BEND, Ore. — Newly elected state FFA president Ian Oppenlander of Madras says he is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the association at the highest level.
“It feels unreal, we have already gotten to work, there is no messing around,” he said after the election results were announced Monday. “We are looking forward to representing Oregon FFA this next year. We are ecstatic to be working with each other, the foundation and chapter members all over Oregon.
“Our team will work together to set goals to have an impactful year on members so that they can change their communities,” he said.
Also elected were:
• Vice president: Brecklin Milton of Ontario.
• Secretary: Kylee Fisher of Burns.
• Treasurer: Mitchell Adams of Culver.
• Reporter: Collin Matthias of Canby.
• Sentinel: Meghan Stadeli of Silverton.
Bend Chapter President Lindsey McPeake said the convention brought in over $1 million to the local economy over four days.
“Seeing the enthusiasm of other students from around the state while at convention and during the sessions makes me proud to know that we had a part in making convention special and something that other members will always remember,” she said. “Our chapter had tremendous support from our alumni, administrators and community.”
The chapter raised over $35,000 to cover the costs of hosting the convention.
Bend FFA Advisor Traci Dulany said 37 businesses and colleges took part in this year’s convention career show.
This year’s convention was streamed live online, allowing friends and family not able to attend the opportunity to watch it. In addition to the 2,911 members and guests in attendance at the convention over 900 people logged on to watch each session.
“In 1993 as a national officer I was at a leadership training event and was challenged to put together a 25 item bucket list,” Oregon FFA Foundation Executive Director Kevin White said. “Number 23 on my list was to raise $1 million for FFA. Between October 2011 and February 2014 — a little over two years — collectively all pledges and contributions totaled over $1 million.”
The state association is no longer funded through the Department of Education at the state level, he said. “A vision of the foundation is that every student enrolled in agricultural education will be an FFA Member by 2020. We also hope to eventually have an educational and leadership center to call our own.”
The 2015 state convention will be in Silverton.