The Waupaca, Manawa, Winneconne and Weyauwega-Fremont FFA chapters departed Tuesday, Oct. 19, for the 2010 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.
On their way to the convention, members toured Growing Power, a local produce market in Milwaukee. The mission of Growing Power is to support the community and the environment by providing equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food. The mission is implemented by providing hands-on training, demonstrations and technical support.
Students also toured the Albanese Candy Factory, located in Merrillville, Ind., best known for their gourmet gummies and innovations in placing vitamins and pharmaceutical nutrients in confections.
FFA members went on a self-guided tour that included television demonstrations and also a view of the working machines. At the conclusion of the tour, sampling of the fresh chocolates and candies were available.
Members also went on a tour of the South Side Landfill. The landfill provides facility tours to over 5,000 individuals each year to demonstrate that a modern landfill is not the “dump” that most citizens visualize.
The next morning, four FFA members and Jen Erb, the Waupaca FFA advisor and agriscience teacher, traveled to the Lucas Oil Stadium to practice Model of Innovation. This contest was comprised of speaking skills and speech memorization.
Erin Hanson and Morgan Eilers presented the Waupaca FFA Student Division, while John Haertl and Ashley Orr presented the Waupaca FFA Community Division. These members performed in front of five judges, and each presentation had to be exactly 10 minutes long. The 10 minutes included the speeches and then any questions the judges addressed.
Unfortunately, the Waupaca Model of Innovation students did not place as No. 1 in the nation. But it was an accomplishment in itself to be top 10 in the nation. Members now have a better understanding of the importance of participation in contests like this.
FFA members attended the convention session each day. Josh Shipp, a motivational speaker, captivated the audience with his comedy and street smarts. He began his speaking career at the age of 17, and he is also the host of the TV show “Jump Shipp,” and author of The Teen’s Guide to World Domination.
Members attended the much-anticipated Lady Antebellum concert. More than 20,900 FFA members and guests filled one half of the Lucas Oil Stadium for the event. Easton Corbin, a former Florida FFA member from the Trenton FFA chapter, opened for the trio. Corbin could relate to concert attendees, as he grew up on a farm showing cattle and judging livestock. The crowd wasn’t so quiet during Lady Antebellum’s opening song “I Run to You,” and FFA members stood high and sang along.
The 83rd National FFA Convention concluded on a high note on Friday afternoon; the organization set an all-time event attendance record with a total crowd of 54,942 members, advisors, sponsors and guests. And, the organization recognized the service of and bid farewell to its longtime National FFA advisor, Dr. Larry D. Case, who will retire on Jan. 1, 2011.
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 523,309 student members as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the 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.