October 21st through October 27th, the Goldendale FFA Chapter attended the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The convention hosted over 65,000 FFA members and guests from all over the U.S. participating in competitions, workshops, and career opportunities.

The Goldendale FFA took 19 members, Elizabeth Garcia, Nick Bowdish, Hannah Avila, Vanaesa Ontiveros, Josie Quantrell, Leslie Smith, Corbin Bland, Delaney Kindler, Nick McKune, Tiana Watson, Andrew Ihrig, Grace Hanning, Austin McKune, Denice Owen, Luke Winslow, Sandra Crook, Mackenzie Dahl, Kyhlie Linder, Erick Evans along with the FFA advisors, Mr. Josh Krieg and Mrs. Randi Krieg and parent volunteer, Filiberto Ontiveros. The chapter traveled to Indianapolis to compete in the National Chapter and Agriscience Fair.

The National Chapter Award is presented to outstanding FFA chapters that submit a presentation of 15 high quality activities that their chapter participates in annually. Each event must fall within one of the three categories: Growing Leaders, Building Communities and Strengthening Agriculture. In the National Chapter Award, Goldendale FFA earned 3 Gold Stars which is the highest honor. Additionally, they were selected as one of ten finalists in two competitive areas. They competed in Premier Chapters: Growing Leaders for their Women in Wind activity and Premier Chapters: Building Communities for their Economic Bingo activity out of over 8,568 FFA chapters.

Tiana Watson and Delaney Kindler presented the chapter’s Women in Wind activity and Corbin Bland and Grace Hanning present the chapter’s Economic Bingo activity from the National Chapter Application and placed in the top 10 out of over 8,568 chapters. Sandra Crook and Vanessa Ontiveros accepted the chapter’s 3 Star National Chapter Award. All six members accepted the chapter’s awards on live TV in front of over 65,000 people!

Also, Goldendale Jr. High FFA members, Nick Bodish and Mackenzie Dahl, were selected as National Finalists for their Agriscience Projects. In order to be selected as a finalist, members must rank in the top 15 within their category nationally. The two presented to a panel of judges in competition as well as participated in an Agriscience Fair Open House visited by over 65,000 FFA members and guests. Nick Bowdish placed gold and fourth overall in the nation in Agriscience Division I Power, Structural and Technical Systems with his project Drip Like No Other. Mackenzie Dahl place silver and 10th overall in the nation in Agriscience Division I Environmental Natural Resources Systems with her project Going Rogue with Water Filtration.

Besides receiving their award, the students participated in educational tours in the states of Kentucky and Indiana. The tours the members participated in were Churchill Downs, Louisville Slugger Bat Factory, and Indianapolis Speedway. Additionally, members attended a country concert for Garth Brooks.

Goldendale FFA members also attended the National FFA Agricultural Career Show. The career show hosted more than 1,300 booths representing colleges, agriculture-related companies, fundraising companies, U.S. Armed Services, and auto and truck manufacturers at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Goldendale FFA President, Sandra Crook stated, “The career show was very big. It was very informative about agricultural education and what we can do with our futures.”

This occasion to travel across the country to be recognized for their excellence and to participate in hands-on learning opportunities was a once in a lifetime experience for the Goldendale FFA. Goldendale FFA ASB Representative, Elizabeth Garcia stated, “FFA Nationals was such an amazing experience. I got to learn so much about our amazing organization and loved spending time with my friends.”

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