The National FFA Convention and Expo got underway on Oct. 24 in Indianapolis, Ind., where chapters from across the region traveled in for what turned out to be a “record-setting” convention with almost 70,000 in attendance.
“We got back to North Dakota late Sunday (Oct. 28) evening,” said Aaron Anderson, FFA state supervisor. “We had 360 members and advisors from North Dakota in attendance for what was a record-setting convention, which is a really cool thing.
“North Dakota did tremendously well. We had 8 of our competitive teams finish in the top 10, and our best team was our Agriculture Mechanics and Technology team from Grant County, who finished runner up – a tremendous finish,” he added, also noting the North Dakota Agricultural Sales team from Wishek and the Farm Management team from Oaks both finished in 7th place.
According to Anderson, the opportunity for the North Dakota student members to attend the National FFA Convention and Expo is an “eye-opening experience.”
“One of the big highlights for them is to see the scale of the organization,” he said. “In North Dakota we have the highest FFA membership per student capita in the country, so we have high-level participation, but we’re such a small state. You look at our state convention which is 1,500 people and you scale it to 70,000, students are in awe when they go there.”
Over 400 companies/colleges exhibit at the Convention and Expo, covering over 250,000 square feet of exhibit space, where the agriculture industry comes to connect to the youth.
“They get to see they’re a part of something much bigger than just what they see here in North Dakota,” said Anderson. “All the heavy hitters in government partake: President Trump, Ag Secretary Perdue, Secretary of Education Betsey DeVos, among others. They see these leaders and the convention allows our students to have a dialogue with these individuals, which is a really neat experience.
“Brianna Maddock, our State FFA President, was one of five state presidents in the country to meet and have a formal photo opportunity with President Trump at the convention on Saturday. So that was kind of a neat experience for her to take in,” he added.
Why has North Dakota seen such high numbers of student participation in FFA? Anderson believes it has a lot to do with the opportunities that agriculture education and FFA provide their members.
“There is a big commitment our ag teachers have made to help young people get involved. Our organization is very focused on service and service learning. This generation of students are very engaged in giving back and being part of something that helps their local communities in a positive way,” said Anderson.
Below is a list of the 2018 North Dakota National FFA Convention participants and results:
Employment Skills: Brianna, Kindred; Brianna made the Top 4 and was awarded 3rd high individual (Gold Award).
Dairy Cattle Evaluation: New Salem; Team members: Justin, Fayth, Ivy, Samantha; Team results; 11th place (Gold Award); Individual results: Ivy, 11th place (Gold Award); Justin (Silver Award); Fyth (Silver Award); Samantha (Silver Award)
Creed: Janae, Napoleon; Janae made the Top 12 and advanced to the semi-final round, earning her a Silver Award.
Extemporaneous Speaking: Hope, Max (Bronze Award)
Prepared Public Speaking: Christina, Max (Bronze Award)
Agricultural Sales: Wishek; Team members: Alexander, Cassidy, Alexa, Jake; Team results: 7th place (Gold Award); Individual results: Cassidy Walth, 3rd high individual; Alexa (Gold Award); Alexander (Silver Award); Jake (Gold Award)
Farm and Agribusiness Management: Oakes/Sargent Central; Team members: Caleb, Max, Sean, Erich; Team results: 7th place (Gold Award); Individual results: Caleb (2nd place, Gold Award); Max (Gold Award); Sean (Silver Award); Erich (Silver Award)
Horse Evaluation: South Heart; Team members: Taylor, Natasha, Paige, Jocelyn; Team results: Silver Award
National Chapter Results: Center, 3-Star Chapter; Garrison: 2-Star Chapter; Kindred, 2-Star Chapter; Napoleon, 2 -Star Chapter; Richland 44, 2-Star Chapter; Rolla, 3-Star Chapter; Rugby, 2-Star Chapter; Wishek, 2-Star Chapter
Agricultural Communications: Richland 44; Team members: Mikayla, Caleb, John, Abigail; Team results: 14th Place (Silver Award); Individual results: Mikayla, 14th Place (Gold Award)
Food Science and Technology: Napoleon; Team members: Kourtney, Kylee, Alexa Veronica; Team results: 10th Place (Gold Award); Individual results: Alex, 6th Place (Gold Award), Kourtney (Gold Award), Veronica (Silver Award), Kylee (Bronze Award)
Agronomy: Harvey; Team members: Cassie, Brian, Axel, Dixie; Team results: 7th Place (Gold Award); Individual results: Brian, 11th Place (Gold Award), Axel (Gold Award), Dixie (Silver Award), Cassie (Siler Award)
Meat Judging: Turtle Lake/Mercer; Team members: Ryeleigh, Aaron, Rhea; Team results: 2nd Place (Gold Award); Individual results: Rhea, 2nd Place; Aaron 4th Place; Ryeleigh 15th Place
Parliamentary Procedure: Max; Team members: Aubrey, Gage, Lanie, Ryley, Colt, Jaime; Team results: Silver Award
Environmental and Natural Resources: Lisbon; Team members: Gavin, Isaac, Jacob, Zach; Team results: 11th Place (Silver Award)
National Star Farmer finalist: Dylan Finen, Max; Austin Stanton from the state of Missouri was named the 2018 Star Farmer.
Livestock Evaluation: New Salem; Team members: Conner, Jess, Brooke, Jake; Team results: Silver Award
Floriculture: Harvey; Team members: Andrea, Tatiana, Annika, Katelyn; Team results: Silver Award
Agriscience Fair: Power, Structural and Technical Systems (Division 4): Grace and Chloe, Velva; Results: Silver Award
Agriscience Fair: Social Systems (Division 5): Christina, Max; Results: 4th Place, Gold Award
Agriscience Fair: Social Systems (Division 6): Bailee and Emma, Velva: Results: Silver Award
Agriscience Fair: Food Products and Processing System (Division 1): Kylee, Kindred; Results: Silver Award
Agriscience Fair: Food Products and Processing System (Division 2): Trey and Jack, Kindred; Results: Silver Award
Agriscience Fair: Plant System (Division 3): Kirsten, Richland 44 (Silver Award)
Agriscience Fair: Power, Structural and Technical Systems (Division 3); Reid, Rolla; Results: Silver Award
Agriscience Fair: Animal System (Division 2): Lillian and Maddie, Scranton; Results: Silver Award
Courtesy Corps Representatives: Shanaye, Bottineau; Phyllis, Wilton; Morgyn, Wilson
National FFA Band Members: Teanna, Center; Ben Des Lacs/Burlington
National FFA Chorus Member: Rose, LaMoure
Honorary American Degree Recipients: Jason Mongeon, Towner; Lance M. Van Berkom, Burlington; Leonard Tesky, Beulah
Model of Excellence Premier Chapter Building Communities for “Adopt a Texas Classroom”: Center; Representatives: Abby and Caden
Model of Excellence Premier Chapter Growing Leaders for “Wildcats Wandering the World”: Center; Representatives: Shelby and Teegan
Agricultural Technology and Mechanical System: Grant County; Team members: Samuel, Evan, Kurt, Ryan; Team results: 3rd Place (Gold Award); Individual Results: Ryan, 8th Place (Gold Award); Kurt, 10th Place, (Gold Award); Evan (Gold Award); Samuel (Gold Award)
National FFA Officer Candidates: Jerrod MacDonald, Bismarck; Results: Jerrod will not advance onto the second round of screening. Jerrod served as the 2016-2017 ND State FFA Reporter.
Veterinary Science: Towner; Team members: Kaylee, Kaitlynn, Erika, Gracie; Team results: 37th Place (Bronze Award); Individual results: Kaitlynn (Silver Award); Kaylee (Bronze Award); Erika (Bronze Award); Gracie (Bronze Award)
Milk Quality and Products: Kindred; Team members: Ben, Ellie, Nicholas, Keaton; Team results: 10th Place (Gold Award)
Nursery/Landscape: Kindred; Team members: MaKayla, Anna, Jacie, Elizabeth; Team results: 10th Place (Gold Award)
National Proficiency Finalists: Diversified Crop Production (Entrepreneurship): Kurt, Grant County; Results: TBD; Grain Production (Placement): Chase, Carrington; Results: TBD
Dairy Cattle Handlers: Kayla, Kildeer; Results: TBD