Summary of Student Involvement at State FFA Convention held at Purdue University on June 15-18
Transferring what is learned in the classroom into life skills is a difficult task without additional training. Agriculture Educational students set to test their skills at the local, , district, state and national levels. At these competitions, FFA students combine skills, facts, and techniques learned from their middle and high school classes. At this year’s State FFA Convention held at Purdue University, 33 DeKalb FFA members had the opportunity to compare their skills against the 11,167 FFA members from across the state.
DeKalb’s successes were highlighted by Leah Hefty being named State Star in Agriscience. The highest state degree an FFA member can receive is the state degree. Of the 11,167 state FFA members, 374 members meet the qualifications to receive their Hoosier Degree. The selection is based on the student’s project records of their work experience, leadership, involvement, community service, school activities, and academics. Based on these curriculums, Hefty was named the top Agriscientist in the state. This is an example of an individual who applied class room skills in the real world.
Leadership opportunities are also stressed in the FFA. Students are elected by their peers to run the activities of their local chapters learning skills such as running a meeting, functioning on a committee, and planning and running activities for the chapter. Hefty, the current DeKalb FFA president, was elected to serve as the District III President for the 2015-2016 year.
The agriculture industry is a major employer in the United States. Students with business and science degrees are in high demand in the agriculture industry. In the area of Agriscience, Ally Laker, Brooke-destinee Lockwood and Gabe Hefty placed first in their categories and will be competing at the National FFA Convention this fall. Other participants were Leah Hefty, Erin Sukala and Brooke Evans.
FFA members also compete in team and individual Career Development Events that help develop skills in public speaking, observation, communication, decision making and defending decisions. The Forestry team consisting of Lake Evans, Ellen Shearer, LeAnna Shearer and Leah Hefty placed first in the state competition and will represent Indiana at the National competition this fall. The team was led by Lake Evans who placed first individual. The team of Erin Sukala, Brooke Evans, Kendall Gilbert and Maddie Schowe placed fourth at this contest. The Livestock team placed second at the State Evaluation contest. This team was represented by Chase Taylor, Josie Rinehold, Tyler Foster and Landon LaRowe. Two food science teams competed at state. Team 1 consisted of Laurel Hoff, John Gurtner, Reba Clifford and Erin Sukala and Team 2 consisted of Ayshia Houser, Brooke Evans, Catie Taylor and Vivian Mettert. Team one placed second. FFA judging teams cover a variety of topics, one such topic is veterinary science. The team of Reba Clifford, Erin Sukala, Ally Laker and Abby Fisher placed fourth at state. In the area of mechanics, the teams of Chase Taylor, Tyger Clifford, Landon LaRowe and Lake Evans on Team 1 and Logan VanWye, Jaguar Clifford and Michael Krehl on Team 2 also competed at the state level. In the area of agriculture sales, Lucas Pomeroy competed as an individual.
Traditional classroom studies are not forgotten in the FFA. Students are tested over information presented in their agricultural classes. One test area is in knowledge of FFA. This Quiz Bowl contest requires students to compete exams. Both senior and middle school division schools placed in the top 12 of the state. The high school team consisted of Erin Sukala, Reba Clifford, Catie Taylor and John Gurtner and the middle school team consisted of Peyton Stout, Josh Daniels, Matthew Fifer and Dylan LaRowe. Another area in which the students are quizzed is in the area of agribusiness. Team members of Kylee Stout, LeAnna Shearer, Ellen Shearer, and Montana Kummer competed in this contest.
FFA develops leaders through various leadership contests, such as, public speaking, demonstrations, job interview and agriculture sales presentations. LeAnna Shearer and Kylee Stout competed in the agricultural mechanics demonstration, each receiving a $10,000 scholarship to attend University of Northwestern Ohio with their first place title. Leah Hefty and McKenna Clifford placed first in their agribusiness demonstration. Gabe Hefty and Sydney Hefty received third in their middle school division food science demonstration. Ellen Shearer and Ayshia Houser placed in the top 12 with their food science demonstration. In the area of job interview, McKenna Clifford placed in the top 12 of the state. Chase Taylor placed first in the individual sales competition. Leah Hefty placed second in the state prepared public peaking competition.
DeKalb FFA’s chapter advisors are Matt Dice and Ashtin Balzer.