WILMINGTON — About 54,000 FFA members attended the recent 89th National FFA convention, with the Wilmington FFA accounting for 25 of those attendees.
The Wilmington High School students departed on Wednesday, Oct. 18 and were in in Indianapolis until Oct. 22. Students not only attended sessions led by the National Level officers, they also toured Saint Mary’s University and Case IH and attended a hypnotist show.
During the week students shopped at the National FFA mall, which has a variety of clothing, shoes and various novelties. Students also were able to meet people ranging from the states of Maine to Hawaii.
During the first day at convention, after getting settled in, students ate dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery. They then headed out to attend the opening ceremony of the convention.
At the ceremony the word “Transform” seemed to be everywhere … but why? Because together we can transform, turn purpose into action and bring good to the bad. So much bad has been brought upon the United States this year, and by teaming up with the other thousands of FFA members we can “Transform” and make the difference this world of needs.
While attending sessions led by the national officers, students learned key parts of leadership, ethics and being a successful ag member. Sessions were around an hour long and during them there were keynote speakers that discussed their backgrounds and informed us why they are qualified to tell us how to improve ourselves.
One of our very own fellow Ohio FFA members spoke at the convention. Sydney Snider has had the honor of being the National FFA Eastern Region Vice President. Being a national officer is a great honor and Sydney worked very hard throughout her FFA career. Having students from our chapter seeing her on stage recognized for her work makes our chapter want to work even harder.
Snider wasn’t the only one receiving national recognition. One of our very own Wilmington FFA Alumni received their American FFA degree. Taylor Thatcher worked very hard throughout her high school and her college career and all of her work resulted in her receiving the highest honor in FFA, the American FFA Degree.
During the week the students took tours to places around Indiana, although our girls went on a tour at Saint Mary’s University. While touring the university the girls attended an educational sermon over the history of the institution.
Saint Mary’s is dedicated to recycling and reusing the land. All of the food served is completely homegrown. The sisters on campus were very welcoming and friendly; after the students’ two-hour bus ride to the campus they welcomed with open arms and warm smiles. By having the opportunity to tour and see how reliant the sisters are on the land the students left with a new idea of how to help reduce waste to the land.
While the girls had the opportunity to learn about the land, the boys did as well. The Wilmington FFA chapter’s boys toured the Case IH headquarters in Indianapolis. Wilmington is a large farming community, so having the chance to visit and see all of the different machinery was an opportunity we just couldn’t pass up!
National Convention is a week that students look forward to and prepare for months in advance. Two thousand and sixteen was definitely one for the books, but let the preparation begin for next year!