MAHS FFA travels to National Convention
MEYERSDALE - Several Meyersdale Area High School FFA members attended the 94th Annual National FFA Convention and Expo, held at the Indiana Convention Center, in Indianapolis. Those in attendance included: Alexia Laws, Cathleen Deal, Trevor Donaldson, Madison Dively, Bridgette Beal, Bailey Knotts and Jesse Miller. Held October 27 through 30, this is the biggest annual event in the FFA across the nation. The theme of this year’s event was “growing the next generation of leaders.”
Doreen Jamison, MAHS FFA advisor, said this was a first-time trip for several of the members and was an opportunity to learn and grow as both FFA members and leaders.
“The trip was seven hours to get to Indy. The students were very excited to attend something in person finally after a year and a half of no special events,” Jamison explained. “The students attended sessions with motivational speakers, a career expo with many college and business exhibitors, a concert, a rodeo, educational tours such as a koi and goldfish farm, a honey farm and an orchard that does agritourism.”
For Jesse Miller, who plans to be a dairy farmer, the trip was a chance to see new equipment and different farming techniques and practices.
“I live on a farm and we have beef cattle and I want to be a dairy farmer. This was the farthest I have ever been out west and it was pretty cool,” Miller explained. “ I loved the experience, seeing all the equipment. We toured various farms, saw how honey is made, and went to an orchard. We saw a lot of different things and it is a whale lot different out there,” he said with a laugh. “For one, it’s a whole lot flatter out there. I am looking forward to going back next year.”
Like Miller, this was the first convention for Bridgette Beal, who is also a ninth-grade student at MAHS.
“I really liked the Lucas Oil stadium and the concert by Brett Young. The rodeo was pretty good too,” Beal explained. “I learned about leadership and it really helped me personally find more confidence in myself. I went out of my comfort zone and talked to new people and made new friends. I would really recommend going. It is a life changing experience.”
MAHS FFA Parliamentarian Madison Dively said returning to the convention was as thrilling for her as it was Beal and Miller.
“My favorite part was the rodeo. I liked the rodeo because it was very interesting and funny. This was my 2 in person conversation but third if you would count the virtual one last year,” she explained. “I also liked to be around other people from other states and learn about the way they do things and also how they run their chapter.”
Jamison said the experience helps “grow” members’ communication skills, while introducing them to different areas of the country and providing an opportunity to meet members from chapters throughout the nation. More than 60,000 FFA members were in attendance for the convention.
“The students were able to meet other FFA members from all over the U.S. and they loved to see all the FFA jackets and see what state was on their backs. It was important for the students to attend the National Convention to see more aspects of agriculture, not just what we have in Somerset County and to meet new people.”