ME FFA members attend national convention

CASSTOWN — “Amplify” was the theme of this year’s National FFA Convention. 14 members of the Miami East-MVCTC chapter was in attendance at the convention in Louisville, Ky. Those members included from Miami East-MVCTC FFA were Emily Beal, Katie Bodenmiller, Jessica Copeland, Lane Davis, Zac Gordon, Brookelyn Hermann, Kelsey Kirchner, Abbey Koontz, Emma Linn, Hunter Sharp, Nathan Teeters, Seth Teeters, Alyssa Westgerdes, and Emma Younce.

More than 66,000 members, parents, and guests were in attendance at the National FFA Convention. Previous conventions were held in Kansas City, Missouri and Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2016, the Convention will again return to Indianapolis, Indiana.

Convention activities included attending several convention sessions were members where inspired by motivational speakers such as the 2014-15 National FFA Officers and motivational speaker Dr. Rick Rigsby.

Attendees enjoyed attending the Maddie & Tae and Jake Owen concert, the World’s Toughest Rodeo, Buckeye Bash Dance, Louisville Slugger Factory, Newport Aquarium, Kentucky Motor Speedway, Louisville Mega Caverns, and Churchill Downs. Members also attended the FFA Shopping Mall and Career Show.

Three Miami East-MVCTC FFA members were recognized for being a National FFA Proficiency Finalist. Emily Beal was named the National Proficiency Winner in the area of Goat Production. This is only the second time a Miami East student has been a national winner. Nathan Teeters was a Top 4 in the nation in the area of Emerging Agricultural Technology and Kelsey Kirchner was a Top 4 in the nation in the area of Agricultural Sales –Entrepreneurship. All three members earned an all-expense paid trip to Costa Rico in June of 2016. The students will visit farms and plantations with a trip coordinated by the National FFA Organization. This is the first time in Miami East Local School’s history that three students have been named National Proficiency Finalists in the same year.

The Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter was named a Model of Innovation in Student Development. This means that the chapter was a Top 10 in the nation, presented information to a panel of judges and earned a cash prize. Moreover, the Miami East-MVCTC FFA received a Three-Star National Chapter Award, the highest award bestowed to an FFA Chapter. The chapter was selected for this honor based on its activities during the previous school year, in the areas of student, chapter and community development.

Past Miami East High School graduates Kolin Bendickson and Daniel Bodenmiller received the American FFA Degree. Kolin and Daniel and their families attended the convention to see them earn the degree. The American FFA Degree is the highest degree awarded by the National FFA Organization and recognizes members’ ability to demonstrate leadership abilities and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing, and service programs. Recipients received gold American FFA Degree key, wallet ID card, a certificate and wall frame to commemorate the achievement.