Reflections on TBA

Published in the Texas Beekeepers Association Journal:

As a new Director, I wanted to take some time and reflect on what it means to be involved in an organization like Texas Beekeepers Association. It’s been a whirlwind as I get my bearings and learn where I can be the most help. If you attended the Convention this Fall, you know TBA is growing and that we’re working on putting things into place that make that growth easier and more beneficial to the members. From forming a nonprofit subsidiary of TBA for educational & research purposes to moving in the direction to take more action to protect bees and beekeepers in legislation, we are growing up as an organization and we’re in a unique position to watch and realize the potential of that growth.

Hang with me while I share a story – I attended a talk at the beginning of this year that changed the direction of my heart this year. It was given by a Texas A&M professor, Dr. Henry Musoma, who was recently brought onto The Ellen Show for what, to him, was a simple act of kindness. One of his students, a single mother, emailed him because she couldn’t find childcare. He enthusiastically asked his student to bring her son to class and proceeded to teach the lecture with the child in his arms. Maybe you’ve seen the video, but if you haven’t – it was a simple act of kindness and understanding that changed this professors life. He went from a meeting with his Dean in which they discussed his frustrations with feeling limited in his capacity as a professor, to an internationally recognized figure for kindness by treating his student like a human, like an equal. This message by itself was inspiring, however, the message that followed was even better. Dr. Musoma discussed the challenges and setbacks he had leading up to this life changing event for him. He pointed out that with every challenge, every set back, every “no”, we have a choice – a choice to be “bitter” or “better”. It’s surprising how similar these words are, only different by one letter. The impact you have on yourself and those around you by choosing to do better rather than stay bitter is remarkably impactful.

It may seem like this article has absolutely nothing to do with bees, and that wouldn’t be far from the truth, but I felt like this message was worth writing about as we approach a new year together – we have big goals as an organization. We want to impact lives and teach about bees, we want to get HB 131 in shape, we have hive losses from Harvey to recover from, we have events to plan and new members to meet, and we have a new honey show record to beat.

I’ve met TBA members who have been members for 30+ years and members who are on their complimentary first year membership. Our members are executives, farmers, teachers, students, researchers and business owners. We are all so different but we come together to put on events, build TBA, and move the beekeeping industry forward. So, now that TBA has 1500+ individual members and 51 clubs, I want to invite you to get involved if you feel called to do so. If you see something that is broken, offer suggestions on how to fix it, if you see something that is working, praise the people who are putting in hard work to make it so. While it may be challenging and frustrating, I promise you it’s also fun and extremely rewarding.

I’m excited for my new involvement in the Texas Beekeepers Association Board and I’m even more excited to play a small role in the continued growth of the organization. I’m inspired by those that came before me and encouraged by those serving with me. So, while we all work bees and get them through this last hump of what has so far been a fairly warm “winter”, I challenge you to get involved in your local organizations, volunteer for committees and make a difference. Work through your challenges and become better for them – whether that’s in beekeeping or in life. I challenge myself to do the same. Until next time!

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