Wednesday, June 2, 2010

82nd Kansas FFA Convention Kicks Off with Competitions, Career Show, Renowned Youth Speaker

The first day of the 82nd 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 Jeff Yalden.

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.

Lindy Billberry, Garden City FFA, was recognized as the top individual in the Creed Speaking Career Development Even, with Talara Renfroe, Labette County FFA, placing second; Jody Bargary, Tonganoxie FFA, placing third; and Ciara Houlton, Stafford FFA, placing fourth.

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

All members in attendance were inspired by the message delivered by kick-off speaker Jeff Yalden, renowned speaker and author, who has appeared in the MTV reality show, MADE. Yalden challenged the members to find their purpose in life.

Following the session, members enjoyed FFA Night at Manhattan Town Center with pizza and dancing.

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

Convention continues tomorrow with recognition of the 42 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 and distinguished service award will be recognized. Thursday evening convention attendees will hear from author and TV host Josh Shipp.

Students Participate in State FFA Band and Chorus

A select group of FFA members are preparing to lend their musical abilities to entertain the thousands of members and guests at the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention this week on the Kansas State University campus. These 110 members make up the State Convention Band and Chorus.

In order to participate in these select ensembles, members were required to submit audition tapes and recommendations from their local music instructors.

The State Convention Chorus, directed by Zac Malcolm, Clay Center Community High School and accompanied by Jennifer Talley, Manhattan, will perform during the third convention session, on Thursday at 2 p.m. Under the direction of Yvonne Colle-Burden, Medicine Lodge High School, and assisted by Kris Brenzikofer, Clay Center Community Middle School, the State Convention Band will perform a concert at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, prior to the fourth convention session. Both groups will present encore performances during the final convention session on Friday at 2 p.m.

A full list of the State Band and Chorus participants can be found at

Chapters Honored for Achievements in Student Development

The National Chapter Award program recognizes chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization. Based on a chapter's Program of Activities (POA), chapters are recognized for working in established areas called "quality standards," which are divided into three divisions -- student development, chapter development and community development.

The Kansas chapter performing best in all three division is awarded the Triple Crown award, which will be announced during the Sixth Session on the afternoon of Friday, June 4. The opening session of the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention recognized the chapters excelling in the area of student development, which are listed below.

View the full rankings after the break.

Public Speaking Career Development Events Finalists Announced

Creed Speaking
  • Jody Bargary, Tonganoxie
  • Ciara Houlton, Stafford
  • Talara Renfroe, Labette County
  • Lindy Billberry, Garden City
Extemporaneous Public Speaking
  • Brock Burnick, Girard
  • Lindy Billberry, Garden City
  • Nick Hermann, Holcomb
  • Karl Janke, Chapman
Prepared Public Speaking
  • Alexis Wingerson, Smith Center
  • Justine Dlabal, Wilson
  • Sara Schifferdecker, Girard
  • Blaine Lotz, Labette County