In March and April of last school year, the Meridian FFA Chapter attended the Idaho State Career Development Events (CDEs). Four of Meridian’s teams placed first in the state, qualifying them for national competition.
Along with the members of the four qualifying teams, three chapter delegates and two American Degree recipients attended this year’s National Convention.
The 2016 National FFA Convention was held from Tuesday, Oct. 19, until Saturday, Oct. 22, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Not only was this convention a place for top state teams to showcase their talents, but it also held the largest FFA store, a college and career show, multiple sessions run by national officers, and several great keynote speakers.
Meridian’s Environmental and Natural Resources team placed 3rd in the nation with a gold ranking. This year 42 other teams competed for a total of 168 members. The following members competed for Meridian FFA:
• Maddie Bennett (2nd high individual, gold ranking).
• Karlyn Roberts (gold ranking).
• Connor Burgin (gold ranking).
• William Stokes (silver ranking).
The Meridian FFA Veterinary Science team placed 4th in the nation with a gold ranking. There were 44 other teams that competed this year. The Meridian members were:
• Kristin Nesbitt (2nd high individual, gold ranking).
• Loretta Lacy (gold ranking).
• Hannah Krichbaum (gold ranking).
• Lauren Anderson (gold ranking).
The Meridian Agriculture Marketing Plan team was a semi-finalist with a silver ranking. The team consisted of:
• Kate Johnson (silver ranking).
• Mackenzie Brown (silver ranking).
• Nikki Elletson (silver ranking).
Meridian’s Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management team placed 18th in the nation with a silver ranking. This year 48 other teams also competed in this CDE at nationals. The following members of our team were:
• Ashlyn Schiers (silver ranking).
• Trace Beaucannon (silver ranking).
• Zach Phillips (silver ranking).
• Alexa Phillips (silver ranking).
Meridian FFA also had two American Degree recipients: Kaedy Peck is a sophomore at the University of Idaho majoring in agribusiness and Hayden Turnbough is studying biology in her second year at the College of Western Idaho.
The American Degree is the highest degree that can be awarded in FFA. A member must be a year out of high school and has to have been a member all four years of high school to apply for this prestigious award. Only 3 percent of all members nationwide achieve this award; it is an honor to be a recipient.
Meridian FFA also had three delegates attend the National Convention. Mallie Miller and Kobe Manzer represented our chapter for the National Chapter Award and Bailey Josoff attended as a senior member.
Our members had an amazing time at the National Convention this year and they highly recommend that all FFA members make it a goal to attend during their high school career. This year our chapter toured Chicago and the Indianapolis Speedway. Mallie Miller’s favorite part of the National Convention was being able to meet members from all over the country.
“My favorite part of nationals this year was competing in Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management and touring the Indianapolis Speedway.” says Alexa Phillips.
Kate Johnson felt that nationals was an incredible learning and competitive experience. She is very grateful that she had the opportunity to attend.
Meridian FFA would like to thank the Meridian FFA Alumni, Ada County Farm Bureau, the Meridian Dairy Board, and the United Dairymen of Idaho for their generous donations to help our members get to Nationals this year. We would also like to thank all of the advisors that attended this trip with the members and coached our CDE teams: Mr. Shane Stevenson, Mrs. Lorraine Wikoff, Mrs. Renee Peugh, Mrs. Trish Stokes, and Mr. Steve Wilder. The 20 members that attended this October are very grateful for the tremendous help and support from all these individuals and groups.