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By Erin Bash, Taylor Schantz and Ronee Scott
This year the FFA members were able to attend the National FFA Convention and Expo in person. Due to Covid-19, we were not able to attend last year, but we were able to attend this year, and that was a big deal to all of the FFA members that attended. The Clark County chapter took 17 of their members, along with the Highland and Canton chapters.
The first day we started the day off by leaving Kahoka first thing in the morning at 6:00 AM and making a stop at Rantoul Il. at Hardy’s Reindeer Farm. We got to experience many activities including learning many interesting facts about the reindeer, experience reindeer “kisses” by feeding them a graham cracker with our own lips, and a hayride.
We ended our day arriving at Indianapolis, IN. For supper, we got to eat out that night at Buca Beppo, which is a famous Italian restaurant.
We started our second day by attending the first session of the National FFA Convention where the keynote speaker was Courtenay DeHoff, who is known as the “Fancy Lady Cowgirl.” The main points that she spoke on was to always remember where you came from and use that to your advantage, and never settling on what you think your ending might be.
We went to the Convention Center next and attended the Career Show. At the Career Show, there were many opportunities to see a variety of colleges and businesses dealing with agriculture. After a long day at the convention, we spent the evening at Dave and Busters where the kids were given unlimited game cards to have some fun. We ate supper there and played a bunch of games. It was a good bonding experience with the other FFA members from the other schools.
The third day we started off by heading to the Convention Center to the Career Show. While there some of the members took advantage of many different stores that were set up to buy anything from agriculture and even more. Dale Brisby, famous PBR bull rider, happened to be set up with a company and some of our members were able to get his autograph or even to take a picture with them. After that we went to Golden Corral to eat lunch.
At this time, the Cross Country members left, as they were going to run in Districts the next day. We went back to the Convention Center and participated in a community service project. This project consisted of painting a pantry box that could be set in communities around the United States so people can put food for people in need in them. We had a fun time painting and doing something positive for our nation. We went back to the evening session that night and watched the National Talent Show. There were many very talented FFA members. We also got to see the National Band and National Choir perform.
We also listened as our current Vice President, who happens to be from Missouri, gave his retiring remarks. He explained the importance of not comparing yourself to others and striving to do better for yourself. The last day of our trip we started with watching the American Degree Recipients. We were blessed to have four recipients this year, we watched three of them walk across the stage, Emma Nelson, Julie Plenge, and David Lemmon. The fourth recipient was Andrew Moore who had a prior engagement for the university that he is attending. We were bound for home right after they were done.
We had a great time this year at the National FFA Convention. We will always have the memories to cherish and we will always keep in touch with the FFAmembers from around the country that we met. This will always be an amazing opportunity for any FFA member.