VERSAILLES – On Oct. 30, 21 members of the Versailles FFA chapter left for the 92nd annual National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. where there were over 67,000 FFA members in attendance. This makes the National FFA Convention the world’s largest youth convention. FFA members from all over the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands were in attendance. Versailles FFA traveled to National FFA Convention on a school bus with the St. Mary’s FFA chapter.
Highlights of the convention included keynote speakers as well as speeches from National FFA officers. Activities members attended were the career show, a Buckeye Bash Dance for all FFA members from the state of Ohio, Cinch World Toughest Rodeo, and even attended a concert of Old Dominion. Versailles FFA members were also able to tour the Blue Buffalo dog food company, County Line Dairy, Lincoln Technical College and Fastenal.
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 the National FFA bestows upon chapters. A special thanks to FFA Chapter President Deanna Hesson and FFA Chapter Secretary Cayla Batten for representing Versailles on stage as they received this award.
Along with the success of the Versailles FFA were the five American Degree recipients. The American FFA Degree is the highest honor an FFA member can receive at a National Level. Members that received this degree were Jaime Hart, Sean Besecker, Isaac Gehret, Sarah Gigandet, and David Barlage.
Additionally, members were recognized as National FFA Proficiency Finalists. Proficiency awards are based on FFA member’s SAE’s. The chapter’s finalists included Jacob Wuebker and Cole Luthman. 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. The applicants are then named as Gold, Silver, or Bronze Finalists or are named Top 4 Proficiency Finalists.
Wuebker placed first in Ohio and was a National FFA finalist in the area of Diversified Livestock. He has a job placement SAE where he works at Wuebker Farms. Luthman placed first in Ohio and was a National FFA finalist in the area of Poultry Placement. He has a job placement SAE where he works at Knapke’s Poultry LLC. Both were interviewed and results were announced at the National FFA Convention with Wuebker placing first in the nation. Each finalist received a $500 check from their sponsors and Wuebker earned an additional $500 for being the national winner.
Versailles FFA members who attended the convention were Tori Wuebker, Cayla Batten, Haley Mangen, Sara Cavin, Laura Wuebker, Cole Luthman, Jacob Wuebker, Kobe Epperly, Dalton Hesson, Caleb Fraley, Sam Gilmore, Isaac Gilmore, Dakota Overholser, Cricket Petitjean, Dalton Hesson, Deanna Hesson, Evan Groff, Darian Feltz, and the St. Mary’s Chapter. A special thanks to Jamie Hart, Sean Besecker, David Barlage, and Sarah Gigandet for joining them at the convention. Most of all thanks to the Versailles Board of Education for allowing the Versailles FFA Chapter to participate in the National FFA Convention.