Oct. 25-28, members from the Northwestern FFA Chapter traveled to Indianapolis for the National FFA Convention on a charter bus with the West Holmes and Smithville FFA Chapters. Jessie Bair, Taylor Dawson, David Miley, Kyle Piscione, Emily Finley, Cole Wharton, Riley Stull, Kaitlyn Praisler, Emily Flinn, Abby Ramseyer, Leanna Ruegg, Ariana Borton, Jayden Berry, Shania Reed, Kaci Way, Kierstyn Wood and Kenzie Nowell attended.
On Wednesday, members toured the Anthony-Thomas Chocolate Factory in Columbus. After the tour, the chapters headed to Indiana. Before arriving at the convention hall, they stopped at the Exotic Feline Rescue in Center Point, Ind. and took a tour around the property where they saw many tigers, lions and other exotic felines. In the evening, members attended the first general session of the 90th National FFA Convention. The opening session began with the Opening Ceremonies performed by the national officers, as well as the National FFA Band and Chorus Grand Entry. National FFA Adviser, Steve Brown, issued the National Adviser’s Challenge for FFA members, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue spoke to members about being a good advocate for agriculture, and Laila Ali, the keynote speaker, spoke on never giving up on dreams.
On Thursday morning, members toured the Purdue ag campus and learned many new things about college in general and the unique programs it offers ag students. After lunch at the Student Union, they traveled to Fair Oaks Farms where they took a bus tour. During the tour, they got to see the birthing barns for pigs and cattle, saw the farrow-to-finish swine operation and viewed the 72-head carousel milking system. Fair Oaks Farms is a 25,000 acre farm that currently has 32,000 dairy cattle. After dinner, students attended the Buckeye Bash with FFA members from all over Ohio.
On Friday, members visited Fort Harrison State Park where they took a horseback tour. Members also attended the sixth and seventh General Sessions. In the sixth session, all of the National Proficiency Awards were presented. The seventh session consisted of awards for the National Public Speaking and Job Interview CDEs. DeShawn Balding gave his retiring address on his version of “The Book of Life” and how you can learn something from your life through all the events. Jon Petz was the keynote speaker for the session.
On Saturday, the members attended the eighth General Session where Northwestern FFA members received their American FFA Degrees. Philip Eberly, Emily Flinn, Rachelle Howman, Shania Reed, Ben Vaughan, Kaci Way and Kierstyn Wood all received this degree. The members also traveled home from a fun and educational time in Indianapolis.