In the months of September and October, many huge events have taken place for the Meridian FFA chapter. Recruitment and agriculture education was present in many forms, and for many different ages! From our first meeting, to the return of the Agriculture Exposition, the Meridian FFA chapter started off the year with a bang.
The annual Luau chapter meeting took place on Sept. 18 from 6 to 9 in the evening at Rocky Mountain High School. This meeting is the first one of the school year, and is the biggest recruitment event for the Meridian FFA Chapter. Many students attended to learn more about FFA, try on and order their jacket, pay their dues, and meet existing chapter members and officers. Attendees ate a luau-style pig, listened to reports, and played games with other members.
The Boise Valley District leadership workshop took place on Sept. 11 from 6 to 8 in the evening at Ridgevue High School. Over 35 Meridian FFA students attended the workshop to learn more about leadership. The workshop was facilitated by the District Officer team, including Cameron King and Ashton Shaul from the Meridian Chapter and District Advisor Ms. Russell. Those who attended went to four different stations, and participated in activities to meet other members and learn new leadership skills.
The Meridian FFA Agriculture Exposition (Ag Expo) took place from Sept. 26-28 in the Meridian High School Career Technical Center. Every first grade class in the West Ada school district attended this event between 9 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon on one of the three days it was held. There was a total of approximately 3,000 first grade students that attended the Ag Expo, all of which went to many different “stations” including tractors, different livestock and small animals, commodities, and much much more. Our members served as both tour guides and speakers, effectively helping to plan and run this huge event, and to teach kids about agriculture.
The district competitions for the Range and the Soils Evaluation Career Development Events (CDE’s) were held at Allied Seed in Melba on Thursday, Sept. 28. Participants in the district Range CDE workshop included Hailey Buffham, Cameron King and Miranda Hruska. Participants in the district Soils Evaluation CDE included Kyleigh Davis, Kennedy Cox, and Jadia Wilson, with the team placing 3rd overall. The Range team later competed at state, on Oct. 11 at Burley. The team placed 6th overall, with Hailey Buffham placing 10th individually and Cameron King placing 14th individually. These CDEs taught competing members more about different land uses and plants that are found in Idaho.
Finally, at the 90th National FFA Convention that took place in Indianapolis, Indiana from Oct. 25 to 28, 18 Meridian FFA members attended to compete, grow their leadership skills, and experience FFA at the largest FFA convention in the nation.
From Oct. 23 to 24, members were able to tour at three different equine venues, including Churchill Downs, KESMARC Rehabilitation, and Juddmonte Stud Farms. Two teams and one individual attended to compete. The Veterinary Science CDE team, composed of Courtney Chambers (9th individual), Ashlyn Schiers, Kiara Wetzel (gold rankings), and Alexa Phillips (silver ranking), received gold and placed 8th in the nation with advisor Mr. Steve Wilder.
The Food Science CDE team, composed of Rachel Mansfield (8th individual), Courtney Marshall (gold rankings), Isaac Livesay, and Carly Connery (silver rankings), received gold and placed 9th in the nation with advisor Ms. Liz Russell.
Mallie Miller competed individually in the Employment Skills CDE. She received gold and placed 2nd in the nation with advisor Mrs. Renee Peugh. Additionally, Kaitlin Muniz attended as a part of the National FFA Chorus, and Caitlin Martin attended to apply for a National Proficiency award.
Members that attended to experience the convention were Ellie Higgins, Mollie Hiscox, Cameron King, Dani Turnbough, Trinity Martin, and Kaitlyn Steppe, with Joe Wieting and Ashton Shaul presenting our National Chapter award. Overall, every member was able to grow their personal skills because of this event.
On Nov. 6 was the annual Meridian FFA Alumni Auction at the Meridian High School Career Technical Center. The money that our Auction raises goes towards senior scholarships, FFA jacket scholarships, and making state and national trips affordable for our members.
Overall, the months of September and October were incredibly successful for the Meridian FFA chapter. We would like to thank the host schools for each of these events, the generous sponsors that make these events possible, and the parents and advisors that help us to achieve great things like this.