About Tumbl'n T

Down home country boy doing my thing as I wander through the worlds of Agriculture, Conservation, and Tumbl'n T Leather.

Changing Positions

It’s that time of the year again when the fraternity holds elections and the slate of officers is renewed. The new slate now stands as:

Presdient, Devyn Payne

Vice President, Jacob Murphy

Secretary, Tucker Dunaway

Treasurer, Steven Jackson

Warden, Gunner Wilkerson and Zac Copeland

Social Chair, Tucker Dunaway

Public Relations Chair, Ethan Peplow

Historian, Mark Mareth

Academic Chair, Zac Copeland

IFC Representatives, Tucker Dunaway and Zac Copeland

Chaplain, Zac Chumbley

Recruitment Chair, Ethan Peplow

Congratulations to the new officers as such my time here on this blog is technically ended however I’m sure you all will still here from me every now and then. Our Public Relations Chair, Ethan Peplow, with now be running this area of our chapter!

Ethan Peplow aka Billy Currington

Ethan Peplow aka Billy Currington

 

 

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Benefits of a Fraternity, Part 2 Brotherhood

I know I dogged on this term earlier a little bit, so I would like to clarify; I mentioned brotherhood as a go-to standard response to the original questions. I don’t mean at all that brotherhood is not a big deal or that it is a bad thing at all. But to somebody on the outside, there is little understanding about what brotherhood is or what it really means. Brotherhood is much more than a group of close friends or hunting and/or drinking buddies. These men that I now call brothers aren’t merely close friends, they truly are family. Growing up, I didn’t have any brothers, only a sister, so the concept of having a brother is a relatively unique experience for me. I didn’t get just one brother, though. I got roughly 400 of them. True, I don’t actually know most of them. In fact, I’ve only truly met a few of them. But they are all still brothers, an integral part of my family. They are the ones that will be standing beside me at my wedding, the ones that I can lean on more than anybody on this earth when I am at the lowest points and struggles in life all the way up to my greatest, most successful accomplishments, and literally any point in my life in between.

On the subject of brotherhood as it relates to being like family, there is one surefire way to know that this brotherhood is the real deal. Several times, when we have been out doing something, especially just two or three of us together, complete strangers have made a point to mention to us that they could tell we’re brothers. This wasn’t because we all had our letters on, in fact, in most of these scenarios we didn’t. But the way we acted, bantering back and forth and laughing at each other’s misfortune, horsing around, etc. made people think we were actually legally brothers, as if we had literally grown up together from childhood. My favorite situation where this sort of recognition occurred happened when my big brother and I took a trip to the river to do some swimming. His girlfriend and one of her friends went with us, and we were swimming and horsing around in the water, tackling each other and dragging each other into the river, and an older couple was watching and laughing at our shenanigans. The gentleman said between laughs, “I can tell you two are brothers! Probably been picking on each other like that your whole lives.” We laughed and told him that we were actually fraternity brothers, and had only been picking on each other for a couple of years. At the time it didn’t seem all that significant, but when I reflect on that moment, it is another one of those things that causes me to swell up with pride. To me, it means that this fraternity is doing at least one thing right in the subject of brotherhood, which is largely considered a major part of fraternity life.

Brotherhood cannot be summed up by picking on each other and horsing around like it is nothing more than normal behavior between brothers. While we do it quite a bit, that’s not even what makes us true brothers. I believe that the strongest expression of our brotherhood can be most accurately described by the way we pick each other up out of the hard times. I have personally seen brothers struggle with things like bad break-ups with long time girlfriends, particularly girlfriends that they had been with for so long that it would have been more expected that they would end up getting married at some point. As you can imagine, this can have devastating effects on a man, and I think that had it not been for the support they could find from the other brothers, helping pick them up and push forward, they would have probably done some very regrettable things. I also saw a brother who struggled with an addiction lead him to thoughts of suicide that had it not been for a couple of particular brothers showing some much needed support and at times words of tough love, he would likely not be here today, and he credits these brothers with literally saving his life. When another one of our brothers lost his mother, we were there and even though many of us had not met her, we made a two hour road trip to see him and attend her funeral. In the following months brothers freed up time in their schedules to help him make trips back home to haul trailer loads of personal effects that he had been left with in the wake of her passing. I am not sure if I could describe actually witnessing stronger support than the way we gathered around him and helped him stay strong enough to finish school and graduate the following year. For me, if it hadn’t been for being a part of this fraternity I would have been out of school after the first year. My grades were simply terrible and without the desire to come back and be involved in school had it not been for the fraternity. The chapter also provided a great support group, some guys even going out of their way to help me pull my grades up, which are now steadily climbing every semester.

Steven, Zac, and Tommy helping at the Darr Center

Steven, Zac, and Tommy helping at the Darr Center

What can YOU get out of a Fraternity?

Last month one of our members, Steven Jackson, wrote couple pages about what you can get from being involved within a Fraternity? I will be post a couple paragraphs a week so be sure to stay in tune!

People constantly ask me, especially around the time of recruitment, what the point is of being in a fraternity, or what they stand to gain from joining a fraternity; more specifically they ask these questions about Alpha Gamma Sigma. Of course, there are the standard answers: Connections with members past and present; resources for academic success; being part of something bigger than yourself; you’ll regret passing such an opportunity; it looks really good on a resume; or one of my personal favorites, brotherhood. But what does any of that actually mean? What does one truly stand to gain from joining a fraternity, particularly Alpha Gamma Sigma? If a person wants to join to gain the things I just mentioned, they aren’t going to succeed in the fraternity. There are a million ways to gain those advantages, 99.9% of which don’t require one to join a fraternity. I would like to address what I personally see as real, concrete reasons to join a fraternity, and more to the point, to join Alpha Gamma Sigma.

Fraternity life has absolutely nothing to do with the things advertised. The advantages that are advertised as reasons to “go Greek” include social status, community betterment, connections that could lead to a career, opportunities for academic success, etc. Don’t get me wrong, Greek life provides all of these things, and they are all great aspects of the Greek community. But ultimately they are nothing more than fringe benefits. You can create a great network of friends in college, and be socially involved on and off campus. You can become involved in the community in many ways through volunteer work. You can network and gain post-graduation connections through both of the aforementioned benefits, and also through things like jobs, school itself, and clubs that demand much less time, money, and effort. Academic success can come through many of these same benefits; you don’t have to be in a fraternity to have a 4.0 GPA. Anymore, Greek life has gained a bit of a negative reputation in society, so while it may help on a resume it could just as easily be damaging to employment opportunities, depending on the type of employment and employer. None of these things require affiliation with a certain arrangement of Greek letters, but Greek life is certainly a good place to find them.

Being Greek and being an Ag Sig, one tends to gain so much, if we all truly realized it our heads would explode. But we tend to forget the most important parts, defending these other things when confronted by those outside the Greek community. Simply put, they just aren’t enough to make one want jump in and become a part of it.  We overlook the inward gains as we reach out for the more tangible, material benefits. We forget that you come out the other side a completely different person with a different view of the world around us and the parts of life that actually make life worth living. I don’t know how else to really describe these inward gains without doing so from a very personal standpoint.

First and foremost, the letters AGS on my chest are merely a symbolic representative of what I hold in my heart. By themselves, they are nothing more than three letters from another language. To the man behind them they are the physical, tangible, recognizable symbols of what I feel whenever I see them, or whenever somebody speaks them. What I feel are senses of pride, inclusion, and a desire to improve not only myself on a daily basis, but the world around me as well. The pride that I feel isn’t a boastful, holier than thou pride. It’s the kind of pride that whenever those letters are presented, when they are spoken, I feel a sense of accomplishment. This leads me to my second point, which is inclusion. Adding to that pride is the overwhelming joy to know that I am a part of that. The best comparison I can make here is sports. When a baseball team wins the World Series, millions of their fans around the world are proud to claim supremacy. But the players themselves, the ones who physically put in the work on the field to achieve this goal, have

the honor and privilege to actually be a part of making it happen. Within the fraternity, the best example of this is through our annual philanthropy event, which brings to light my third point. Last year we raised more than $1000 in just one day to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project. At the personal level, each and every one of us take pride in being able to come together and do our part to contribute to this event, which put our fraternity in a positive light. Better than that, we were able to take that positive, not for our own personal gain, but to give it directly to a community of men and women who have sacrificed more than we likely ever will, asking nothing in return. We didn’t do it for Alpha Gamma Sigma; we did it for the community.

Written By: Steven Jackson

Steven Jackson

Steven Jackson

We Ain’t Fake

Salute to the Cowboy Past

I’ve never rode a horse, Or wrestled a steer,

I prefer Chardonnay, Over whiskey or beer.

Can’t tell you the difference, Tween a chink and a chap,

But I’m a cowboy you see, Cause I wear the hat.

I listen to red dirt, Almost everyday,

And I reckon that’s country, Or that’s what they say.

I own a supped up truck, And that makes me true,

Cause ownin a hat and a truck, Is all cowboys do.

This poems a lie, But it’s reality today,

It’s what people think, Of the cowboy and his way.

It’s a shame to think, What we have become,

All the true cowboys, Are off to the sun.

I tip my hat, To the true cowboy past,

And thank God each day, I’m at least one of the last.

Special Thanks to Blake Adams

The Transition Back to College

Now is the time that students are moving onto their campuses around the nation! It’s no different here at Missouri State University. Most of our members have been in town for awhile now because they reside in apartments or because they live here year round. However I am the only member that still enjoys the dorm style life. 

I was able to move into my dorm in Wells House today a little early from the rest of the pack for a special reason. For the next two days students of every age and size will be rolling up and moving into their own rooms and it is my job to help make the transition easier! I will be helping students move in all their possessions and find their way around the dorm.

I am excited for the year quickly coming and can’t wait to meet more new people tomorrow. Maybe there will be some future Ag Sigs in the crowd!

Wells House Front Entrence

10 Tips for Incoming Freshmen

This post was actually not written by but by Steven Jackson who was my new member educator Hope you enjoy and pay attention because he says these things from experience.

Advice for Incoming Freshman
1. During the first week of school, it is essential that you introduce yourself to your professors. Make sure to give them your first and last name, and set up a personal conference with them one-on-one. Meet with them on a regular basis throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, professors will be more apt to give you those couple extra points that could bump you a letter grade, but they won’t do that if they can’t put name to face and know that you are working for it.

2. Never underestimate homework assignments. In some classes, the grades you’ll have will come from exams. In the classes that have regular homework assignments, they could make a huge difference in grades.

3. GO TO CLASS! Some classes record attendance, and attendance can very well be incorporated in your final grade. This also helps professors recognize your efforts during the semester, and could once again be beneficial in improving your grade.

4. Get involved, make NEW friends, and join organizations. These promote excellent resources when it comes to class. You’ll meet people that you have class with, people who have taken those classes before, etc. If you can get in good with a group of people, they will be more than willing to help you succeed.

5. Manage your time well. Do not think that just because you are not in class, you do not need to focus on the class. Treat school like a job. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work on homework, studying, going to class, etc. This will reduce the necessity of last minute cramming and stressing out during exams/midterms/finals.

6. Don’t forget to have fun. If you practice good time-management skills, you will open up your evenings/weekends to unwind and take your focus off of school. Temporarily taking your mind away from studies will aid you in de-stressing and can also help you build quality relationships with the people you meet during your collegiate career.

7. Drop the high school sweetheart. Sure, you grew up together, graduated together, etc. The truth is, holding on to your significant other into your collegiate career, especially if they are not going to school where you are, will only hinder your chances for success. Running home every weekend to spend time with them will only result in you missing out on a major part of the college experience; building new friendships and relationships that will likely stick with you long after graduation. Nobody wants to hang out with the person who can’t let go of their high school days.

8. Your high school wasn’t as awesome as you thought it was. Hang up the letterman’s jacket until the 10 year reunion. Nobody is really that interested in your state championship either. Yeah, it’s quite an accomplishment, but chances are you are not here on an athletic scholarship so you couldn’t have been that great of a contributor.

9. Contrarily, your high school wasn’t as awful as you thought it was, either. We all hated certain people, teachers, administrators, etc. from our high schools. Whenever you spend a great portion of your life in the same town with the same people, yeah, you get tired of them. Don’t ruin your chances of meeting new people in college by constantly complaining about the problems you had during your high school days.

10. Don’t be stupid. Sure, college is a time to open your mind and experience new things in life. Just don’t go overboard. Hang on to your values, morals, and ethics, but remain understanding and willing to listen to those who believe differently. You will meet people from many different walks of life in college. Don’t do something just because your new friends do it, but at the same time don’t hate someone for carrying a different set of values than you.

Why Should Farmers and Ranchers Advocate for Agriculture?

I will talk a lot about leadership and brotherhood in this blog and I saw this post and decided to reblog it to remind people that agriculture is at the heart of our fraternity.

Re-blogged from Agriculture Proud

I think it goes without question if you’ve followed my material for very long, that I am passionate about advocating for the voice of farmers and encouraging others involved in agriculture to join the conversations. While speaking at various agriculture meetings or organization events, I sometimes get blank stares from those farmer and rancher types not already involved in agriculture advocacy. I get the normal “Why should I care to worry about what those folks think of me?” or“Social Media is a young person’s game.”

Why should we care to advocate for agriculture and rural way of life?

 I know this video is a promotion for Colorado Farm Bureau, but the folks with the Young Farmers and Ranchers group have a pretty good statement to make.

“Agriculture, politics, and the future of rural America is not your grandpa’s game. It is your’s and your voice needs to be at the table… If you’re not at the table, your on the menu. So Your voice is one of the important ones that people need to hear.”

Farmers and Ranchers need to be involved in advocating for their way of life. Young or Old. New or veteran. I’m willing to bet most people involved in agriculture are passionate about what they do and want to see that way of life continue for the next generation.

dodge-ram-so-god-made-a-farmer

If we’re not involved in conversations (that have been and are already occurring), someone will tell a story and it will not always be an accurate one. When that inaccurate story is told, the misconceptions will continue to grow. 

“One misinformed person can tell 10 uninformed people and so the misconception goes on.”

Your advocacy doesn’t have to be online or in social media. You don’t have to write a blog or spend all day commenting on inaccurate news stories or Reddit posts. Just make an effort to get to know your neighbors. They are the ones with questions and will likely be your biggest ally if they can trust you before that subject becomes an issue.

It’s likely to be a less hostile venture than you may fear. Just get out there and do it.

(Ok, I’m done preaching to the choir, my regular followers. Share this post with someone who you might encourage to take a step out of their comfort zone and be a voice for their passions.)

Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans is a game app for the iphone which most of our members seem to have. It started with Devyn and Dylan and has grown to encompass almost all of our chapter. There is no real connection between this game and this blog but it shows how unified our group can be that they have created their own clan in a game to ‘murk’ the other players.

I will have to admit that being one of the members with a cheapo phone I have been sometimes annoyed by this game but at the same time it has severely impressed me on the amount of energy these boys can put into it.

Online Resumes!

For those of you that don’t know me I am very professionally minded which is why I was a bigger player in FFA and DECA in high school and why I am a good member of Alpha Gamma Sigma here in college. So to be a person’s portfolio especially the resume is very important to me so I did some research on some creative ways to create our own online resumes and made this prezi to share what I learned!

Summer Time has Arrived!

Well folks we are all starting to see the summer weather finally in Missouri, kind of seems like we skipped over Spring. And along with summer means the start of our slow period. Many sad goodbyes have been said to our three members (Weston, Tommy, and Niko) that have graduated this last semester and the group has split up and gone home for awhile. This is where some of those job training skills come in handy as graduates look for careers and the rest of us look for summer employment. Steven has already started us off early by acquiring a good job with the traffic department at Missouri State University and I know that Niko has gone back to his home in Wisconsin where I think he has a job. But in the midst of all the good byes we also know that this is the season for camping and bonfires and later in July we will have a annual float trip to start planning out the year ahead. So I thought it would be appropriate to attach a good summer song for y’all to enjoy!