Kentucky FFA Members Excel At National FFA Convention
Kentucky FFA was well represented at the 88th Annual National FFA Convention, which was held October 28- 31 in Louisville. An all-time record of 65,173 FFA members from across the United States attended the Convention, which is the largest youth organization gathering in the United States.
Ruth Ann Myers of the Boyle County chapter helped lead the Convention as the Eastern Region Vice President. During her year of service, Myers has traveled over 100,000 miles and spoken to thousands of FFA members about leadership, personal growth, and careers in the agriculture industry. Myers represented Kentucky well throughout the year and capped off the year with an inspiring retiring address titled “The Best Day Ever.”
Spencer County FFA won the Dairy Cattle Evaluation Career Development Event. Members of the Dairy Cattle Evaluation team included Marissa Allen, Ryan Linton, Tanner Goodlett, and Jacob Whitely. Tanner Goodlett placed fourth overall, Ryan Linton placed fifth overall, Marissa Allen placed sixth overall, and Jacob Whitely placed seventh overall. FFA Advisor Bland Baird served as coach of the Dairy Evaluation team. This is the sixth time since 2006 that Spencer County has won the national Dairy Evaluation CDE.
Kentucky had two National Proficiency Winners at the Convention. Austin Wilson of Whitley County was named the winner in the Forest Products and Management Proficiency Contest. Wilson has worked with his father in a lumber operation and has purchased a 1/3 interest in the business. Wilson is the son of Joe and Sonja Wilson. His advisors are Glen Croley and Brian Prewitt.
Caleb Brannon of Calloway County was named the National Winner in the Agriscience Research Integrated Systems Proficiency Contest. Brannon was recognized for his research related to agriculture energy and renewable fuels. His work has included research with switchgrass, energy beets, and solar power among other topics. Brannon is the son of Tony and Lisa Brannon. His advisors are Jacob Falwell and Bill Sampson.
Four other Kentucky FFA members were named national finalists in their respective proficiency award areas:
- Caleb Fulkerson, Spencer County- Diversified Horticulture
- Adam Light, Spencer County- Fruit Production
- Mason Arnold, Taylor County- Sheep Production
- Nick Hope, Muhlenberg County- Wildlife Management
Proficiency awards are based on a written application detailing the student’s accomplishments and learning related to his or her Supervised Agricultural Experience Program. National Finalists complete an in depth interview with industry leaders as part of the selection process.
Zack Plummer of Fleming County FFA placed second in the Power, Structural, and Technical Systems division of the National Agriscience Fair. In addition to Plummer, eight Kentucky FFA members placed in the top fifteen nationally in the Agriscience Fair. They were:
- Animal Systems Division 1- Megan Underwood- Taylor County
- Environmental Science Division 3- Joshua Corey and Makayla Stigall- Montgomery County
- Environmental Science Division 4- Anne Littrell and Harlie Wells- Barren County
- Power, Structure, and Technical Systems Division 4- Abigail Lanier and Allie O’Neil- Carlisle Co.
- Social Systems Division 1- Abbey Dickerson- South Warren
Nelson County FFA and Spencer County FFA were recognized as two of ten national finalists for the National Model of Innovation Award in the area of Chapter Development.
Several Kentucky Career Development Teams placed in the top ten nationally:
- Payton Carter of Thomas Nelson FFA placed third in the Job Interview Career Development Event.
- Spencer County FFA placed third in the Farm Business Management Career Development Event. Team members were Zachary Berry, Rachel Clar, Garrett Helm, and Zachary Martin. Zachary Martin placed fifth overall and Garrett Helm placed ninth.
- Grace Sink from Oneida Baptist FFA placed fourth in the Creed Speaking Career Development Event.
- Franklin Simpson FFA placed fifth in the Agronomy Career Development Event. Team members were John Forshee, John Webb, Grace Clar, and Robert Carey.
- Emma Shelton of LaRue County was the eighth place individual in the Food Science Career Development Event. Shelton has received a gold rating in three individual Career Development Events during her high school career.
- Braden Young of Mercer County was the tenth place individual in the Horse Evaluation Career Development Event.
Other teams competing in National Career Development Events included:
|Agriculture Communications||Silver||LaRue County|
|Agriculture Issues Forum||Silver||Central Hardin|
|Agriculture Sales||Silver||South Warren|
|Agriculture Technology and Mechanical Systems||Silver||Whitley County|
|Dairy Cattle Handlers||Silver||Korri Briggs, Taylor County|
|Environmental and Natural Resources||Gold||North Hardin|
|Food Science||Gold||LaRue County|
|Horse Evaluation||Gold||Mercer County|
|Livestock Evaluation||Silver||Cumberland County|
|Marketing Plan||Silver||Spencer County|
|Meats Evaluation||Silver||Spencer County|
|Milk Quality and Products||Silver||LaRue County|
|Parliamentary Procedure||Bronze||Mercer County|
|Veterinary Science||Silver||Henderson County|
The following members competed in National Speaking Career Development Events:
Extemporaneous Wesley Estes Logan County Bronze Rating
Prepared Public Gracie Furnish Harrison County Silver Rating
The American FFA Degree was awarded to 98 Kentucky FFA members. This honor is the highest award the organization can bestow on a member.
Tori Young of the Gallatin County FFA represented Kentucky as a National Officer Candidate.
David S. Beck, Executive Vice President of Kentucky Farm Bureau received the VIP Citation for his work as Site Committee Host for the National Convention during its time in Louisville.
Two Kentucky Teachers of Agriculture earned the Honorary American FFA Degree. Darryl Matherly of Spencer County and Wes York of Caldwell County received the Degree in recognition for their leadership in the Kentucky Association of Agricultural Educators.
Fifteen Kentucky FFA chapters were recognized in the National Chapter Contest. Bourbon County, Boyle County, Henderson County, LaRue County, Marion County, Nelson County, Rockcastle County, Scotte County, Spencer County, Taylor County, and Thomas Nelson were recognized as National Three Star Chapters. Apollo, Jessamine County, Russell County, and South Warren were recognized as National Two Star Chapters.
Wyatt Wood of McCracken County and Halie Sawyers of Todd Central represented Kentucky in the National FFA Talent. Wood placed in the top 15 overall and sang the National Anthem at the American Degree Ceremony.
Ty Allen of Madison Southern and Parker Stewart of Bracken County represented Kentucky in the National FFA Band.
Patra Caldwell of Ballard Memoria, Hollie Doyle of Bourbon County, Autumn Dunaway of Ballard Memorial, Harrison Garden of South Warren, and Hunter Anne Julian of Daviess County represented Kentucky in the National FFA Chorus. Caldwell was selected to perform a solo on stage and Dunaway was selected to sing the National Anthem at the Friday night rodeo.
The North Hardin FFA chapter represented Kentucky in the National Hall of States.
For a complete listing of National Convention winners, visit https://www.ffa.org/events/conventionandexpo/highlights
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