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Belleview High FFA members attend National Convention

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Eight Belleview High FFA members recently went to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. They attended this convention because their chapter was named as a National Chapter. They are ranked as a 3-star chapter. The national level also recognizes the top chapters with innovative activities in each of the three divisions: growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. Their chapter was one of 23 chapters in the state to receive all 3 stars. They also had three members Payton Davis, Aubrey Loebig, and Shelby Rowe receive their American degrees. This is an achievement that only the top 1 percent of FFA members across the country are able to accomplish. During the member’s time in FFA they developed a supervised agriculture experience. These members have earned at least $10,000 and invested $7,500 into these projects, as well as 50 hours of community service and a GPA of 3.56. FFA members are so proud of all our members and their accomplishments. They appreciate their hard work and are grateful for the opportunity to attend National Convention where they were able to learn more about the agriculture industry and how to become better leaders.

Some of these opportunities, allowed them to visit two facilities that focus on embryology in both cattle and small ruminant animals. Bickett Genetics and Hoosier Embryo opened their doors for us to tour their facilities and even stand in to watch procedures involving genetic transfers and the collection of embryos. These processes are called embryo transfer and in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Both are emerging scientific procedures that take place both in a commercial and show herds. As some of our members are considering this as careers it was extremely eye opening to talk with Mr. Todd Bickett, Mrs. Alisa Bickett, and Cody Maddox from Bickett Genetics as well as Mrs. Ashten from Hoosier Embryo. Even the members who weren’t as passionate about embryology received good advice from the business aspect. Regardless of our interests, each of us came out with new connections and knowledge that will stick with us in future years.

The local FFA members also visited Umbarger show feeds, in Franklin Indiana. They had an amazing tour guide who took our small group all over the mill. He talked to them about how Umbarger started off as a small mill that was bought by Mr. Umbarger, in 1938 for $1 from the bank. He told them about how far they have come just supplying to local dealers, to now selling to most states in the United States and still growing. They learned all about the mechanics and engineering that goes into making feed, as well as the science that goes into mixing the feed, as only 15 people work for Umbarger. Thank you to this great opportunity to learn more about the Umbarger show feed and giving them the inside of what it takes to make feed for our livestock.

They had another stop at the Kentucky Derby, here they were able to tour the track at Churchill Downs and go to the museum. They were able to learn about the history and partake in some interactive aspects of the derby to gain a better understanding.

After the educational tours, they arrived at the 2023 National FFA Convention, which had a Career, College and Trade Expo. A few of the members had a chance to walk around and visit these booths to look for potential pathways for their future. BHS FFA Student Advisor, Sydney Proctor was recently accepted to Tarleton State University and she had the opportunity to take a picture in the booth and meet and talk to some of the students that attend there. Although she’s accepted and love the school she took the opportunity to look at other schools and learn about the different things they offer. Our Reporter, Annabel Edwards also found a University in Illinois that she is very interested in and she will now be touring it this coming summer. These are just a few examples on how visiting these kinds of expos can be very beneficial for students. Especially when they are looking for a school, potential trade or they just are not sure what they would like to do with their future. The members that had a chance to visit this event came out of it with new knowledge and better idea of what their future can entail. They also visited all the industry booths to learn about new technologies in agriculture and these industries roles in agriculture, as well as internship opportunities and get a lot of cool, free stuff.

Of course, the BHS FFA members had a few fun stops on the trip. They visited a haunted house with some members of the Wildwood FFA Chapter and visited the Jack O Lantern Spectacular in Louisville for Halloween, that had over 5,000 jack o lanterns. They also went to the concert at National Convention, where we saw Lainey Wilson perform. They also visited a corn maze and agritourism venue. On the way home, the FFA members went to the Grand Ole Opry. They saw Reba McEntire along with many other Opry members. There was not one bad artist that played that night. Not only was the music great but the opry its self was amazing with the circle in the middle of the stage, it was everything you could’ve imagined, and an experience they will never forget.

According to the students, this was an amazing trip. BHS FFA members say they are grateful for the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of agriculture, bond with members, and make memories to last a lifetime.

(Thoughts? Submit a letter to the editor here.)

National FFA Convention

Eight Belleview High FFA members went to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. They attended this convention because their chapter was named as a National Chapter.

Top 1%

Payton Davis, Aubrey Loebig, and Shelby Rowe received their American degrees. This is an achievement that only the top 1 percent of FFA members across the country are able to accomplish.

Kentucky Derby

BHS FFA members made a stop at the Kentucky Derby, where they were able to tour the track at Churchill Downs and go to the museum.

Umbarger Show Feeds

Students visited Umbarger show feeds in Franklin, Indiana.

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