The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 18, 2013

Fairview FFA members attend state convention

By Holly Heinrichs, Fairview FFA reporter
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Fairview FFA was well represented at the Oklahoma FFA Convention, which was April 30-May 1.

Seven Fairview FFA members received the prestigious State FFA Degree, the highest degree of active membership awarded by the Oklahoma FFA Association. Josie Carrell, Cullen Duran, Kyle Hiebert, Olivia Mason, Dossanna Miller, Taylor Tucker and Payton VanMeter all received the award. The honor is bestowed upon high school senior FFA members who have demonstrated outstanding supervised agricultural experience programs and leadership skills.

Only 715 of the more than 24,000 Oklahoma FFA members have advanced through the Discovery, Greenhand and Chapter Degrees to earn the state honor. All recipients attended a banquet in their honor and received the gold state FFA degree charm and a plaque.

Caleb Neufeld earned first-place honors in the Oklahoma FFA forest management and products proficiency award. Neufeld was encouraged to notice how eastern red cedars had taken over pastureland. After noticing how much the trees had taken over, Neufeld started his own business removing cedars with equipment he purchased. He saved money and was able to buy a skid steer loader, tree shear, trailer, bucket and pallet forks.

“The demand for my services has been steady for the past two years with both new and returning clients,” Neufeld said. “I strive to provide the service promised in a timely manner for the agreed price.”

The forest management and products proficiency award is designed to recognize students who are involved in a supervised agricultural experience that uses the best management practices to conserve or increase the economic value of a forest and/or forest products. These management practices include thinning, pruning, weeding, stand improvement, reforestation, insect and disease control, planting, and harvesting.

Fairview FFA also placed third in the state FFA Food for America Program. The chapter chose to promote pork as a wholesome, healthy food to all areas of life. The chapter chose to make their promotion relatable by adding fun recipes with all of their nutritional facts. They also chose to promote how convenient pork products are to make, hoping to promote it to younger people, given the available options they have with ready-made products. The Food for America Pork Promotion award is designed to recognize chapters that promote pork as a nutritious and healthy food product.

Cullen Duran and Rachael Hopkins were selected to perform at the 87th State FFA Convention before an audience of more than 10,000 as a member of the 2013 State FFA Convention Chorus. Nationally renowned chorus director Stan Kingma, of Roanoke, Va., selected 104 FFA members from 67 chapters to perform throughout the convention, at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. Chorus members arrived in Oklahoma City for rehearsal two days prior to the convention opening. In addition to entertaining the convention participants, the chorus sang for the Legislature.

Dossanna Miller and Jennifer Bedwell were two of 53 FFA members selected to perform at the convention. They entertained an audience of more than 10,000 at numerous times throughout the two-day event on the convention stage and at the Career Show held in conjunction with the convention.

Bedwell and Lindsay Pembrook are among the 50 Oklahoma FFA members statewide to receive scholarships to attend the 2013 Washington Leadership Conference program in our nation’s capital June 2-10. More than 2,300 FFA members from around the nation will eattend the Washington Leadership Conference. Students will learn how to solve local problems, build relationships, develop their character and truly live to serve others. FFA members will tour our nation’s capital, visit with members of Congress and perform a service learning project within the Washington, D.C., area, while building friendships with fellow FFA members from across the nation.