FFA members attend National Convention

Warsaw FFA members who attended National Convention met featured speaker Dr. Rick Rigsby. They included freshman Jesse Johnson, sophomore Ryan Burks, junior Samantha Thompson, senior Derek Wright, freshman Heather Weaver, freshman Mason Knox, junior Alexis Smith, senior Thane Henderson, FFA advisor Stan Adler, junior Cierra Sawyers, sophomore Rayne Faulconer, and junior Noah Long.

Ryan Burks, Staff Writer

  From climbing through a ropes course in a cave to being inspired by hundreds of thousands of blue jackets listening to a motivational speaker, National FFA Convention impressed members who attended.

  Eleven representatives of Warsaw FFA traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 28 – 31 to attend the organization’s biggest national gathering of the year. Warsaw students traveled on a charter bus along with students from Lincoln, Green Ridge, LaMonte, and Macks Creek. Students who attended were freshman Jesse Johnson, Mason Knox, and Heather Weaver; sophomores Ryan Burks and Rayne Faulconer; juniors Alexis Smith, Cierra Sawyers, Samantha Thompson, and Noah Long; seniors Derek Wright and Thane Henderson. It is a convention where FFA members go to meet other members of FFA from everywhere around the United States. Anywhere from Alaska to Hawaii, people come to the national event.

  There was a featured speaker this year at the 88th National Convention, was Dr. Rick Rigsby. He is a motivational speaker and he also wrote the book, Lessons of a Third Grade Dropout.

  “My favorite part was the leadership experience where I had to learn how to manage my money and keep track of my group,” said freshman Mason Knox.

  Despite a bus problem that delayed arrival, students made it to Louisville to attend the convention and go sightseeing.

  Students visited various tourist attractions while in Louisville. Every year the FFA members go to the Derby Dinner Theatre. Many students said the play was their favorite part. Theater-goers watched “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christy.

  Another popular sightseeing event was the Kentucky Derby. Some FFA groups go to watch the races. They also visited the Louisville Slugger Museum, where the members viewed the factory, learn history about the Louisville Slugger bats, and even get a mini bat after the tour. Members also went through an underground ropes course called Louisville Mega Cavern.

 Spots were limited, so students who wanted to attend the convention had to sell mums and fill out an application. Those who sold over 100 mums automatically got to attend.

  The Warsaw group was honored to have another alumni receive the American Degree. During the convention, 2014 graduate Ben Brodersen was awarded the American Degree, which is the highest degree awarded to FFA members.

  Junior Noah Long said going to national convention is fun for all students who go. Long has attended convention each year of his high school career.  

  “I encourage all FFA students to go if they can for it is an experience you cannot get with any other organization, National Convention experience reassured my core values,” Long said.