Roundup of FFA news for Nov. 23, 2023


HOWARD, Ohio — Eight members of the East Knox FFA recently attended the 96th annual National FFA Convention held Nov. 1-4 at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis Convention Center and Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana where they attended sessions, received awards, listened to motivational speakers, attended workshops and took tours.

The opening session was highlighted by the National FFA Officers Mackenna Clifton and Ryan Williamson, who chaired the session. The keynote speaker was Juan Bendaña who is a renowned speaker, author and DJ, who lights up high school and university campuses worldwide, along with international conferences. He addresses over 50,000 students, educators and parents annually across Canada and the United States. As the Founder of The 100 Day Playbook, he guides students to forge better habits, enhance productivity, and optimize their lives.

The National FFA Officers each gave their retiring addresses at various sessions. The six new 2023-2024 National Officers were announced at the final session on Nov. 4 with Amara Jackson from Michigan elected as National President and Morgan Anderson from Amanda Clearcreek FFA in Ohio elected as Eastern Region Vice President.

In addition to attending convention sessions and the trade show, the members attended the Cinches World’s Toughest Rodeo at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and a hypnotist show at the Indiana Convention Center.

The East Knox FFA state-winning Nursery/Landscape team competed Wednesday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and attended their awards ceremony on Thursday at the Indiana Convention Center where they learned that they placed 26th in the Nation.

The National FFA Convention had over 69,000 FFA members, parents and guests in attendance marking the tenth time of breaking the 60,000 attendance mark.

HOWARD, Ohio — East Knox FFA recently competed in the National FFA Nursery/Landscape Career Development Event held in conjunction with the 96th National FFA Convention.

Dylan Springer, Hayden Baker, Dustin Springer and Jon Cisco placed 26th out of a field of teams with a team rating of silver. Individually, Dylan and Dustin Springer each received a silver rating and Baker and Cisco were awarded a bronze rating. The team received a plaque for its placing and each member received medals for their individual national ranking at the awards banquet held in the Indiana Convention Center at the National FFA Convention.

The team advanced to the National contest after placing first in the State FFA Nursery/Landscape Career Development Event finals held at Delaware Area Career Center on March 29. The National Nursery/Landscape Career Development Event is an activity designed to demonstrate students’ skills in the area of Nursery and Landscape Management. In the event, the students completed hands-on activities of tree planting, irrigation zone installation and repair, plant layout and installing and programming a basic irrigation program controller. Students also took a general information test; completed estimation problems; did a verbal customer relation situation; identified various trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, groundcovers, weeds and physiological problems of plants and completed a propagating activity.

This is the eighth time that an East Knox FFA Nursery/Landscape team has represented Ohio at the national event.

HOWARD, Ohio — At the 96th National FFA Convention, held in Indianapolis, East Knox FFA members Trenton Comer, Kalvin Gallwitz, Alexandria Magers and Joci Totten received the American FFA Degree. These four were among 4,423 American Degrees awarded nationally with 457 of those being from Ohio. Each recipient of the American FFA Degree received a gold American FFA Degree key, certificate and matted frame after being recognized on stage.

Requirements for the degree include earning at least $10,000 from SAE projects, productively investing at least $7,500, serving as an FFA officer or committee member, participating in FFA career development events, participating in FFA leadership activities, completing school and community activities and having a satisfactory grade point average and school attendance. The American Degree is the fourth and final degree that can be attained in the FFA and normally goes to less than 0.5% of the national membership annually.

Trenton Comer’s SAE projects include working as a maintenance tech at the feed mill at Trillium Egg Farm in Croton, job placement at Mow and Go, as well as placement at Ohio Truck where he was a welder/fabricator. Cromer also started a small welding business, Comer’s Custom Fabrication. He served as the 2021-2022 chapter student advisor and was the 2020-2021 chapter parliamentarian. Cromer has competed in forestry, Greenland quiz, parliamentary procedure, poultry and agricultural technology and mechanics career development events. He attended state and national FFA conventions, state leadership nights and district officer training. Trenton is the son of Shane Comer and Tara Mertler of Millwood.

Alexandria Magers’ SAE projects include job placement at the Magers’ Family Farm along with raising and showing market hogs and market beef steers at the Knox County Fair and completing various home improvement projects. She served as the 2020-2021 East Knox FFA Treasurer where she received a State Gold Rating and the 2021-2022 chapter President. Magers has competed in various career development events. She has competed on the national level representing Ohio in Milk Quality and Products CDE and the National Land Judging Contest. Magers has attended the state and national FFA Conventions, Ohio Leadership Conference and District 7 Officer Training. She has assisted the chapter with the Thanksgiving food drive and has assisted with various volunteering and community service activities. Alexandria is the daughter of Dan and Anna-Marie Magers of Howard.

Joci Totten’s SAE projects include working at Kroger in the dairy department where she conditioned dairy products, checked product quality and dates and stocked products. She also worked at Chad Rine’s Chicken Farm and raised and showed market hogs at the Knox County Fair. She served as the 2019-2020 East Knox FFA Treasurer where she received a State Gold Rating and the 2020-2021 chapter secretary where she also earned a State Gold Rating. Totten has competed on many career development event teams including the 2019-2020 Agricultural Soils team that placed first in the state and qualified to represent Ohio in the National Contest. She has attended the state and national FFA Conventions and District 7 Officer Training. She has completed many hours of community service/volunteering and has assisted with numerous chapter activities. Joci is the daughter of Joe and Lori Totten of Walhonding.

Kalvin Gallwitz’s SAE projects include working as a general laborer at Central Ohio Farmers Coop, job placement at Gallwitz Farms, Sundown Acres, Beatty Farms, Kidwell Farm and Morningstar Labradors and raising and showing beef steers and feeders at the Knox County Fair. He served as the 2018-2019 chapter treasurer where he received a State Gold Rating.  Gallwitz has competed on seven top ten career development event teams. He has attended the state and national FFA Conventions, State 212/360 Conference and District Officer Training. Kalvin is the son of Kevin and Crystal Gallwitz of Bladensburg.



CRESTON, Ohio — At the 96th National FFA Convention on Nov. 3, Norwayne FFA members Kya Csapo and Morgan Wiles represented Ohio FFA in the Food Products and Processing Division 4 Agriscience Fair.

They earned fifth place out of the 26 total in their division. Their Agriscience Fair project compared the tenderness and marbling of Holstein and Angus ribeye steaks. For this project, they worked with Dr. Lyda Garcia and one of her graduate students at Ohio State University.

To compete in the National Contest, Csapo and Wiles went through a series of interviews where they shared information about their project with different judges who have experience in food products and processing.


MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — On Nov. 3, Mount Vernon FFA attended the 96th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Mount Vernon FFA took 20 members to the convention, including Aaron Pryjda, Logan Fox, Damian Frazee, Gavin Briscoe, Vivian Noble, Anysten Vanhouten, Ansley Daubenmier, Brooklyn Dovenbarger, Emma Croghan, Layne Dailey, Jaxon Plumly, Jaelynn Plumply, Brie Dunaway, Jadyn Row, Kaden Awwiler, Madison Seng, Zeva Sheets, Kameron Poole, Mckenna Miller and Orissa Humes.

Members had the opportunity to attend leadership workshops, career shows and an FFA shopping mall and expo on Friday. They received information from colleges, ag businesses and other organizations associated with agriculture.

After spending time at the convention center the group then traveled to the Indiana State Fairgrounds to watch a showing of the World’s Toughest Rodeo. Then, the chapter traveled to the Lucas Oil Stadium to attend the National FFA band, chorus and talent performances and the sixth general session of the convention to watch the retiring address of the Eastern Region Vice President Grace Murphy and the awards ceremony.

On Saturday, the group traveled back to Lucas Oil Stadium to watch Ashlyn Lust receive the American FFA Degree.


MILLERSBURG, Ohio — West Holmes FFA traveled to the National FFA Convention Nov. 1-4.  Thirteen FFA members attended the convention, including Garrett Fowler, Andi Schuch, Miley Snow, Jenna Sheldon, Madison Pearce-Laferty, Shane Lorentz, Quentin Vehrs, Gabby Yates, Madison Ringwalt, Torrie Savage, Jenna Zimmerly, Maren Drzazga and Claire Drzazga.

On Tuesday, the chapter departed from the school to head to Sunrise Co-op where the group got a tour of their facilities and Albanese Candy Factory to get some sweet treats. The group ended their day of travel in Wisconsin.

On Wednesday, the chapter started its day in Racine, Wisconsin. They toured the Case IH Plant. After that, they departed for Cozy Nook Dairy Farm for a tour and lunch. Then they traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, to tour the University of Wisconsin. To finish the day, they traveled back to Indianapolis.

On Thursday, members attended the first session, shopped and visited the trade show. After the trade show, they went to the next session and watched all the proficiencies go across the stage. Finally, the members ate at Weber Grill Steakhouse to end their day.

On Friday, they went to a session and heard from keynote speaker Corey Flourney. After the session, they got to tour the career show and shopping mall again. To finish the day they traveled to a trampoline park for some food and fun.

On Saturday, the chapter watched graduates Cora Crilow, Chloe Shumaker and Ethan Feikert receive their American Degrees.


FAYETTEVILLE, Ohio — Fayetteville FFA attended the 96th National FFA Convention and Expo Nov 1-4.

At the convention, the chapter was recognized as a National 3-Star Chapter and three members received their American Degrees — the highest degree that can be earned in the FFA. Cheyenne Adkins, MaKenna Holden and Kennedy Short received their American Degrees, and  Fayetteville FFA is incredibly proud of their achievements.

When the chapter was not in session, they attended a Lainey Wilson concert featuring Dillon Carmichael, toured the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Lincoln Tech and attended the World’s Toughest Rodeo.



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