FFA members from the High Plains compete at National FFA Convention

The 96th National FFA Convention took place Nov. 1 to 4 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Journal photo by Lacey Vilhauer.)

The 96th National FFA Convention took place Nov. 1 to 4 in Indianapolis, Indiana. FFA members from across the nation competed at the highest level of FFA competition, National FFA officers were elected and around 3,500 FFA members received their American FFA Degrees—the highest degree achievable for a member. Over 70,000 FFA members from Alaska to the Virgin Islands and from Maine to Hawaii attended the event.

The newly elected National FFA officer team includes: Amara Jackson of Michigan, who was elected president; Grant Norfleet of Missouri, who was elected secretary; Carter Howell of Florida, who was elected southern region vice president; Kanyon Huntington of Iowa, who was elected central region vice president; Morgan Anderson of Ohio, who was elected eastern region vice president and Emily Gossett of New Mexico, who was elected western region vice president.

Four of the top awards presented at the convention are the American Star awards. Sixteen finalists were selected to be interviewed for these honors and the winners were announced on stage. American Star Farmer was presented to Daniel Jossund of the Ada-Borup-West FFA in Minnesota; American Star in Agricultural Placement was awarded to Whitney Glazier of the Lomega FFA in Oklahoma; American Star in Agribusiness went to Lainey Hutchison of the Crockett County FFA in Tennessee; and American Star in Agriscience was awarded to George Free, a member of Cass Career Center FFA in Missouri.

FFA chapters are also honored at National FFA Convention with National Chapter Awards. Stillwater FFA in Oklahoma was named 2023 Model of Excellence Winner and 2023 Premier Chapter: Building Communities. Another Oklahoma chapter, Bartlesville FFA, was named 2023 Premier Chapter: Growing Leaders.

Career and Leadership Development Events

FFA members from the High Plains Journal coverage area represented their home states and came home with some hardware for their hard work and dedication. In the Career and Leadership Development Events, multiple FFA members from the High Plains received honors. In the Creed Speaking division, Emily Rossi of SoRoCo FFA in Colorado, received second place; Corbin Robbins of Chattanooga FFA in Oklahoma, was awarded third place; and Jarren McBride of Texico FFA in New Mexico, received fourth place.

In the Prepared Public Speaking division, Kade Lawrence of Canyon FFA in Texas was the national winner, and Tucker Leck of Neodesha FFA in Kansas, received fourth place. In the Parliamentary Procedure competition, the team from North Shelby FFA in Missouri received second place. Team members included: Andi Belt, Austin Wilson, Aliza Yoder, Aden Johnston, Marissa McEwen and Fady Francis. In the Extemporaneous Public Speaking event, Caleb Most of Ogallala FFA in Nebraska was the national winner. Wyatt Hendley of Bloomfield FFA in Missouri received third place.

In the Livestock Evaluation competition, first place went to the team from Guthrie FFA in Oklahoma. Team members included: Steven Sanders, Maysen Garrett, Ridge Garrett and Kynseth Zubrod. The Big Timber FFA team from Montana came in second. Team members included: Morgan Anderson, Rylee Swartz, Mollie Ruth and RaeAnna King. The first place judging individual was Maysen Garrett of Guthrie FFA.

In the Farm and Agribusiness Management division, the Montezuma FFA team from Iowa received second place. Team members included: Camryn Brennan, Makenna Johannes, Madison Van Zee and Cruz DeJong. In the Agricultural Sales contest, the team from BellvilleFFA in Texas received second place. Team members included: Jack Luedeker, Ainsley Hancock, Jaylen Tesch and Maddison Diezi.

Proficiency awards

FFA members participate in Supervised Agricultural Experiences, which are projects that help them develop skills to prepare them for future careers in agriculture. There are 45 FFA Proficiency Award categories for students to submit their SAE work for award consideration. Proficiency awards are also recognized at local and state levels and national levels.

FFA members within the HPJ coverage area represented their hometowns well, winning 17 of the national proficiency categories. The winners included: Madison Perkins, Gilmer FFA Chapter in Texas, Agriscience Research–Integrated Systems; Maggie McDonald, Magnolia FFA Chapter in Arkansas, Agricultural Services–Entrepreneurship/Placement; Brant Failes of the Cherokee FFA Chapter in Oklahoma, Diversified Agricultural Production–Entrepreneurship/Placement; Emilee Munchrath of the Graford FFA Chapter in Texas, Diversified Livestock Production–Entrepreneurship/Placement; Madilynn Jayde Campbell of the Adair FFA Chapter in Oklahoma, Equine Science–Entrepreneurship; and Payton Irick of the Seminole FFA Chapter in Oklahoma, Small Animal Production and Care–Entrepreneurship/Placement.

Also, William Paxton of the Stuart FFA Chapter in Nebraska, Specialty Animal Production–Entrepreneurship/Placement; Charleigh Feuerbacher of the Stephenville FFA Chapter in Texas in the Agriscience Research–Plant Systems; Hayden Holdgrafer of the Easton Valley FFA Chapter in Iowa, Diversified Crop Production–Entrepreneurship; Wylie Schwebach of the Moriarty FFA Chapter in New Mexico, Diversified Crop Production–Placement; Nash McKenzie of the Boonville FFA Chapter in Missouri; Diversified Horticulture–Entrepreneurship/Placement; Creyton Line of the Sumner-Eddyville-Miller FFA Chapter in Nebraska, Environmental Science and Natural Resources Management–Entrepreneurship/Placement; Korbin Smith of the Hydro-Eakly FFA Chapter in Oklahoma, Forage Production–Entrepreneurship/Placement; Braedon Raven of the Klein FFA Chapter in Texas in the Forest Management and Products–Entrepreneurship/Placement; Morgan Hodge of the West Liberty FFA Chapter in Iowa, Outdoor Recreation–Entrepreneurship/Placement; Peyton Vanden Berge of the Stephenville FFA Chapter in Texas, Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication–Entrepreneurship/Placement and Noah Thomas Wiley of the Labette County FFA Chapter in Kansas, Grain Production–Entrepreneurship/Placement.

Lacey Vilhauer can be reached at 620-227-1871 or [email protected].