Thursday, June 3, 2010

82nd Kansas FFA Convention Continues with Student Recognition, Dynamic Messages and Talent Showcase

The second day of the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention was packed with celebrating the success of individuals and teams throughout the past year; recognizing the significant contributions made by our Honorary Degree and Distinguished Service recipients; and listening to influential messages shared by National FFA Secretary, Bethany Bohnenblust and by dynamic motivational speaker Josh Shipp.
Second Session
McCain Auditorium was filled with enthusiastic members for the second session which recognized the 2009 American Degree Recipients. The top 10 individuals and top 5 chapters in the Leadership Information Test were announced. The National Chapter Awards for Community Development were presented to chapters in the bronze, silver and gold divisions.
The Agri-Entrepreneurship Education Program is designed to increase the amount of entrepreneurship being taught in local agriculture programs across the country.  The top individual was announced in the Agri-Entrepreneurship Education Program. In addition, chapter success was acknowledged through Safety Awards and Kansas Farm Bureau Community Grants

Kansas native and 2009-2010 National FFA Secretary, Bethany Bohnenblust shared inspiring words to motive members. 

The first part of the Proficiency Award Ceremony took place to recognize and celebrate the success of members.  Twenty-one members received top honors in their respective proficiency award area. 
Third Session
The third session began Thursday afternoon with a lively performance by the State FFA Convention Chorus, who showed us how to lead out loud through song.

Individual success was again recognized in the second part of the Proficiency Award Ceremony as 21 members were announced in their respective areas. Top individuals in the Job Interview CDE and top chapters in the Scrapbook Awards were announced.
Following the session, delegates attended the Meet the Candidates Session in the K-State Union Little Theater in order to build relationships with the State FFA Officer Candidates.

The State Convention Band held their concert in McCain Auditorium, rocking the house before the fourth session on Thursday evening. 
The Thursday evening session exemplified what service meant. Honorary State FFA Degree Recipients and the Distinguished Service Recipient were honored for their significant selfless contributions to the Kansas FFA Association. Members were recognized for excelling in communication by announcing the winners of the Extemporaneous Speaking and Prepared Public Speaking CDEs.

National Chapter Awards in Chapter Development were presented to chapters in the bronze, silver and gold divisions.

Motivational speaker, Josh Shipp presented a dynamic message that challenged members live in a way that is above average.
The final day of convention will kick off tomorrow morning with the Convention Business Session, recognition of student achievement and election of the 2010-2011 State FFA Officers. Friday afternoon will feature the recognition of Kansas FFA Foundation Sponsors, the “Stars over Kansas” Pageant,  presentation of the Triple Crown award and installment of the 2010-2011 Kansas FFA State Officer Team. Following the final session, the Blue & Gold Banquet will be held at the K-State Alumni Center for convention volunteers, State Stars, retiring and newly elected state officers as well as their families. 

Kansas FFA Members Volunteer Nearly 19,000 Hours

In response to the Real Service Challenge, FFA chapters statewide were recognized for completing 18,658 service hours. The announcement was made Wednesday the 82nd Kansas FFA State Convention on the Kansas State University campus.

The Real Service Challenge was created by the 2009-2010 Kansas FFA State Officer team. Nellie Hill, State Vice President, explained that service is especially important to their team and that they wanted to encourage a service based mindset throughout Kansas.

Chapters were asked to submit their community service hours to the state. The hours would be part of National FFA’s Million Hour Service Challenge as well as part of a competition between districts. The results of the competition were announced last night during the opening session.

The East Central District placed first with 4,017 hours; the Northeast District placed second with 3,750 hours; and the Southwest District placed third with 3,500 hours.

Chapter Receive Kansas Farm Bureau Community Grants

Kansas Farm Bureau has awarded 19 FFA chapters from across the state with grants for their commitment to making a difference in their communities. Winners were announced during on Thursday morning at the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention on the Kansas State University campus

The Kansas Farm Bureau community grants are awarded to FFA chapters who have worked diligently with county Farm Bureau representatives to develop and execute a successful community project. These FFA chapters who have served received $150, $200, $250, $300 or $400 grants.

Community grant recipients demonstrate outstanding desire to improve their community and exhibit a true desire for serve others. Grant recipients and their projects are as follows:

Kansas Farm Bureau awarded $400 grants to Clifton-Clyde FFA for a middle school greenhouse, Crest FFA for eighth grade enrichment, Hiawatha FFA for a book barn, and Stafford FFA for teaching agriculture through a garden.

Recipients of $250 grants include Clafin FFA for Husker Harvest Days, Clay Center FFA for a farm safety day, Eudora FFA for a day on the farm, and Spring Hill for Slice of Ag.

Chapters receiving $300 grants include Republic County FFA for a landscape project and Riverton FFA for STEALTH.

Grants in the amount of $200 went to Minneapolis FFA for an agriculture awareness day, and Norton FFA and Northern Valley FFA, both for agriculture awareness and safety

Receiving $150 grants were Holcomb FFA for a day on the farm, Jayhawk-Linn FFA for an agriculture awareness day, and Russell FFA for agriculture experience upgrades.

National Chapter Awards in Chapter Development Announced

The purpose of the National Chapter Award Program is to encourage chapters to develop and improve in three focus areas: Chapter Development, Student Development, and Community Development. Awards are given in each of these three areas in the divisions of bronze, silver and gold. During the fourth session of the Kansas FFA Convention, the National Chapter Awards for Chapter Development were awarded.

Full list of chapter rankings after the break.

Kansas FFA Recognizes Supporters with Honorary State FFA Degree

Seven individuals were honored for their service to Kansas FFA on Thursday evening at the 82nd State Convention on the Kansas State University campus.

The Honorary State FFA Degree is bestowed upon those who have rendered outstanding services to the association. Each recipient truly embodies passion for furthering the mission agricultural education and the FFA.

This year's recipients of the honorary degree were Wally Leander, past president of the Kansas FFA Alumni Association, Hiawatha; Scott Beyer, associate professor of animal science at K-State, Manhattan; Don Boggs, Associate Dean of the K-State College of Agriculture, Manhattan; Rosemary Harris, co-owner of Harris Crop Insurance, Abilene; Kent Kimmons, associate professor of floriculture at K-State, Manhattan; Jill Zimmerman, past Kansas FFA Foundation Director, South Haven; and Dan Stehlik, current president of the Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators (KAAE), Republic County.

Kansas FFA Honors Harris Crop Insurance with Distinguished Service Citation

Kansas FFA presented the Distinguished Service Award to Harris Crop Insurance on Thursday evening at the 82nd State Convention on the Kansas State University campus.

Harris Crop Insurance is owned and operated by Kevin and Rosemary Harris. This business has earned Kansas FFA’s recognition by continuously supporting the young people in their community and across the state. Harris Crop Insurance is a distinguished investor in the Kansas FFA Foundation by specifically sponsoring the State Sheep Proficiency Award. They also make considerable donations to surrounding FFA Chapters including Abilene and Hope. After the tornado that ravaged their community, Harris Crop Insurance made a substantial donation to the Chapman FFA Chapter to assist in financing a new greenhouse.

In addition to the financial contributions of the business, Kevin and Rosemary both contribute to enriching the lives of young people with their individual gifts. They are both extremely active as local volunteers, providing assistance with chapter and community activities. North Central Kansas is fortunate to have the reliable services of Harris Crop Insurance and the caring hearts of Kevin and Rosemary Harris.

Girard Members Win Speaking Honors

Two FFA members from the Girard FFA were awarded first-place in the Kansas FFA Prepared Public Speaking and Extemporaneous Speaking Career Development Events (CDEs) on Thursday evening during the 82nd Kansas FFA State Convention in Manhattan, Kan.

Brock Burnick took home the top honor in the Extemporaneous CDE, which challenges members to present on a current agricultural issue after only 30 minutes of preparation. The other three finalists in the event were Lindy Billberry, Garden City FFA, who placed second; Nick Hermann, Holcomb FFA, who placed third; and Karl Janke, Chapman FFA, who placed fourth.

View Brock's winning speech:

The Prepared Public Speaking CDE was won by Sara Schifferdecker of the Girard FFA chapter with her speech "Trials and Triumphs of Agriculture in Haiti." Blaine Lotz, Labette County FFA, placed second; Alexis Wingerson, Smith Center FFA, placed third; and Justine Dlabal, Wilson FFA, placed fourth. To participate in the Prepared Public Speaking CDE, members must submit a manuscript and bibliography, present a 6- to 8-minute speech and answer questions about their selected speech topic.

The Extemporaneous CDE is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salina and Casey and Tammy Niemann. The Prepared Public Speaking CDE is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salina.

By winning at the state level, Burnick and Schifferdecker both have the opportunity to compete in the National Career Development Events at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Oct. 20-23, 2010.

Gator Drawing Finalists Announced

The pool of Kansas FFA members who could leave the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention with a John Deere Gator 620iXUV has been narrowed to ten.

Finalists were selected Thursday night. The winner will be drawn from those names during the Fifth Session of the Kansas FFA Convention, which begins at 9 a.m. Friday. If you're one of the finalists, you must be present to win.

The finalists are:
  • Alex Hajek, Centre FFA
  • Ellen Ouellette, Central Heights FFA
  • Bethany Moore, Labette County FFA
  • Jeri Sigle, Council Grove FFA
  • Jessie Zimmerman, Council Grove FFA
  • Dustin Nattier, Newton FFA
  • Alexis Coberly, Chapman FFA
  • Tyler Bengston, Inman FFA
  • Austin Durst, Washington County FFA
  • Trever Holt, Holton FFA
Members eligible to enter the drawing for the Gator 620iXUV were those who submitted an application for the American or State FFA Degree, Agriscience fair, Agri-Entrepreneurship award, Proficiency winners and District Star winners.

Again, one name will be chosen toward the end of the Fifth Session and that person must be present to win!

Zach Langford presents his retiring address, "All In"

Zach Langford, State FFA Sentinel, from the Buhler FFA Chapter, presented his retiring address at the Third Session of the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention

It is the bottom of the 9th the game is tied there are two outs and a runner on third. The pitcher starts his wind up as the crowd comes to their feet with a roar that echoes throughout the stadium. The runner is attempting to steal home. With every step the ball gets closer and closer to the plate the ball hits the catcher’s mitt, the runner slides head first, the tag and…..………………. SAFE! Stealing Home is baseball’s most risky play, taking off from third and trying to beat a ball traveling over 85 miles per hour to home plate. This is playing baseball on the edge going all-in, knowing you will be called out or safe. Possibly winning or losing the game. When you live all-in you do not leave any stones unturned, you leave your fears behind, you charge ahead and do not look back. In order to live life all-in, we must first find our passions, be prepared to stand up again, and be willing to take risks.

Kansas FFA Members Awarded Scholarships

The National FFA Foundation awarded approximately $143,000 in scholarships to 117 Kansas FFA members to further their education. The announcement was made Thursday at the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention on the Kansas State University campus.

The foundation distributed $1.9 million in the form of scholarships generously donated by 132 sponsors. The awards ranged from $1,000 to $5,000 to be used to gain education at a two-year or four-year institution.

State-level scholarships of $500 and $1,000 also awarded to 17 members during the afternoon session.

For a complete list of recipients please go to:

Winfield Member Wins Job Interview Career Development Event

Results of the Job Interview Career Development Event (CDE) were announced during the third session of the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention, with Sarah Potter of the Winfield FFA Chapter taking first-place. Potter is now eligible to compete in the national CDE, which will be held in October in conjunction with the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.

Full results:
1st- Sarah Potter, Winfield FFA
2nd- Ariel Whitely, Lawrence FFA
3rd- Seth Diehm, Prairie View FFA
4th- Trevor Graff, Scott City FFA
5th- Katie Campbell, Pleasant Ridge FFA
6th- Jamie Strine, Smith Center FFA

Chapter Scrapbook Award Winners Named

The Smith Center FFA Chapter was recognized as the best chapter scrapbook Thursday afternoon during the Third Session of the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention.

Full Results:
1st- Smith Center
2nd- Cherryvale
3rd- Wilson
4th- Haven
5th- Oakley

State Proficiency Award Recipients Honored

Forty-two Kansas FFA members were honored Thursday for exceptional accomplishments and excellence in a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program. This program allows students to set goals and gain real-world experience in a chosen area of the agriculture industry.

The full list of proficiency award winners is at

Allison Penner presents her retiring address, "Defined"

Allison Penner, State FFA Secretary, of the Clay Center FFA Chapter, presented her retiring address this morning during the second session of the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention.

I’m an art geek, and a Disney freak. I’m a sorority girl giving premed a whirl. I’m sarcastic, a little spastic. Apparently I can rhyme too. I’m a Dr. Pepper drinking, t-shirt and jeans wearing, cheeseburger eating, bible reading, purple bleeding, tree climbing, country music listening, FFA corduroy sporting, small town girl. Word. Who are you? What defines you? Here’s a better question do you even know? Dictionaries are a frequently used item at my house. Every time I need to know how to spell a word I would of course go to the ever trustworthy Momopedia. After yelling “mom!” about five times because I’m too lazy to walk up the stairs to talk to her my question of how to spell a word would usually be answered with, “well why don’t you go look it up in the dictionary?” Okay I HATE this answer. If I don’t know how to spell a word how the heck am I supposed to find it in a dictionary? Whatever. Dictionaries are also used as daily vocabulary lessons whenever an interesting word comes up in conversation because just telling us the definition would be waaay too easy. We must always consult Mr. Webster. No matter how much dictionaries are used in everyday life whether it be in your house, school, or any of the many sites on the internet and no matter how much information they can tell you – none of them will ever define you. This is a task that is to be taken on by you and you only. So how hard can it be? Well, if you’re anything like me – harder than you think. But, it boils down to three things: knowing yourself, filtering out influences, and finally – living who you are.

Doniphan West Student wins Agri-Entrepreneurship Award

The Agri-Entrepreneurship Education Program is designed to increase the amount of entrepreneurship being taught in local agriculture programs across the country. This award is a joint activity of the National FFA Organization and the U.S. Department of Education. Jacob Simmons of the Doniphan West FFA Chapter was named the winner of this year's Agri-Entrepreneurship Award during the second session of the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention Thursday morning.

KAAE Essay Contest Results

The Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators (KAAE) Essay Contest challenges students to submit a 500-word essay expressing their opinions on a current topic. This year, the object was to write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper asking for letters of support from community members to be written to state legislators supporting agricultural education.

The top ten students in the KAAE Essay Contest were announced during the second session of the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention Thursday morning.

1st- Andrew Strasburg, Fredonia FFA
2nd- Ashley Meek, Mission Valley FFA
3rd- Kristen Golden, Crest FFA
4th- Johanna Ryckert, Paola FFA
5th- Esther McCabe, Fredonia FFA
6th- Abby Baker, Fredonia FFA
7th- Kristen Henningson, Columbus FFA
8th- Tessa Louk, Crest FFA
9th- Justin Haun, Fredonia FFA
10th- Shonda Unruh, Moundridge FFA

Leadership Information Testing Results

The Leadership Test is handed out at each district leadership school in the fall. 

The top ten individuals from last fall's testing are as follows:
1st (tie)- Logan Britton, Labette County FFA
1st (tie)- Kurt Lockwood, Caney FFA
3rd- Sara Schifferdecker, Girard FFA
4th- Tyler Egbert, Girard FFA
5th (tie)- Katelyn Vincent, Girard FFA
5th (tie)- Kayla Clapp, Caney FFA
7th- Zoey Zeigler, Hill City FFA
8th- Samantha Nickelson, Hill City FFA
9th- Brock Burnick, Girard FFA
10th- Austin Price, Girard FFA

The top ten teams were:
1st- Girard FFA
2nd- Hill City FFA
3rd- Labette County FFA
4th- Caney FFA
5th- Riverton FFA

National Chapter Awards in Community Development Announced

The National Chapter Award Program encourages chapters to develop and improve in three focus areas: Chapter Development, Student Development, and Community Development. Awards are given in each of these three areas in the divisions of bronze, silver and gold. During the second session of the Kansas FFA Convention, the National Chapter Awards for Community Development were awarded.

Chapters receiving these awards have worked hard to positively influence their community. Whether it be teaching the community about agricultural issues and practices, organizing work days to preserve natural resources, or hosting various activities to improve the well-being of the members of the community, these chapters have truly contributed to their communities.

View the full list of chapter rankings after the break.

Chapter Safety Awards Announced

The Chapter Safety Awards recognizes FFA chapters who have made their communities safe places to live. The Kansas Farm Bureau sponsors a plaque for each of the top seven chapters in the safety award area.
The top chapters were recognized on stage at the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention and were as follows:

  • 1st Place - Girard FFA
  • 2nd Place - Clay Center FFA
  • 3rd Place - Republic County FFA
  • 4th Place - Southwestern Heights FFA
  • 5th Place - Axtell FFA
  • 6th Place - Oakley FFA
  • 7th Place - Jefferson West FFA

Sixteen Students Vie for State Officer Positions

Sixteen FFA members from across the state are vying for state officer positions this week at the 82nd Kansas FFA State Convention. The candidates complete in an intense process of interviews, tests and public speaking demonstrations throughout the week on the Kansas State University campus.

An appointed nominating committee of former state officers and agricultural education instructors interviews the candidates. The committee will submit its nomination of 10 candidates to the state convention delegates, two members from each of the 140 chapters in the state, on Friday morning. After hearing the candidates present a final, prepared speech, the delegates will elect the six members who will serve as the 2010-2011 state officer team. The new team will be announced and installed at the final session of the convention Friday afternoon.

The committee evaluates the candidates on their applications, a written test, writing exercises and five rounds of interviews. The interview rounds include one-on-one interviews, delivering a speech, facilitating a workshop, round-robin interviews and a personal interview round. Once elected, the officers will travel across the state informing people about agricultural science education and FFA.

The candidates are:
  • Logan Britton, Labette County
  • Brock Burnick, Girard
  • Jeff Cather, Chaparral
  • Kassie Curran, Girard
  • Kelsey Harris, Jackson Heights
  • Trenton Heinen, Lakeside
  • Brandi Herman, Hill City
  • Jordan Hildebrand, Stafford
  • Justin “Quint” Lockwood II, Caney
  • Jerred McKee, Chaparral
  • Anthony Meals, Clay Center
  • Johanna Ryckert, Paola
  • Sara Schifferdecker, Girard
  • Andrew Strasburg, Fredonia
  • Alisa Wendelburg, Stafford
  • Kris Wittman, Council Grove

Learn more about each of the candidates at

Hannah Miller presents her retiring address, "Writing the Music in You"

Hannah Miller, State FFA Treasurer, from the Chapman FFA Chapter, presented her retiring address last night at the Opening Session of the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention.

Nothing gets me more motivated than a good song. Some Taylor Swift, Eli Young band or Miranda Lambert are some of my favorites to play on my handy guitar. Music is said to be a universal language that we can all understand, despite the language it may be in. Being a music lover, I tend to listen to the radio and my iPod more than what I should. How many of you have heard those catchy songs on the radio this week? Each one has our favorites and we like them for our own personal reasons. When a song is written, the writer had a similar experience or was put into a situation where their emotions needed to be put into a song. We hear songs about growing up in a small town, sometimes we hear about tragic break ups, or we here about just how happy we can be. Whatever the song maybe, it conveys a message that makes each one of the songs unique.