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Pettisville FFA Members Share Their National Convention Experiences
Jacob Dennis
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Each student that attended National FFA Convention was asked to write a paragraph about the trip. Thank you for all the continued support of FFA members.

Lynnsey Crouch: Traveling to Indianapolis, Indiana for National FFA Convention benefitted me because I learned things about the cattle industry that will help me in my future career path. I learned that feeder calves can gain about 16 more pounds if you feed them textured feeds instead of pelleted feeds. The textured feeds help to develop the digestive system better because they are harder for the calf to digest, whereas pellet feeds are easy to digest. Also, at convention I saw a Case IH tractor that drives itself and does not require a person to sit in the tractor. Thank you for your support of our trip to National FFA Convention.

Jessie McWatters: Having the opportunity to go to National FFA Convention in Indianapolis was an eye opening experience. I learned many things, such as race cars don’t actually have paint on them. In fact, what looks like paint is really just a sticker. We all had the opportunity to listen to an United States Army food scientist which taught me many leadership skills. Also, being able to visit colleges I might consider going to in the future was interesting and got me thinking what I might want to do for my career. I am currently a freshman. For my first time at National Convention, I thought that the speakers were very meaningful. I enjoyed listening to each retiring address of the National Officers, for they gave me an insight of what my future in FFA might look like. National Convention was a fantastic event for learning, improving leadership skills, making new friends, and improving old friendships. We appreciate you supporting us on such an amazing chance to grow as a person.

Kayla Wyse: I learned many things at the National FFA Convention. One was how the cars that race on the Indy 500 track have their engines placed in the back of the car instead of the front and the pressure in the tires is very sensitive. The pressure has to be an exact amount or the tires could blow out. There are also tires within a tire. I also learned that some colleges do not have out-of-state students pay out-of-state tuition. I learned that the autonomous tractor is operated by GPS and the directions that are programed to it. I saw different ways I can grow my SAE projects and some guidelines on what I should have in order to have a good application for the Stars Over America award. The sessions were interesting. I really enjoyed Sidney Snider's (National Officer from Ohio) retiring address and how she incorporated scripture into it and didn't care what other people would say. I really enjoyed going to National Convention and would recommend it to others because you get to know your classmates better and there is much to see and learn.

Gretchen Lee: This year at the National FFA Convention, I was able to both explore the Expo and sit in on the sessions. I enjoyed all of the keynote speakers that spoke during the sessions, and was impressed by the retiring addresses made by the National Officer Team. These addresses covered a range of topics including embracing your uniqueness, being the hope in others’ lives, learning to appreciate the silver linings in disappointment, and being passionate and committed to what you do. I walked away from these feeling inspired to better myself and my leadership skills. As for the Expo, I learned about a vehicle that was made by some students at Purdue that was designed to be an all-purpose vehicle/engine costing only 200 dollars to make. We were also able to hear the Secretary of Agriculture speak about how valuable the upcoming generation of agriculturalists are and how important agriculture will be in combating hunger. One quote of his that I particularly liked was “A country that feeds itself is stronger.” This emphasizes the importance of developing high quality farm programs in the US.

Mauricea Crouch: National FFA Convention was definitely a great experience for me. I learned many new facts about the racing profession and many other great career tracks, but what really got my attention was the sessions at the convention itself. The speakers were really great and all their stories and life changing moments really stuck with me. My favorite part was the retiring address of the National FFA Secretary, Nick Baker. He had so much experience and knowledge to share. He really inspired me to be a better leader and really start to live my life with so much more purpose. I have learned many leadership skills from many of the keynote speakers and others who shared their words of wisdom from the stage, in the trade show and even the many car rides back and forth from the convention center. This was a great life experience and I never wanted to leave. It was well worth the drive and the time just to hear the people and their life journeys.

Jacob Dennis: This was my third time attending convention, and it never ceases to amaze me. I competed in the National Agriscience Fair for the second time, and I couldn’t believe how much better quality the projects were compared to two years ago. One of my favorite parts of convention is the Expo. I enjoyed talking with the company reps and getting the free goodies, such as the Culver’s frozen custard that CSX was giving out. Listening to the national officers retiring addresses was also an enjoyable experience. As I am a senior, this is probably the last time I will ever attend the full convention. I plan on getting my American FFA Degree, but I will only probably attend the last session on Saturday. I will always remember attending convention, and I hope that the things that I learned at convention will help me the rest of my life.

Drake McKeever: This was my first time at the National FFA Convention and it was a lot of fun because I learned what colleges have to offer when it comes to agriculture. But one of the booths that really interested me was the Army booth. One of the many things that interested me was the rifles they had at the booth .The rifles they had there have fine tuning instruments to move the rifle up or down. Or they were used to stabilize the rifle. They also had a black ops trailer where you could see what the army uses on missions they go on. But I will always remember this convention because of the new things I learned about colleges and other places.

James Eicher: I'm a senior and this was my first time going too National FFA Convention. I enjoyed looking at the displays that people had to offer and I enjoyed the new equipment and technologies they had there. I really enjoyed the CASE IH booth because they came out with a self driving tractor that drives and operates itself with no one driving it at all, which I thought was pretty cool.

Madeleine Wixom: This was my first time at National Convention and I learned so much! I learned in the Indy 500 museum, that all race cars now have sticker wraps instead of paint and their headlights are just stickers too. I also learned that the tires were double layered, that way if their tire blew the other one could be there as reinforcement. I spent most of my time in the career and trade show. I learned and talked to a lot of different businesses about what their business did/sold and learned how it affected agriculture. I also got the chance to talk to colleges about the different careers they had that I might be interested in. I really enjoyed Colin Ryan , a keynote speaker, because he taught me how to save my money and how to dream as big as I wanted to. Most of all I had a great time learning about agriculture with my friends and getting to spend more time than normal with them in an agriculture related environment.

Stetson Aeschliman: This was my first time traveling to Indianapolis for National FFA Convention. I enjoyed walking around the trade center which offered all different careers and colleges. One college booth I visited was mainly about welding. It showed different types of places a student would work during and after school. They showed welding in the shop, to a big boat, to a very tall skyscraper! It was very cool to look at all the machinery and vehicles they had including two self driving tractors made by both Case IH and New Holland. They also had two monster trucks and a drag racing boat that could reach speeds up to two hundred and eighty miles an hour! Thank you so much for donating to help me along with other students to go see and do things other kids may never be able to see.

Jordan: This was my third National FFA Convention and it never fails that I find something new to learn at each one. The retiring address from National FFA Secretary Nick Baker was the most inspiring for me. He talked about how your passion is your own and not to let anyone stop you from completing your goals. I never walk out of convention disappointed. Convention was at the Indiana Pacers arena, which was pretty cool to be at in itself. As a Agriscience presenter it was so cool to be able to look at other projects, as well as get to present my own. I made new friends as well as reconnected with old ones. I can't thank you enough for the opportunity of a lifetime! Because of your donation myself and others got to experience things that is life changing and leadership building. Thanks again!