Friday, May 25, 2018
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FFA’ers go to national convention

On the morning of Oct. 18, the streets of Indianapolis, IN, were flooded in a sea of blue jackets.

Thousands of FFA members converged on downtown Indy to attend the 84th National FFA Convention.

Among the 55,000 members and guests were nine students who represented the Gothenburg FFA chapter. They were: Dan Scherer and Kris Epke (chapter advisors), Peyton Maline, Tyler Block, Kaylee Beyea, Amanda Larson, Jessica Schmidt, Courtney Brown and Kelsey Kuhlman.

The members were selected based on the number of FFA points they had accumulated during the previous year. Points can be awarded for competing in events to volunteer work to donating items for a food drive.

On the local chapter’s way to the convention, they made a couple of stops.

At the Kansas City Board of Trade, they got to see pits filled with brokers calling for bids.

The next destination was St. Louis, where the members ate lunch in Union Station. They then visited the top of the 630-foot high St. Louis Arch and Monsanto headquarters where they learned about seed chippers used to perfect the DNA of seeds and by products of corn.

Upon their arrival in Indianapolis, they did some team bonding at a haunted house where they experienced a Halloween scare.

The next three days included sessions, workshops and activities presented by FFA alumni.

Keynote speaker was Dave Roever, who talked about overcoming injury in the Vietnam war. He told members to never give up hope, and no matter who they are, success can be achieved.

Members also listened to Vernice “Fly Girl” Armor, who flew a combat helicopter in Iraq to save a fleet of soldiers and become a hero.

Armor taught them her famous quote: “You have permission to engage.”

Another speaker was David Garibaldi, who could paint giant portraits in seconds, but only if audience members gave him enough support.

The students attended workshops where they learned about staying healthy by eating right, achieving goals, planning by using the Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely way (otherwise known as S.M.A.R.T Goals) and recognizing struggles in everyday life such as abuse, hunger, poverty, AIDS, self esteem and bullying.

The last session the group attended was the American Degree Ceremony on Oct. 20 where three GHS graduates received their American degree—Michelle Jack, Tyler Sheets and Tommy France.

To receive the degree a member must have received a greenhand, chapter and state degree, been an FFA member and an agriculture class for at least three years, been graduated from high school for one year, maintained accurate supervised agricultural experience records, invested or earned at least $7,500; demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, showed records of participation in community service activities and maintained a “C” grade average or better.

FFA reporters Amanda Kowalewski

and Cale Moore

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