Uintah FFA at national convention

David Wilson

Twelve members of the Uintah FFA Chapter traveled to the 95th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana Oct. 24 29. They were there to compete, receive awards, learn, meet other FFA members from across the country and have fun.

The National FFA Convention is the largest gathering of FFA members held each year and it is the largest gathering of any student-run organization. To qualify for national competition, students are required to win first place at the state level in FFA events known as Career and Leadership Development events.

Uintah FFA members competed in the National FFA Nursery/Landscape CDE and the National FFA Parliamentary Procedure LDE.

Uintah’s Nursery/Landscape team competed well in a competitive event. They were awarded a silver emblem and placed 18th in the nation. Members also competed for individual awards with 200 other participants. Taysia Richens earned a gold emblem as an individual. Audie Christensen and Hadlie Horrocks earned silver emblems and Jesse Aguilar earned a bronze emblem.

The event invites FFA members to test their knowledge and skills in nursery practices and landscaping. Participants must complete a general knowledge exam testing horticultural principles, including plant anatomy, production, marketing, turf, landscape design and maintenance. Each participant must also complete practicums involving landscape estimating, plant propagation or potting, identification of plants, disorders, and equipment. Each team competed on local and state levels to earn the privilege of representing their state at the national convention.

The Uintah FFA Parliamentary Procedure team placed in the top 20 in the nation. Team members were Scotlyn Williams, Kamlyn Williams, Emerson Hackford, Drew Huber, Houston Harrison and Aysia Massey. This event was very competitive. Team members Scotlyn Williams, Drew Huber and Kamlyn Williams scored above 80% on the general exam portion earning them a parliamentary procedure accreditation.

Parliamentary procedure is one of 25 career/leadership development event areas, covering jobs skills in everything from communications to mechanics. Participants demonstrate their ability to conduct orderly and efficient meetings, present logical and convincing discussions and properly record meeting procedures.

Each team must take a general parliamentary procedure written exam, a minutes exam, conduct an 11-minute demonstration, respond verbally to parliamentary law questions, and prepare minutes from their demonstration. They also complete a team activity evaluating a meeting for proper use of parliamentary procedure. CDEs and LDEs help students develop the abilities to think critically, communicate clearly and perform effectively in a competitive job market.

“The trip was amazing. I learned so much and had a great time,” said Richens. “I didn’t’ realize FFA had so much to offer. There were blue jackets all over downtown Indianapolis”.

Four Uintah FFA members – Jimmie McGuire, Bradley Wilson, Kylee McKee, and Denim Lister – received the National FFA American Degree, the highest that a FFA member can achieve, and earned by less than 1% of members.

Before the convention began, Uintah members toured Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, the Louisville Slugger factory and museum and got an exciting tour of an underground cave system in Southern Indiana that featured a boat ride in an underground river.

“Convention is a blast,” Huber said. “I got to meet a lot of other FFA members and learn where they are from. Our teams did so well. We put in a lot of hard work.”

The National FFA organization is made up of 735,100 student members as part of 8,817 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.

The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.