Members of the Switzerland County FFA chapter recently attended the FFA National Convention, held last week in Indianapolis; and the chapter again made an impression at the national level.
• Local FFA members Ryan Hughes and Levi Curlin made the Top 10 as national finalist in the Agricultural Fair competition. They were one place from being a gold medalist team, earning silver medals. They were quick to say “It will happen next year.” They were selected based upon a written science report, state interview scores, a national committee review of state scores and written report, review of poster project display and in depth research data and abstract. The duo also participated in a 45 minute interview with a panel of three judges, with a summary question and answer session.
Their topic was comparing the economic value and healthy choice when selecting store brand versus name brand. They used cake products due to the additives and several types available. It was a three day process.
“We want to thank all primary and secondary teachers and staff,” FFA advisor Greg Curlin said. “As they developed the project, it required previous and current skills taught in the classroom to excel as they did leading to the convention. Their endurance was amazing to observe with a positive attitude. As Miss Wehner and I introduced the concepts, it was amazing to watch them research, write, collect data, and summarize their research. The concept of STEM was practiced to develop their outcome. This experience does not happen over a short time span to gain the results they earned. It was exciting to see them respond to questions in the public viewing of the national projects.”
• As the convention concluded on Saturday, Switzerland County FFA member Melissa Furnish earned her American Degree. The American Degree is based upon her work and leadership experience and maintaining record keeping skills. Recipients from all 50 states were honored during the ceremony held in Lucas Oil Stadium.
In addition to all of the competitions and awards, Switzerland County FFA also had many memorable experiences — from a concert featuring superstar Garth Brooks, to hearing an address from President Donald Trump focused on needed agriculture production, research, and business.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos also addressed the convention, discussing career pathways; and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue discussed the jobs needed in agriculture by 2030.
Nearly 72,000 members attended from across the United States.