Sutherlin FFA posts unprecedented success at state convention

Sutherlin, Ore., FFA placed first and qualified for nationals in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking, Advanced Public Speaking, and the Beginning and Advanced Parliamentary Procedure competitions.

By Tristan Vincent

Sutherlin, Ore., FFA Reporter

Published on March 30, 2017 5:54PM

Sutherlin FFA teams pose with their first place state Career Development Event banners after the Sunday night session. Sutherlin FFA swept the parliamentary procedure events, sending both teams to the National FFA Convention and competition this fall, along with the two most advanced speaking events — Extemporaneous and Prepared Public Speaking.

Courtesy of Sutherlin FFA

Sutherlin FFA teams pose with their first place state Career Development Event banners after the Sunday night session. Sutherlin FFA swept the parliamentary procedure events, sending both teams to the National FFA Convention and competition this fall, along with the two most advanced speaking events — Extemporaneous and Prepared Public Speaking.

The Sutherlin FFA Beginning Parliamentary Procedure Career Development Event team reacts after being awarded the first place banner during the Sunday night session. The team, consisting of Regan Leatherwood, Sydnee Tilley, Nolan Carson, Hailey Boehm, Grace Matteo and Zach Lor, will compete this fall at the national Conduct of Chapter Meetings Career Development Event.

Courtesy of Sutherlin FFA

The Sutherlin FFA Beginning Parliamentary Procedure Career Development Event team reacts after being awarded the first place banner during the Sunday night session. The team, consisting of Regan Leatherwood, Sydnee Tilley, Nolan Carson, Hailey Boehm, Grace Matteo and Zach Lor, will compete this fall at the national Conduct of Chapter Meetings Career Development Event.

Sutherlin FFA junior Mackenzie Price gives part of her Extemporaneous Speech in front of thousands during the Sunday night session of the Oregon FFA State Convention. Price placed first in the state Career Development Event and will compete at the national level this fall.

Courtesy of Sutherlin FFA

Sutherlin FFA junior Mackenzie Price gives part of her Extemporaneous Speech in front of thousands during the Sunday night session of the Oregon FFA State Convention. Price placed first in the state Career Development Event and will compete at the national level this fall.

Sutherlin FFA senior Lee Wesenberg accepts the first place banner in the State Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event during the Saturday night FFA State Convention session. Wesenberg was also elected Oregon FFA State Reporter for 2017-2018.

Courtesy of Sutherlin FFA

Sutherlin FFA senior Lee Wesenberg accepts the first place banner in the State Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event during the Saturday night FFA State Convention session. Wesenberg was also elected Oregon FFA State Reporter for 2017-2018.


Thousands of FFA members from across the state traveled to the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond, Ore., for the March 24-27 weekend to the 89th Oregon FFA State Convention with purpose.

Sutherlin FFA students took 4 of the 11 state leadership-based Career Development Events held at the convention. Lee Wesenberg also became the third consecutive individual from Sutherlin FFA to be elected to an FFA state office.

Sutherlin FFA placed first and qualified for nationals in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking, Advanced Public Speaking, and the Beginning and Advanced Parliamentary Procedure competitions. These four very competitive events receive much participation from the 100-plus state chartered FFA chapters.  

For a single chapter to win all four is unprecedented; retired ag teacher John Dimick, who has over 40 years in ag education including several national livestock judging titles with the Crater FFA chapter of Central Point, posted on Facebook in response to the news.

“In all my years I’ve never heard of a chapter accomplishing so much. Everyone that played a role in this deserves to be very proud,” he wrote.

This also brought the total number of state-winning teams from Sutherlin for the year to six, and 18 individuals have qualified for national events this fall in Indianapolis.

To achieve this success, students have put in many hours of practice out of class and made these events a priority in their schedule. Led by their FFA Advisor, Wes Crawford, students had the direction and guidance needed to establish themselves as a threat in all events they competed in.

At the state convention, students have the opportunity to engage in workshops, travel and experience a new part of the state, compete in Career Development Events, compete with their Supervised Agricultural Experiences in proficiency areas, receive their state degrees, run for district and state offices and meet new friends and members.

Having experiences like state convention shows members just how large the great organization is and gives a sense of community seeing individuals from across the state in the same official dress and the signature blue corduroy jacket.  

Esten Harington, Sutherlin FFA member and Advanced Parliamentary Procedure participant, says, “State convention was a huge success. Both parliamentary procedure teams ranked first in state, which was a first for Sutherlin (and first by any chapter in a decade). I admire everyone who put in the hard work to make this a reality.”

Bryson Price, a Sutherlin FFA graduate, retired from his position of Oregon FFA State Sentinel at the conclusion of the convention. He spent the past year traveling all over Oregon, presenting to nearly 10,000 students in leadership development, advocating for FFA and agricultural education, as well as traveling the nation and to South Africa representing Oregon FFA.

Lee Wesenberg was elected Oregon FFA State Reporter for 2017-2018, and will take the same journey over the next year. It is the third year in a row Sutherlin FFA has had one of the six state officers, and the fifth in seven years.

Other FFA members from Douglas County also found success, with Brooke Hopfer of Days Creek FFA winning the state Co-op Quiz, a competition based on knowledge of agricultural cooperatives. Fellow Days Creek FFA member Sarah Michaels claimed the State Star Farmer Award for her work on developing her own agricultural entrepreneurship projects. Members from Elkton, Oakland, Glide, Roseburg, South Umpqua and Glendale all attended, participating in leadership development and service activities.

Full CDE Results:

STATE EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING - Mackenzie Price, Sutherlin - 1st Place

STATE PREPARED PUBLIC SPEAKING - Lee Wesenberg, Sutherlin - 1st Place

STATE BEG PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE - Sutherlin (Regan Leatherwood, Nolan Carson, Grace Matteo, Hailey Boehm, Sydnee Tilley, Zach Lor) - 1st Place

STATE ADV PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE - Sutherlin (Cassidy Leatherwood, Lee Wesenberg, Mackenzie Price, Esten Harrington, Madelyn Higgins-Porterfield, Tristan Vincent) - 1st Place

STATE CREED SPEAKING - Regan Leatherwood, Sutherlin - Top 8 Finalist

STATE AG MARKETING - Oakland FFA, participant

Ag Processing Proficiency Award - Mackenzie Price, Sutherlin - State Winner

National Chapter Award - Sutherlin FFA, Gold Ranking

Umpqua FFA District Officer Team Election Results - 2017-2018:

President - Emily Nix, Oakland

Vice President - Mackenzie Price, Sutherlin

Secretary - Hannah Maxwell, Elkton

Treasurer - Taylor Moser, Sutherlin

Reporter - Mackenzie Ankey, South Umpqua

Sentinel - Kylee Crossland, Oakland







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