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North Dakota FFA celebrates continued growth at state convention

FFA State Convention

North Dakota FFA members speaking to Erik Robinson, Jr., National FFA Southern Region Vice President, during his visit at the North Dakota State FFA Convention in early June.

Over 1,500 members, advisors, and guests joined together June 6-9 for the 93rd North Dakota FFA Convention at North Dakota State University. Members conducted official North Dakota FFA business and competed in the state Career Development Events (CDE). Winning CDE teams were awarded travel stipends to the National FFA Convention from the North Dakota FFA Foundation and students competed in over 30 different award, degree, and CDE events throughout the week.

“The success of this event is dependent on all the volunteers and FFA advisors who lend a helping hand throughout the week,” said Nikki Fideldy-Doll, supervisor of agricultural education and state advisor for North Dakota FFA. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

According to Fideldy-Doll, the state convention is a time for students to put into action the skills they have learned throughout the year during agricultural education in a competitive environment.

“Convention is also an opportunity for students to learn premier leadership through workshops and career success through the North Dakota FFA Foundation Career and Education Fair,” she said.

This year’s convention marked back-to-back years of the event being held in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic, and over the last handful of years, Fideldy-Doll says the youth organization has experienced tremendous growth, including record-breaking membership this year of over 7,000 students.

Fideldy-Doll, who took over her role as state advisor in August of 2021, is the first woman to hold the role of North Dakota FFA state advisor. While the organization was founded in 1928, it did not allow women to be members until 1969.

“I couldn’t be more proud to serve as the first female state FFA advisor for North Dakota,” she said. “As I stood ‘stationed by the owl,’ I thought of my high school FFA advisor, Mr. Kevin Nelson. It was his impact that got me where I am today.

“This didn’t set in for me until I had him standing in my office as the new state FFA advisor. I went from reciting the FFA creed as a 9th grader to reciting the advisor part as the first female FFA advisor for North Dakota FFA. It’s been a very surreal experience so far and I’m proud to have many mentors to look up to and guide me through this,” she added.

Moving the organization into the future, Fideldy-Doll says her overall goal is to “continue to grow North Dakota FFA, provide opportunities to our members, and support our FFA advisors and agricultural education instructors.”

New state officer team

A new team of state officers were selected at this year’s North Dakota FFA State Convention. The 2022-23 teams includes: Amy Klain, Turtle Lake-Mercer, President; Katelyn Duchscher, Rugby, Secretary; Hailey Maddock, Maddock A.S. Gibbens, Vice President; Regan Jones, Fessenden Bowden, Treasurer; Faith Norby, Killdeer, Reporter; Jakob Van Berkom, Des Lacs-Burlington, Sentinel; and Wyatt Kersten, Max, Parliamentarian.

Awards

This year’s Star Farmer is Benjamin Scheresky of Max, N.D. Other finalists included: Regan Jones, Fessenden-Bowdon; Rhea Laib, Turtle Lake-Mercer; Madison Myers, Parshall; and Benjamin Scheresky, Max.

Amy Klain, Turtle Lake-Mercer, was awarded Star in Agricultural Placement, and Ethan Schaffner, Napoleon, was awarded Star in Agribusiness.

Leadership Development Event results were as follows: Creed Speaking: Kristyn Bauer, Beulah; Prepared Public Speaking: Rhea Laib, Turtle Lake-Mercer; Extemporaneous Public Speaking: Ty MacDonald, Bismarck; Employment Skills: Abbigail Zeiszler, Garrison; and Demonstration: Bailey Urlacher, New England.

A complete list of award/competition results from this year’s North Dakota FFA State Convention can be found at https://www.ndffafoundation.com/2022-sc-results/.

“Congratulations to all of the teams and individuals who will represent North Dakota at the National FFA Convention in October,” Fideldy-Doll concluded.

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