By Cheryl Yoder
On a crisp early morning in May, Nikyta Engstrom, Natalie Lovell, Hunter Mast, Tallie Troyer, and Diane Yoder went to State Convention, which was held in Columbus. On the first day of their trip, the members helped out at the Ohio FFA community service project. The Ohio FFA Fights Hunger project involved the FFA members by having them pack food into boxes and sent them to people in need of food. The process of making the food was: first the package of cheese, macaroni, and soy protein went into the bag, and someone weigh it to a certain amount. Next, someone sealed the bag, and put an expiration date on it. In Ohio, there are 1,951,880 food problems, and Ohio is 1 out of 8 states that has food insecurity rates higher than the average. During the convention 88,000 meals were prepared for the hunger project. Thanks to Pioneer Seed, Ohio Corn & Wheat, United Country Real Estate, and Ohio Poultry Association the event was a huge success.
The first session of the convention was the Delegate Session, and was sponsored by: Bayer Crop Science. First, there was recognition for: Teacher/Administrator, Children’s Hospital, CROP/Church World Services, and Ohio FFA Fights Hunger. Next was the Foundation Chapter Trust Award, and following was the WLC Scholarships. Tiana Tozer was the Keynote Speaker. She is a professional speaker, consultant, and trainer for programs in real-life experiences. She move to Iraq to become a humanitarian aid worker, and she taught people how to get over their disabilities. Tiana was part of the two-time Paralympic and she was a member of the USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team for five years. During the convention she talked about when she was in a car accident, and her seat belt wasn’t on in the backseat. Tiana was going to a lacrosse meeting, and her friends were in the front of the car. A 20 year old drunk man was coming toward, and hit the side of the car. Nobody in the car was seriously injured but Tiana’s legs were crushed. After this incident she went on to help people to get over their disabilities, and she learn how to walk again.
The next session was sponsored by: The Ohio State University, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The session started by Honorary State FFA Degree Ceremony, and gave recognition to 2015 National Winners, Star American FFA Degrees, and Star State FFA Degree. This year Natalie Lovell, Tallie Troyer, and Diane Yoder earned their State FFA Degrees by working long hours with Ms. Albright, the Agricultural Teacher.
Next, was the Proficiency Award starting from Wildlife to Fiber/Oil Crop. There was total of 19 Proficiency Awards presented. The final portion of the session was the Keynote Speaker: Dave Roever. He has a wife, Brenda, two children, and four grandchildren. He is a public speaker because of what happened to him in the Navy. In every one of Dave’s speeches is a message of hope, and speaking at State Convention is no exception. Dave was in Vietnam when a grenade exploded in his hand while he was in the middle of throwing it to the rivals. Dave had major surgeries done in the hospital and he stayed there for 14 months. Having lived was an amazing miracle for himself and those around him.
At the end of that night, the members went to Sky Zone, which is an indoor trampoline park. On the second day of the trip the FFA members practiced for the band and choir concert. The third session took place after this band and choir practice. The chapter awards were announced, then the gold medal chapter, and the top ten student chapter, community development chapters were announced. Next was the top ten chapters, and following was the Keynote Speaker: Miss Ohio Mackenzie Bart. She’s a ventriloquist, and uses her puppet Roxy for the act, and Mackenzie wants to be a meteorologist.
Following this was the final round of proficiency awards, Equine Science through Accounting. There was a total of 22 proficiency awards presented during the third session of the convention. Congratulations to West Holmes FFA Proficiency candidates. After a break, the fourth session started. It began by the creed speaker presenting the FFA Creed. Continuing on was the Secretary’s, Treasurer’s, and Reporter’s Awards. Nikyta Engstrom, Hunter Mast, and Diane Yoder went on stage to receive their gold rating officer books, which is the highest that they can receive on officer books. The Keynote Speaker for this session was Sydney Snider, Eastern Region National Vice President. Sydney grew up raising animals for the show, and know how to give the nutrition needed for animals. During last session the band and choir performed their concert at the end of the session. Hunter Mast played trombone, and Diane Yoder played percussion in the band.
Afterwards, Matthew Klopfenstein, State President, said the retiring address. The new State Officers were announced which are: President: Mary Buehler, Vice President: Meredith Oglesby, Secretary: Josie Montoney, Treasurer: Evan Smith, Reporter: Lauren Grover, and the Sentinel: Johnathon Cottingim. Then they closed State Convention by saying the closing ceremonies. Everyone that went enjoyed the convention, met new people, and had a wonderful experience.