MIAMI COUNTY — Thirty-one members of the Miami East-MVCTC and Milton-Union-MVCTC FFA chapters recently attended the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, where the theme was “I Can. We Will.”
Members Miami East-MVCTC FFA were Erin Baker, Elizabeth Bair, Natalie Bair, Ethin Bendickson, Kylie Blair, Jeffrey Blackford, Carter Gilbert, Luke Gilliland, Jessica Gillum, Justin Hawkins, Rachael Hodge, Savannah Holzen, Kearsten Kirby, Maci Krites, Tyler Laycox, Sydney Preston, Jacob Sweitzer, Chloee Thomas, Jarrett Winner, Lauren Wright, and Emma Younce. From Milton-Union-MVCTC FFA were Emmie Bohse, Taylor Falb, Abby Hissong, Webb Kress, Jessica Leffew, Tyler Leffew, Erica Pratt, Justin Thomas, Darby Welbaum and Larkin Welbaum.
Joining them during the trip were the Arcanum-MVCTC FFA Chapter and its members.
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 Louisville, Kentucky.
Convention activities included attending several convention sessions where members were inspired by motivational speakers such as the 2017-18 National FFA officers and motivational speaker/prize-winning boxer Laila Ali.
Attendees enjoyed attending a Rascal Flatts concert, World’s Toughest Rodeo, Buckeye Bash Dance, and taking a tour of the swine and dairy farms at Fair Oaks Farms. Members also attended the FFA Shopping Mall and Career Show.
Three Miami East-MVCTC FFA members were recognized for being National FFA proficiency finalists. Katie Bendickson was a Top 4 finalist in the area of Agricultural Sales Entrepreneurship. Maci Krites was a Top 4 finalist in the area of Agricultural Mechanical Design and Fabrication. Alyssa Westgerdes was a Top 4 finalist in the area of Specialty Crop Production. All finalists were interviewed and recognized on stage with a plaque and cash prize.
Two Miami East-MVCTC FFA members competed in the National Agriscience Fair with their research project. Kylie Blair and Jessica Gillum competed in Division 4, Environmental Sciences with “Does Clean Water Mean Clean Soil?” They placed in the top 12 in the nation.
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.
Miami East High School graduates Emily Beal, Daniel Everett, Stephanie Millhouse, Levi Reid, and Hunter Sharp received their American FFA degrees. The American FFA degree is the highest degree awarded by the National FFA 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 keys, wallet ID cards, and certificates to commemorate the achievement.
Thanks to Laurie Grube, Candi Hissong, Eric Krites, Brian Pohlman and Marie Carity for chaperoning the trip. Additional appreciation goes to the administration at Miami East Local Schools, Milton-Union Schools, Arcanum Schools, and the Miami Valley Career Technology Center.