VERSAILLES — On Oct. 27, the 93rd Annual National FFA Convention started. Due to COVID-19, the convention was held virtually instead of heading to Indianapolis for the world’s largest youth convention. At this convention, FFA members from all over the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands participated in the virtual celebration.
Tuesday through Thursday, FFA members were able to sit in and watch two different sessions of the convention, and saw awards, keynote speakers, retiring addresses from the nation officers, and a virtual tour of MVP Dairy. A special thank you to Allison Ryan for hosting the tour over zoom.
Many exciting accomplishments for the Versailles FFA took place at this year’s convention. Versailles FFA was recognized as a Three Star National FFA Chapter, the highest individual ranking that the National FFA bestows upon chapters.
On Tuesday, the Anna’s FFA Chapter invited our chapter to watch a session at the Sidney drive-in after school. As a chapter we stopped at Culvers for dinner. Culvers gave each kid a 10 percent discount on their meal and a free scoop of ice cream, and also gave us a donation for being the scoop of the day. A big thanks to Sidney’s Culvers! On Wednesday, the chapter had Raising’ Cane’s Chicken catered for the FFA members to enjoy. Thank you to Brenda Abbot for picking up the food for the lunch in. Thursday after school we participated in a day of service by making and delivering 40 care packages to the Versailles Senior Center occupants.
Along with the success of the Versailles FFA, there were six American Degree recipients. The American FFA Degree is the highest honor an FFA member can receive at a National Level. From the Versailles FFA Chapter, members that received this degree were Dallas Hess, Marcus Berger, Shelbie Schmitmeyer, Cole Luthman, Grace McEldowney, and Kimberly Winner. Wednesday evening, we invited the recipients and their parents to a meal in the school’s cafeteria and to a watch party of their session of the convention in the theater. Congratulations on your accomplishments! A special thank you to the Versailles FFA members who assisted with the American Degree dinner which included: Madison Henry, Colin Batten, Dylan Dunn, Emmitt DeMange,Blake Schmitmeyer and Dakota Overholser.
Additionally, the National FFA Convention Versailles FFA members were recognized as National FFA Proficiency Finalists. Proficiency awards are based on FFA member’s SAE’s. Our finalists included Jacob Wuebker, Luke Billenstein and Austin Timmerman. The National finalists were announced by the National FFA in August and were based upon the proficiency application these FFA members submitted. The application included goals, plans of practices, resumes, pictures, letters of recommendation, financial records, and hour documentation.
Jacob Wuebker placed first in Ohio and was recognized as a top four national FFA finalist in the area of diversified livestock. Jacob has a job placement SAE where he works at Wuebker Farms. Austin placed first in Ohio and was announced as the National FFA Proficiency Winner in the area of Agriculture Sales Placement. Austin’s SAE is a job placement at SISCO. Luke placed first in Ohio and recognized as a Top Four National FFA Proficiency Finalist in Swine Production Placement. Luke’s SAE is a job placement at Billenstein Swine Farm. Each finalist received a $500.00 check from their sponsors and Austin earned an additional $500.00 for being the national winner. Congratulations to our National Proficiency Finalists!