On October 25-28th, 42 Great Oaks/Miami Trace FFA students, along with advisors Bruce Bennett, Amanda Swigert, and Wendi Mizer-Stachler attended the 90th annual National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. The National FFA Convention welcomed over 65,000 FFA members from all over the United States that took part in leadership workshops, a career/college fair, agriculture trade show, motivational speakers and competing amongst the best of the best in the FFA organization.
During the 2nd session of the National FFA Convention the Miami Trace FFA Chapter was recognized as a 3 star chapter. Chapter officers Garrett Hagler and Dylan Lovett walked across the stage and received this recognition from the National FFA President. The 3 star chapter award is the highest level a chapter can receive based on their program of activities and overall effectiveness.
In addition to taking in the sights and sounds of Indianapolis, Miami Trace students started off their trip with a visit to Fair Oaks Farm located in Fair Oaks, Indiana. Fair Oaks is a swine and dairy production farm that is dedicated to educating the general public about modern farming techniques through many family-friendly activities. The chapter toured one of the eleven Fair Oak dairy operations that consisted of a carousel milking parlor and numerous sustainable practices. Secondly, the members toured a breeding and farrowing sow operation where the public can view all aspects of the operation including farrowing, breeding and growing. Sophomore member, Aubrey Schwartz said “It was a great learning experience that my fellow members and I enjoyed.”
The remaining time at FFA convention was spent in downtown Indianapolis where members mingled with FFA members from across the nation. During the first general session of convention, Laila Ali served as the keynote speaker. These general sessions allowed members to gain insight on different aspects of the FFA organization as well as the diversity of the chapters. National officers and other keynote speakers motivated FFA members by sharing their personal experiences and challenged the members to make an impact in the world around them. One specific keynote speaker that left a lasting impact on our members was Mick Ebeling. Mick shared inspiring personal stories about overcoming the impossible. His message was nothing is impossible and if you help one, you help many.