The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 27, 2013

10,000 expected to attend Oklahoma FFA convention

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — More than 10,000 Oklahoma FFA members representing 352 high school chapters across the state are expected to attend the 87th State FFA Convention, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.

This year’s convention theme is “Grow.” Growing as an individual is an important component of FFA. By exercising leadership skills and participating in activities, FFA members discover the significance of growing as an individual and the importance it has on their future. Through agricultural education and FFA, young people are realizing the true power of growing as a leader.

The state FFA convention is the culmination of the year’s activities for FFA members.

It is an opportunity for individual awards and recognition, delegate business, officer elections and a celebration of chapter accomplishments. Oklahoma FFA Foundation has raised approximately $560,000 this year from sponsors who will provide cash awards, scholarships, plaques and honor banquets to award winners and degree recipients.

The state FFA officers, a team of eight student leaders, plan the convention and conduct the official ceremonies. The 2012-13 state FFA officers are Brandon Baumgarten, president, Oilton; Alex Cash, secretary, Owasso; Kaylen Baker, reporter, Yukon; Kyle Hilbert, northeast district vice president, Depew; Annie Jo Gilbert, central district vice president, Choctaw; Barrett Powell, northwest district vice president, Ringwood; Steven Vekony, southeast district vice president, Byng; and Kelsie Williams, southwest district vice president, Hollis.

Delegates from each chapter will vote to elect the 2013-14 state FFA officer team.

Oklahoma FFA degrees will be conferred on 715 members who, as a result of their agricultural and leadership achievements, have qualified for the State FFA Degree — the highest degree a state association can bestow upon its members. From this group, a State Star Farmer, State Star in Agribusiness and a State Star in Agricultural Placement will be named. In addition to student recognition, several adults will be cited for outstanding service to the FFA. The Honorary State FFA Degree will be presented to 102 people.

Other highlights will include the announcements of champions in 47 agricultural proficiency award areas and 46 career development events

Educational and motivational speakers will provide keynote addresses to encourage members to persevere in their agricultural endeavors. Speakers include Judson Laipply, award-winning speaker and inspirational comedian.

Also featured is Brooks Gibbs. Using humor, Gibbs talks about the “stupid” choices we sometimes make every day. But without warning, he takes a sharp turn toward serious, describing the devastating decisions teens commonly make.

A total of 14 workshops will offer students the opportunity for personal growth and leadership development.

One of the most exciting activities at the convention is the Ford Truck Giveaway. Those chapters that complete an extensive national chapter awards application are entered in a drawing for the opportunity to win a new Ford Truck for their FFA chapter. Oklahoma Ford Dealers Association sponsors the truck. The drawing takes place 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.