A sea of blue FFA jackets from across the state of Kansas invaded the campus of Kansas State University May 28-June 1st to celebrate the 84th annual Kansas FFA State Convention. The Arkansas City FFA chapter had ten FFA members in attendance. The week-long event recognizes outstanding achievement and hard work from members across the state. The chapter had a very busy week, filled with competitions and awards.
Six members competed in the Parliamentary Procedure Career Development Event (CDE). Members of this team include Hailee Reed, Ellen Walker, Karly Marshall, Brady Harris, Brooke Jackson and Karley McFadyen. These individuals started their journey to the state competition back in November when they qualified for the State competition at District Leadership School. The Parliamentary Procedure CDE consists of a 50-question test over Robert’s Rules of Order and a team’s ability to demonstrate the proper way to host a business meeting. Members also write minutes of the meeting and answer oral questions. The members represented Ark City extremely well in this event.
Ellen Walker and Mary Beth Byers competed in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking CDE. They qualified to compete in this event by placing in the top 5 at the district event last fall. This CDE begins with contestants drawing three agricultural topics, and choosing which one they want to speak about. They are given 30 minutes to prepare, then present a 2-4 minute speech and answer related questions.
Mary Beth Byers, Elyssa Day, and Hailee Reed were members of the State FFA Band. They auditioned this spring, and while at convention they rehearsed for two days to be able to play their music during the Convention Band Concerts. Byers has been a part of the FFA Band for four years. This was the first year in the FFA Band for both Day and Reed.
David Boxman was recognized as the state winner of the Turf Grass Management Proficiency for excelling in his Supervised Agricultural Experience Program (SAE). David completed an eight-page written application describing the skills that he has developed and the progress he has made toward reaching his goals. David was selected for this honor because of his work in owning his own lawn care business. As a state winner he received a plaque and a $250 check. David will continue on to compete at the national level this fall.
Three senior FFA members were also recognized for receiving a National FFA and State FFA scholarship. Brooke Jackson received a $1,000 AGCO National FFA Scholarship and a $1,000 Orscheln Farm & Home Scholarship. A $1,000 Cargill National FFA Scholarship was awarded to Karly Marshall. Ellen Walker received a $1,000 Ford Truck Scholarship and a $1,000 Orscheln Farm & Home Scholarship.
Karley McFadyen and Ellen Walker also received the State FFA Degree. The state degree is the highest degree that the state can bestow upon it’s members. To qualify for the State Degree members must have earned or invested at least $2,000 and participated 10 activities above the chapter level. Members must complete a 12-page application when applying for the degree.
Lastly, the Ark City FFA was honored as the third place chapter in the Triple Crown Award area. Chapters can apply for this honor by completing an application that highlights the chapter’s 9 best activities in the areas of Student, Chapter and Community Development. Some of the activities that were selected for the Ark City FFA Chapter are the Annual March Madness Bass Fishing Tournament, the Autism and Ag 5K Run, the Ag Day on the Farm event for local elementary students, our lock-in event that focused on leadership “habitudes”, our telefund, and our program reading agriculture books to all the elementary schools in the school district.
In the state of Kansas there are 166 total FFA Chapters. To be recognized as third in the National Chapter Award program is an extremely high accomplishment. It recognizes the achievements of all the members in the Ark City FFA, not just the chapter officers or a few members. The application is sent on to be judged on the national level and will be awarded a three, two or one star. The chapter may also be eligible for additional honors if awarded three stars.
Back row (L-R) Brady Harris, Ellen Walker, David Boxman, Brooke Jackson, and Elyssa Day. Front row (L-R) Mary Beth Byers, Hailee Reed, Karly Marshall and Karley McFadyen.