By TERENCE L. DAY
For the Capital Press
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Delegates at the 83d Washington FFA Convention here Saturday elected Bailey Peters of Centralia, president for the coming year.
Other officers are Michael Heitstuman of Quincy, vice president; Andrew Zahl of Walla Walla, secretary; Johnathan Kelly of Battle Ground, treasurer; Laine Utter of Moses Lake, reporter, and Hayley Huber of Wenatchee, sentinel.
One of the highlights of the convention was a motivational speech by keynoter Sean Neal, a former Garfield-Palouse FFA member and former state vice president of the Washington FFA Association. Neal also has been a Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association Ambassador.
When he was 3 years old Neal was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and began using a wheelchair when he was 5 years old. Neal used his life story to remind students that nothing is impossible, regardless of the circumstances they face.
"Sean Neal inspires people to take action in their lives," said Jodi Monroe, state FFA executive director. "He has a powerful down-to-earth message with a straightforward approach."
Kalie Hall, national FFA secretary and a student in agricultural education at the University of Georgia, was the other keynoter.
The program also honored H. Wayne Gilman, who died Feb. 3. He was the agriculture science program supervisor with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Washington FFA State Advisor when he died.
State degrees were conferred on 181 students. Fifteen are members of the Yelm Chapter, 13 are in the Pullman Chapter and 11 in the Tonasket Chapter.
Students competed in 16 career development contests during the three-day convention. Winners were:
* Ag Issues, Liberty.
* Ag Communications, Mount Baker.
* Agricultural Sales and Service, Yelm.
* Creed Speaking, Sarah Appel, Colfax.
* Extemporaneous Public Speaking, Logan Zepp, Elma.
* F.A.R.M., Prosser.
* Farm Business Management, Lynden Christian.
* First Year Greenhand, Quincy
* Food Science and Technology, Cashmere.
* Marketing Plan, Lind-Ritzville.
* Meats Evaluation, Cashmere.
* Milk Judging, Toledo.
* Parliamentary Procedure; Lynden.
* Prepared Public Speaking, Calli Hyder, Yelm.
* Rituals, Tonasket.
* Veterinary Medicine, Lynden Christian.