Montana truly is a place of it's own. I spent a few days there at their state FFA convention and found myself immersed in the closest thing to true western cowboy culture that I'd ever seen. While my stay was short I learned a few things about that wonderful state that I'll never forget. Therefor, I thought I'd share a few of things with you today. While some may seem a bit strange, don't let anything listed here deter you from visiting this wondrous place of conservatism and small town hospitality.
1. Only in Montana is it legal and actually encouraged for college aged people or adults to hurl (at ferocious speeds) full meat sticks into a crowd of cheering high school kids. One of Montana FFA's sponsors provides their convention and it's attendees with thousands of flavored meat sticks and one session requests that their products are chucked into the crowd as students go mad trying to get their hands on one. What was confusing to me was why they didn't walk 50 yards to the career fair and simply grab one at the businesses booth. Regardless, these people love it, and so do I.
2. Only in Montana can you have a view like this on one of there "less scenic" highways.
3. Only in Montana does a handshake turn into a 40 second "jitterbug" (or swing dancing for you non-Montanians) routine. Oh, and everybody and their cattle know how to jitterbug.
4. Only in Montana can they pull off being complete and total rock stars on stage in front of thousands of students after being asleep five minutes before hand. This is Caitlin, the retired state president, and she proves my point here:
5. Only in Montana can they say things like "Back when I was knee high to a grasshopper" and "He's as windy as a sack full of farts" and everyone just keeps talking like nothing crazy happened. Over and over I heard these colloquialisms and while I may never fully understand them, I respect the heck out of them.
6. Only in Montana can I say the word "bacon" on a stage and have everyone in the audience go crazy.
7. Only in Montana can I have that same audience nearly break two $2000 TV's and have people yell out "yee yee yee yee yee" while simply taking a selfie...
8. Only in Montana can they have a grown man with a full beard, a full time job working for a tractor dealership and an extremely intimidating presence get on stage in front of high school kids and completely destroy (in a GREAT way) his own rendition of "International Harvester." NOT TO MENTION while there are two of the state FFA officers riding around him on mini-farmall tractors like troublesome toddlers who had too much cotton candy at the county fair.
9. Only in Montana do they have a WORKSHOP THAT TEACHES YOU HOW TO JITTERBUG!!!
Not only did this provide a chance to kids to feel included at the dance, but it allowed a type of social interaction for today's youth that wasn't focused around drugs, alcohol, or any type of sexual interaction. If only every high school kid new how to jitterbug.
10. Lastly, only in Montana do they induce passion and excitement from their students about agriculture while still remaining true to the roots of their own state. Only in Montana are their leaders like Seth and the newly elected state officer team who WILL be the future of agriculture if only they keep demonstrating the exact same traits and behaviors they are already exerting at such a young and promising age.
Montana does a lot of things that only Montana can do. I'm thankful and blessed to have been able to taste just a small portion of the wonder that state serves up.