FFA members compete at state convention

CASSTOWN — Thursday and Friday, May 4 and 5, members of the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter attended the Ohio FFA State Convention in Columbus.

Members were recognized for various accomplishments and competed in several contests. While in Columbus, the members the convention’s Career Show, met FFA members from across the state, and enjoyed eating out.

Motivation speakers at the convention included Professional Motivational Speakers paralyzed cowgirl Amberley Snyder, Matt Rush, Lamarr Womble, and National FFA Secretary Victoria Harris and State FFA President Mary Buehler.

The highlight of the trip was the conferring of the State FFA Degree. This year, Miami East High School had four members receive such an honor. Seniors Katie Bodenmiller, Carly Gump, Alyssa Westgerdes and Junior Alex DiNardo earned the degree. The degree requirements are based on their earned income from their Supervised Agricultural Experience program, leadership experience, and FFA and community activities.

During the National Chapter Award results the chapter was named a Top 10 Chapter, out of over 320 chapters in the state. Additionally, the chapter placed in the Top 10 in the areas of Growing Leaders, Building Communities, and Strengthening Agriculture. These results are from the chapter’s National Chapter Application. The application will now be sent to the National FFA for review and placing. Additionally, the chapter was recognized for being a Gold Medal Chapter. Members sharing informational presentations were Katie Bodenmiller, Maci Krites, Jessica Gillum and Emma Linn.

Students were recognized for having outstanding Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs through the State Proficiency Award program. All students earned a cash prize and were recognized on stage with a plaque. Katie Bendickson was named the named the State Winner in the area of Agricultural Sales-Entrepreneurship. Maci Krites was named the State Winner in the area of Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication. Alyssa Westgerdes was the State Winner in Specialty Crop Production. They will now have their applications forwarded to National FFA for further competition.

Additionally in proficiency awards Lane Mergler was named second in the area of Outdoor Recreation. Kylie Blair placed fourth in the area of Agriculture Research-Integrated. Emily Thimmes placed third in the area of Specialty Crop Production.

Past chapter officers submitted their year’s officer books. Alyssa Westgerdes, Alex DiNardo, and Carly Gump were received state recognition for completing a Gold rated Chapter Secretary’s, Treasurer’s Book and Reporter’s Book, respectfully.

In the State Agriscience Fair members conducted a research project, created a display, and participated in an interview. Jessica Gillum and Kylie Blair placed 1st in their division and earned a gold rating with their research project, “Does Clean Water Mean Clean Soil?” They will now advance to the National Agriscience Fair in October. Alyssa Westgerdes and Emma Linn earned third place and a silver rating for their research in the public’s perception of production agriculture

Ethin Bendickson was a member of the State FFA Band. Other recognition for the Miami East-MVCTC FFA included special recognition for the donation of monies to Children’s Hospital of Dayton and the Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum Discovery Center.

Members attending were Emily Thimmes, Lane Mergler, Alyssa Westgerdes, Kylie Blair, Katie Bodenmiller, Maci Krites, Emma Linn, Jessica Gillum, Chloee Thomas, Kearsten Kirby, Ethin Bendickson, Luke Gilliland, Alex Isbrandt, Dylan Hahn, and Carly Gump. A special thank you to chaperones Linda Westgerdes, Principal Todd Gentis, Eric Krites, and Wylena Hahn for their dedication and time. Several parents and special guests joined the chapter during the Convention to celebrate the accomplishments.

The Miami East Agricultural Education Department is a satellite program of the Miami Valley Career Technology Center.