National Convention 2016
By: Cheryl Yoder
(Hiland FFA Reporter) 11/8/16
This year the 89th National Convention and Expo was held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Natalie Lovell, Tallie Troyer, and Tanner Neuschwander went with Ms. Albright in October to Indianapolis. It’s always fun to take a trip to get out of the normal routine. National Convention is extra special because you can meet new people, hang out with your friends, and have a great learning experience. The trip was a five day stay in Indianapolis. The first stop of the day was at Six Star+ Whitetails where the FFA students had a chance to learn more about deer, and had an opportunity to feed and pet them. The next stop was at the Ford Rouge Factory Tour in Dearborn, Michigan. While there the FFA students watched Ford vehicles being assembled and the tour guide gave the students history about the vehicles. The next stop was at the Sechler's Pickle Plant in Saint Joe, Indiana. The students watched pickles being made into various products like sweet, dill, and spicy pickles. The business offers fifty-four pickle products for the public to buy.
The first session of National Convention was after the pickle tour. During the first session Taylor McNeel, National FFA President, talked to the audience. Toward the end of the session Diana Nyad, a keynote speaker, talked to the crowd about the swim she took from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida. She didn’t have a shark cage to protect her from the dangerous creatures of the ocean. She was sixty-four years old while she accomplished the task. Diana finished the trip with a total of fifty-three hours. She said “Whatever your dreams are, whatever your particular other shore is, you need some talent, you need hard work, you need some connections, some colleagues and friends. But more than anything, you need that human spirit that says, I’ll get knocked down, I’ll get back up and one day if I just don’t quit I will reach, you will reach your other shore.” Diana is saying to never give up on your dreams, and you will need help along the way to reach your dream or you will fall down and won’t get back up.
After the session has come to an end, the Hiland FFA students visited and toured Don Schumacher racing and Fleece Performance.
After the tour, the Hiland FFA students went to the Cinch Rodeo. The next day, the Hiland FFA went to the fourth session of the FFA Convention. The convention started as usual going into opening ceremonies and going through the awards. Then the keynote speaker came on the stage. Jason Brown told about his story when he was in the NFL and gave it up because he felt like he was missing something in life. So he became a farmer to help out Americans. Jason didn’t want to give money to someone and have them solve the problem that he had, but he changed his heart and did it himself by becoming a farmer and giving up the NFL. Following the session was the Indiana Downs Racing (Tour and Lunch). The next day the Hiland FFA students went back home. Even though FFA students aren’t at National Convention anymore they will always have the experience with them and never will forget what happened to them.