Sleepy Eye FFA travels to National FFA Convention

More than 64,000 student leaders swarmed in Indianapolis, Indiana at the 89th National FFA Convention from October 17 October 22, 2016. The streets were flooded with blue jackets as students spread the message of agriculture, learned about leadership and service, competed in rigorous career development events, and met fellow FFA members from across the nation.

Students were exposed to an agricultural based career show, heard dynamic speakers, and were inspired by energetic and motivating general sessions at the largest annual student convention in the country.

The Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter had two national proficiency finalists, Sabrina Portner and Harley Braun. Sabrina Portner was named the National Winner for the Dairy Production Entrepreneurship Proficiency Award. Sabrina earned two plaques and $1000 in prize money. Harley Braun was named Runner Up for the National Ag. Communications Proficiency Award. Harley won a plaque and $500. She was also the International Experience Trip Winner for her award area. Harley will have the opportunity to travel to Ireland next summer with other trip winners from around the country for a week-long Ag. experience.

Portner and Braun were among only four people chosen to compete for their specific award areas at nationals during the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis. The proficiency awards recognize outstanding student achievement in agriculture. Portner and Braun became eligible for the national award after winning the Minnesota state FFA competition earlier this year. During convention, each presented a two-minute opening statement and then were asked numerous questions in a 15 minute interview. They each interviewed a second time for the International Experience Trip. On Friday of convention, the winners were announced on stage at the 6th Session of the National FFA Convention in Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.

Twenty-two Sleepy Eye FFA Members attended the national convention including: Parker Neid, Natalie Sellner, Lauren Klein, Anna Landkammer, McKayla Aschenbrenner, Carter Ibberson, Hunter Rose, Cassidy Hacker, Clarissa Simonsen, Isaac Nelson, Harley Braun, Sabrina Portner, Paige Romberg, Cassidy Hoffmann, Morgan Hoffmann, Sarah Rossbach, Courtney Engholm, Karlie Ries, McKenzie Cselovszki, Josie Lang, Tyrah Stoll, and Zoe Macklanburg. Chaperones for the trip included: Mary Hoffmann(Advisor) and Jack Roessler(2015 Summer Ag. Ed. Intern).

Ten members of the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter competed in the National Quiz Bowl Contest on Tuesday of Convention week. The Quiz Bowl Contest consists of taking a 100 question knowledge test on the history and current information of the FFA.

The National Quiz Bowl Sr. Team of Courtney Engholm, Sarah Rossbach, McKenzie Cselovszki, and Karlie Ries earned 6th Place at Nationals out of 39 teams. Courtney Engholm was the 11th place individual in the contest with Sarah Rossbach following her at 18th place out of 137 individuals.

The National Quiz Bowl Sr. Team Two of of Josie Lang, Zoe Macklanburg, and Tyrah Stoll earned 15th Place at Nationals out of 39 teams. Josie Lang was the scorer on that team.

The National Quiz Bowl Jr. Team of of Cassidy Hoffmann, Morgan Hoffmann, Paige Romberg earned 12th Place at Nationals out of 34 teams. Paige Romberg was the high scorer on that team earning 14th place individual out of 115 individuals.

In addition to attending the FFA Convention, members were also given the opportunity to attend several tours including: Fair Oaks Dairy, Windmill Tour, Not Just Popcorn, and Broken Wagon Bison Farms. Members learned about various aspects of agriculture, from traditional to nontraditional, while on these tours.

While at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana several of the Sleepy Eye FFA members took time to work behind the scenes at the KNUJ Media Booth. They assisted Larry Baumgardt and Jim Bartels in interviewing different FFA Chapters around the state of Minnesota about their convention experiences and FFA activities. The Sleepy Eye group who volunteered included: Cassidy Hoffmann, Josie Lang, Lauren Klein, Karlie Ries, McKayla Aschenbrenner, Tyrah Stoll, Cassidy Hacker, and Courtney Engholm. 15 of our members also interviewed on the radio about their own experiences and activities they are participating in for FFA.

At Convention, the Sleepy Eye FFA was named a TWO Star National Chapter for student, chapter, and community development activities that the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter highlighted in their National Chapter Award application.