Kentucky well represented at 85th National FFA Convention

Frankfort, KY (October 29, 2012) – Kentucky FFA was well represented at the 85th Annual National FFA Convention, which was held October 24-27 in Indianapolis, Indiana. An all-time record of 56,107 FFA members from across the United States attended the Convention, which is the largest youth organization gathering in the United States.

Joenelle Futrell was elected National Eastern Region Vice President.  Futrell and five other National Officers will lead the 550,000+ member organization for the next year.  During her year of service, she will travel over 100,000 miles and have the opportunity to speak to thousands of FFA members and interact with agriculture, education, and government officials. She is the eleventh National FFA Officer from Kentucky and the first female National FFA Officer from Kentucky. Futrell is a member of the Daviess County FFA Chapter and is a junior at the University of Kentucky where she is majoring in Agricultural Education.

Spencer County FFA won the distinction of being named the first ever National Model of Excellence Chapter. This prestigious award was established this year to recognize the top chapter in the nation.  Spencer County has a long history of excellence in all areas of agricultural education including classroom instruction, FFA, and Supervised Agricultural Experience.  Chapter advisors are Bland Baird and Darryl Matherly. Kentucky is honored to say that we have the number one chapter in the nation!

Jordan Lucas of the Lincoln County FFA received first place in the National Agriscience Fair in Division 1 of Power Structural and Technical Systems.  Lucas completed research related to the effectiveness of various hay storage methods using the scientific method. He is the first National Agriscience Fair winner from Kentucky. His advisors are Matthew Anderson, Harvey Franklin, and Denise Thomas.

Alexander Richardson of the Meade County FFA was named one of four National Finalists for the American Star Farmer Award. Zachary Cotton of the Spencer County FFA was named one of four National Finalists for the American Star In Agribusiness Award. The Star Awards are based on a student’s progress in developing their Supervised Agricultural Experience Program, FFA accomplishments, record of scholarship, and community involvement and are the highest awards given by the National FFA Organization.

Three Kentucky FFA members were named as National Proficiency Winners:

  • Susan Mann of Spencer County FFA was named the National Winner in Food Science and Technology.
  • Stetson Schimfessel of Clark County FFA was named the National Winner in Beef Production Placement.
  • Gabe Stodghill of Spencer County FFA was named the National Winner in Outdoor Recreation.

Eight other Kentucky FFA members were named as one of four national finalists in their respective proficiency award areas:

  • Morgan Mayer – Spencer County – Ag Communication
  • Ethan Cotton – Spencer County – Ag Mechanics Energy Systems
  • Shane Greenwell – Spencer County – Ag Sales Entrepreneurship
  • Kristy Glasscock – Spencer County – Ag Sales Placement
  • Matthew Rechtenwald – Spencer County – Diversified Crop Production Placement
  • Shawn Royse – Fleming County – Home and Community Development
  • Cody Milburn – Spencer County – Landscape Management
  • Danielle Montgomery – Spencer County – Swine Production Placement

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.

Several Kentucky Career Development Teams placed in the top ten nationally:

  • Scott County FFA placed second in the Marketing Plan Career Development Event.  Team members were Brittany Childers Carpenter, Kenzie Swartz, and Heather Hawkins.
  • Alexandra Housman of the Lone Oak FFA placed third in the Job Interview Career Development Event.
  • Spencer County FFA placed third in the Agronomy Career Development Event.  Team members were Jacob Barnett, Daniel Cooper, James Nichols, and Rachel Sibert.
  • Spencer County FFA placed third in the Farm Business Management Career Development Event.  Team members were Tyler Goodlett, Brian Jones, Andrew Krueger, and Shelby West.
  • Spencer County FFA placed fifth in the Dairy Evaluation Career Development Event.  Team members were Shane Greenwell, Bryce Martin, Ashley Mckinney, and Cecilia Petersen.
  • Calloway County FFA placed tenth in the Agriculture Sales Career Development Event.  Team members were Jay Green, Hugh Paschall, Rachel Ross, and Blake Wetherington.

Other teams competing in National Career Development Events included:

Agriculture Communications Silver LaRue County
Ag. Technology and Mechanical Systems Silver Fleming County
Agricultural Issues Forum Bronze Lone Oak
Dairy Handlers Silver LaRue County
Environmental Science Bronze Montgomery County
Floriculture Gold Calloway County
Food Science Bronze Spencer County
Forestry Silver McCreary Central
Horse Evaluation Silver Scott County
Livestock Evaluation Silver Calloway County
Meats Evaluation Silver Spencer County
Milk Quality and Products Silver LaRue County
Nursery and Landscape Bronze Spencer County
Parliamentary Procedure Bronze Calloway County
Poultry Evaluation Silver Edmonson County

The following members competed in National Speaking Career Development Events:

  • Creed Speaking           Rylee Stafford             Montgomery County    Bronze Rating
  • Extemporaneous         Sarah Eades                 Collins                           Bronze Rating
  • Prepared Public           Hannah Weber             Campbell County          Bronze Rating

All Kentucky members participating in the finals of the Agriscience Fair placed in the top ten in the nation. In addition to National Winner Jordan Lucas, the following students also participated:

  • Luke Tapp & James Wilbers of Campbell County placed second in Animal Systems.
  • Lilly Robertson of Franklin Simpson FFA placed seventh in Environmental Sciences.
  • Hannah Weber of Campbell County FFA placed eighth in Food Products and Processing Systems.
  • Jessie Strasinger and Sidney Boots of Campbell County placed ninth in Social Systems.

The American FFA Degree was awarded to 101 Kentucky FFA members.  This honor is the highest award the organization can bestow on a member.

John Mark McElroy of the South Warren FFA represented Kentucky in the National FFA Chorus.

Lee County FFA Advisor Orville Bennett received the Honorary American Degree in recognition of his many years of service.

Fifteen Kentucky FFA chapters were recognized in the National Chapter Contest.  Caldwell County, Fleming County, Henry County, LaRue County, Marion County, Rockcastle County, Scott County, Spencer County, and Warren Central were recognized as National Three Star Chapters.  Bourbon County, Boyle County, John Hardin, South Warren, and Western Hills were recognized as National Two Star Chapters and Meade County was recognized as a National One Star Chapter.  Spencer County FFA was also recognized as a National Model of Innovation Finalist.

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/2012/Pages/Awards.aspx

Source: Press release courtesy of Kentucky Department of Education

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