Workshops, speeches help prepare members for their future roles

By TERRELL WILLIAMS

For the Capital Press

TWIN FALLS, Idaho -- Set high goals. Be daring. Believe in yourself.

These were some of the recurring themes in speeches and lectures at the 79th Annual Idaho State Leadership Conference, held April 7-10 at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. The registration count was 1,415, including about 100 parents and friends of FFA members from throughout the state.

"FFA has opened my eyes to communication," said high school senior Jim Martinez of Buhl, who has had dairy projects and plans to be a foreign diplomat. "It's made me a more outgoing person. That's definitely needed in today's world."

The conference opened with career development events in equine and floriculture, then an evening show with cowboy poet Baxter Black.

The second day had a session theme of "Power of Possibility" and offered all-day events in horse evaluation, prepared public speaking, creed speaking, parliamentary procedure and extemporaneous speaking. General session speakers included Twin Falls Mayor Don Hall, CSI President Jerry Beck and the retiring address of FFA State Sentinel Jared Mumm.

Afternoon events were farm business management, job interviews and a choice of nine workshops, including a tour of Independent Meat. The evening session featured speaking finals and the retiring addresses of FFA State Treasurer Kiana Wilcox and State Reporter Ruby Brackett.

"Power of Service" was the third day's theme. Nationally known motivational speaker Barrett Keene, a former FFA national officer, gave a keynote speech with messages based on leadership and character. State Secretary Erica Ramsey gave her retiring address, followed by a ceremony awarding State FFA Degrees to 196 members.

Afternoon activities included another general session with a theme of "Power of Achievement." Students watched a biographical slide show on the life of J.R. Simplot, and State Vice President Casey Zufelt gave her retiring address, titled "Believe."

Sessions began on the fourth day with the overall conference theme of "Power of Now." FFA chapters and members were given awards from conference competitions, and FFA State President Seth Pratt gave his retiring speech, "Dare You to Move."

"What I do or don't do in my life is entirely my decision," he told a full house at the college auditorium. "Your life rests in your hands. ... Anyone who comes out on top started at the same place, which is the bottom."

The session ended with the announcement of new officers:

President: Travis Chase of New Plymouth.

Vice President: Amanda Wilder of Meridian.

Reporter: Stacie Day of Madison.

Secretary: Rachael Ashley of Kuna.

Treasurer: Sidnee Rose Larson of Preston.

Sentinel: Joseph Maxwell of Hagerman.

New FFA chapters were formed for Horseshoe Bend, Juniper Hills and Kamiah.

Convention awards

FFA Chapters and members from throughout Idaho competed for a variety of awards at the 2010 convention. First place state winners are eligible to go to FFA Nationals in Indiana in October. The top winners were:

Parliamentary Procedure: Kuna Chapter

Conference Parliamentarian: Anna Rodriguez, Kuna

Horse Evaluation, Team high score: Nampa Chapter

Horse Evaluation, Individual high score: Kylee Jensen, Grace

2010 WLC Scholarship Winner: Kaycee Royer, Cambridge

Extemporaneous Speaking: Jessica Lancaster, Jerome

Creed Speaking: Brett Wilder, Meridian

District Star Farmer: Cody Gentillion, Blackfoot

District Stars in Agribusiness: Jared Dalton, North Freemont

District Stars in Agricultural Placement: Ray Mossman, Nez Perce

District Star in Agriscience: Alaysha Whitworth, Mackay

Prepared Public Speaking: Nathan Rindlisbaker, Preston

Farm Business Management: Kuna Chapter

Job Interview: Shalissa Hamilton, Blackfoot.

Scrapbook, Division I (50-plus members): Meridian Chapter

Scrapbook, Division II (fewer than 50 members) Bonners Ferry Chapter

Floriculture: Fruitland team

Nursery & Landscape: Cambridge team

Ag Sales: Meridian team

National Chapter Awards: American Falls, 1st; Malta, 2nd; Cambridge, 3rd; Castleford, 4th; Meridian, 5th; Burley, 6th; Kendrick, 7th; Vallivue, 8th. All eight chapters are eligible for national competition.

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