Kuna FFA compete in national contests
By Elizabeth Reynolds
Recently, Louisville, Kentucky hosted the 86th annual National FFA convention. This convention consists of career and college fairs, leadership workshops, sessions put on by the National officers (featuring many motivational speakers), and most importantly, national Career Development Events (CDE’s).
In Idaho, to qualify for these National events you are required to have won your state contest (and thus your chapter and district level contests as well).
The Kuna FFA chapter was fortunate to have a state winning agronomy team (with team members Zachary Reynolds, Amanda Reynolds, Macy Hagler, and Elizabeth Reynolds), and a state winning Creed Speaker (Shelby McNeilly).
Though they only had five students qualify, they also brought nine senior members who have been actively involved in FFA throughout their high school career, these individuals were: Brogan Moore, Cassie Curtis, Aaron Emmert, Chelsea Dye, Holly Barrus, Dustin Zabel, Hannah Waldal, Austin Grieve, and Ben Christensen.
Throughout the five day convention these members participated in various leadership workshops (put on by the 2012 National Officers), attended several sessions, listened to several wonderful speakers (Rick Pitino and Josh Sundquist) and discovered the opportunities for colleges and Universities with top class agricultural studies.
The members of the Agronomy team, after months of laborious studying, competed in a two day contest consisting of many parts. Agronomy is more or less the study of plant sciences. Some examples of what the event contains are: crop and weed plant identification, crop and weed seed identification, equipment identification, a teamwork activity, a written test, insect identification and more.
The day after the contest there was an awards luncheon held for all participants of the Agronomy event, awarding bronze, silver, gold, and top ten awards to the 140 individual participants and 36 teams from around the country. Kuna received a gold emblem as a team, and placed 8th overall, with team member Zachary Reynolds as 10th high individual.
The FFA creed was written by E.M. Tiffany in 1928, and adopted by the National FFA organization in 1930. The infamous first line of “I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words, but of deeds-…“ is one that all participants in the Creed speaking event are passionate about.
This event is only offered for freshmen members of the FFA. By competing in this event at the chapter, district, or national level, they are taking action to make a difference and participate in the future of agriculture. Kuna’s own, Shelby McNeilly, went to Nationals, and stated that the Creed had started out as just a paper she had to memorize, but as she studied for her oral questions she realized that it is much more. She represented Kuna and the state of Idaho well at Nationals, and is to be recognized on doing a job outstandingly well done.
Soon before National Convention, Kuna FFA had yet another plane to fill when their chapter soils team won their State Contest in Burley. The first year team, with members Michael Winger (6th high individual),Camden Kay(seventh high individual), Eric Ball, Michaela Berheim, and Megan Berheim, was ecstatic upon hearing their win, and immediately began planning for their trip to Oklahoma City, OK this spring where they will be representing Idaho at the National Soils contest.
Just two weeks after Nationals, the Kuna FFA held their annual Harvest dance, and their chapter Creed and Degree Night. While Harvest is usually a fundraiser for the chapter, it was agreed upon that all proceeds should go to Boone Bartlome and his family to help them through this difficult time. The chapter is pleased to announce that they raised over $1,500 for the Bartlome family. We would like to thank Hal Coburn for donating his time as DJ to the event and Joanne Curtis for donating her time as photographer.
Chapter Creed and Degree night is when all students wishing to participate in the Creed Speaking career development event are able to prove themselves by reciting the creed in front of 3 judges, the chapter advisors, their peers, and a room full of people.
All participants did an outstanding job, but three really stood out from the crowd: in third place, and receiving thirty dollars off of an FFA jacket, was Erin Kelly; in second place, and receiving forty dollars off of an FFA jacket, was Mason Roberts; and in first place, receiving a free FFA jacket, and representing Kuna at the district event, was Ross Blattner. There were over twenty participants in the contest, all of whom received their Greenhand FFA Degree (along with thirty other peers). Over thirty 2nd year students received their Chapter FFA Degree. The Kuna FFA would like to thank the judges of the Creed Speaking Event, Cassandra Zufelt, Brittany Ratliff, and Josh Sanders, all of whom were asked to judge one of the most competitive creed contests in the chapter’s history.
The Kuna FFA would again like to thank all of the members of the community for their support in their recent events. Without you, none of these events would be possible. Additionally, we would like to reiterate our congratulations to all participants in the recent events.
We would also like to remind everyone that chapter produce sales are currently going on, so find a member of Kuna FFA and support them by purchasing navel oranges, ruby red grapefruit, Idaho grown Fuji apples, and Idaho grown U.S. #1 Russet potatoes.