Wednesday, May 27, 2009


MANHATTAN, Kan. – The first day of the 81st Kansas FFA Convention featured an opportunity for high school students to explore potential careers; recognition of student success in the FFA creed speaking, agricultural issues, and parliamentary procedure career development events; and a challenge to members made by renowned speaker Grant Baldwin.

The opening session welcomed Kansas FFA members, advisors and guests to Manhattan and announced the first of many individual and team honors that will be granted to members during the week.

Shannon Maxwell, Holton FFA, was recognized as the top individual in the Creed Speaking Career Development Event, with Naicee Gugelmeyer, South Barber FFA, placing second; Theo Kassebaum, Centre FFA, placing third; and Jordan Bell, Hill City FFA, placing fourth.

Atchison County was honored as the top team in the Ag Issues CDE and the Holton FFA took home top honors in the Parliamentary Procedure CDE. The Labette County FFA was recognized as the top chapter in the Career Development Events Sweepstakes. Louisburg was second, followed by Paola, Washington County and Buhler.

All members in attendance were challenged by the message delivered by kick-off speaker Grant Baldwin, author of the book “Reality Check”, who spoke to the audience about overcoming excuses and taking control of their own situations.

Earlier in the day, members attended the 8th Annual Convention Career Show and interacted with agribusinesses and other professionals to learn more about their future opportunities after high school graduation.

Tomorrow convention continues with recognition of the 41 proficiency award winners who were selected for accomplishing specific career goals in their supervised agricultural experience (SAE) programs. The top individuals in the prepared and extemporaneous speaking career development events will be announced and the recipients of the honorary degree will be recognized. Thursday evening convention attendees will hear from author and speaker Ed Gerety.

FFA is a national youth organization of 507,763 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture with 7,439 local chapters in all 50 Align Centerstates, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit for more information.

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