Each year, the Oregon FFA Association meets for a weekend full of competitions, recognition, workshops, business sessions, and much more. For the past two years, this convention has been held at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond, Oregon.
The theme of this year’s convention was Make Your Mark. The convention sessions carried messages about how FFA members can leave a positive influence in their communities. Although State Convention hosted about 4,000 people, Sutherlin FFA’s 20 attending members were able to leave a sizable mark.
The weekend began with a 4:00pm Agricultural Issues presentation. The Ag Issues team consisted of five members (Tristan Vincent, Aisia Carrillo, Keaten Clarno, Grace Matteo, and Hailey Boehm). Prior to the event, the team was instructed to research an issue pertaining to the agricultural industry and create a skit which demonstrates the differing viewpoints of that issue in a real-life scenario. Our team spent hours researching and preparing for their presentation on the Sage Grouse. It is the first Ag Issues team that Mr. Crawford has led. They made the chapter proud by moving into the final round to win third place in the state.
The next to compete was Mackenzie Price and Cassidy Leatherwood in the Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event (CDE). Their task was to deliver a speech relating to agriculture. They were graded on their tone, body movements, response to questions, and much more. Mackenzie’s speech was on the power of urban agriculture to feed the world in the future. Cassidy’s speech was on Africa’s agricultural potential and its impact on the global food crisis. Mackenzie brought home a fourth place banner for her delivery.
This year’s Advanced Parliamentary Procedure team included Regan Leatherwood, Nolan Carson, Mackenzie Price, Sydnee Tilley, Skyer Harrington, Zach Lor, and Tommy Williams. Many of these members competed in the National Beginning Parliamentary Procedure CDE in the fall. The team performed very well and it was clearly a tight competition. However, Sutherlin was able to win first place for the second year in a row. The team will go to Indianapolis in October to compete in the national CDE format.
In addition to the competitors above, Sutherlin FFA brought along a Farm Business Management team (another new competition for the chapter), and Keaten Clarno competed in the State Cooperative Quiz and Interview.
Tristan Vincent, Lacie Head, Raichel Wolfe, and Skyler Harrington were recognized on stage for earning their State Degrees. The State Degree is the highest degree which can be awarded by the Oregon FFA Association. Madelyn Higgins was brought on stage as well for her swine proficiency.
During State Convention, the six state officers who have been serving Oregon FFA for the past year delivered their retiring addresses. Sterling Foster went on stage to introduce Gabby Santa Cruz and Tristan Vincent introduced past Sutherlin FFA member, and State Reporter Lee Wesenberg. Both of them spoke very eloquently.
Sutherlin had several members run for different offices during State Convention. Nolan Carson and Regan Leatherwood both gave speeches for the Umpqua District Officer elections. Nolan Carson was voted for the position of President. Mackenzie Price and Madelyn Higgins both decided to undertake the incredible journey of running for State Office. Their weekend was filled with interviews and other events. Finally, on Monday morning during an early delegate session, Mackenzie Price was elected as the 2018-19 Oregon FFA State Treasurer. She is the fourth consecutive State Officer form the Sutherlin FFA Chapter since 2015.
Cassidy Leatherwood, a senior, describes her full-circle State Convention: “Going to State Convention freshman year is what got me hooked on FFA. This was my fourth and final State Convention and it was a very sentimental experience for me. My favorite part was watching my friend Lee Wesenberg retire from State Office and then watching my classmate and friend Mackenzie Price take her place as the 2018-19 State Treasurer.”
The Sutherlin FFA Chapter made its school and community proud at this year’s Oregon FFA State Convention. In addition the incredible success of the students, Mr. Crawford was recognized as Oregon’s Agricultural Educator of the year. It is important to remember that this success is the result of a year of intense effort and hard work on the part of the whole chapter. Good luck to Mackenzie Price in her State Office endeavors and to the Parliamentary Procedure team at National Convention.
The Advanced Parliamentary Procedure team accepts their first place banner on stage.
The newly elected 2018-2019 Oregon FFA State Officer team.