feel the joy and acceptance of being a girl from Pilot Creek - and all she wanted was to study and love agriculture.

(Editorís note: Sarah Munson owns the Rolfe Flower Bin. Stephanie Munsen is in her third semester at Iowa Lakes Community College studying Agricultural Business Technology.)

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