Garden Spot FFA attends State Convention at Penn State

The beginning of June means a lot of different things. To some people it means no school and more free time, to some it means vacations, and trips, but to FFA members the beginning of June means it's time for learning, competing, testing our knowledge, seeing the results of our labor, making new new friends, and exciting adventures.

Garden Spot FFA
(fourth row) Gwenn Spotts, Mikayla Miller, Leah Welk, Jess Herr
(third row) Roddie Rice, Tobias Leaman, Gracie Hess, Danae Ranck
(second row) Carter Meck, Bella Eckert, Stephanie Mays
(first row) Bryce Johnson, Austin McFalls, Dylan Lechner, Jordan Martin

The month of June means PA FFA State Convention. On June 12, 13, and 14, fifteen members of the Garden Spot FFA Chapter at Lampeter - Strasburg High School traveled to Penn State University to attend the 89th Pennsylvania FFA State Convention. PA FFA State Convention is full of competitions, sessions, speakers, awards, and much more.
Milk Quality and Products Team - Danae Ranck, Bella Eckert, and Gracie Hess
Each member that attended State Convention was required to participate in a Career Development Event (CDE) or a Leadership Development Event (LDE). These events allowed members to learn and gain knowledge about specific careers they are interested in. Some CDE’s and LDE’s were individual and others involved teams. Some required members to attend county or regional level competitions before attending States. Each member spent the months before preparing for their competition by researching, taking practice tests, and meeting with professionals.

Meat Evaluation Team - Tobias Leaman, Carter Meck, and Stephanie Mays

During 2 days of testing and competitions, members compete for their chance to represent Pennsylvania FFA at National Convention. 15 members proudly represented our chapter by competing and receiving awards. The Agricultural Mechanics Team placed 9th. Dylan Lechner placed 26th, Jordan Martin placed 29th, Roddie Rice placed 36th, and Austin McFalls placed 43rd individually. The Meat Evaluation Team placed 2nd. Tobias Leaman placed 3rd, Stephanie Mays placed 7th, and Carter Meck placed 23 individually. The Small Gas Engines Team placed 6th. Bryce Johnson placed 10th and Gwenn Spotts placed 11th individually. In Milk Quality and Products, Danae Ranck placed 4th, Bella Eckert placed 11th, and Gracie Hess placed 15th individually. In Senior Prepared Public Speaking, Leah Welk placed 7th.

Talent and Chapter Delegate - Mikayla Miller
In Junior Prepared Public Speaking, Jess Herr placed 3rd. Mikayla Miller placed 2nd in Talent and was our chapter delegate. Our chapter scrapbook, created by Mikayla Miller and Danae Ranck, placed 9th.

Ag Mechanics Team - Jordan Martin, Dylan Lechner, Austin McFalls, and Roddie Rice

During State Convention, members attended 3 sessions. Each session highlighted events from the year, award winners, and guest speakers. The first session featured the Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Pennsylvania State University, Dean Richard Roush, and PA Secretary of Agriculture, Russell Redding. Both speakers addressed the importance of strengthening the agriculture industry. The keynote speaker, during session one, was 2016-2017 National FFA Western Region Vice President, Trey Elizondo. He encouraged members to overcome their fears and find their strengths. He used stories from his high school career to show how his fears hindered his ability to succeed. He shared how his time in the blue jacket, help to shaped him into the person he is now. He also emphasized that the blue jacket does not define the member inside it, instead strengthen and help the member to define themself outside of the blue jacket. 

Small Gas Engines Team - Bryce Johnson and Gwenn Spotts

Also, during the first session Leah Welk was recognized as the State Proficiency Winner in Diversified Agricultural Production. During the second session, special guest, Kate Garnes, shared more encouragement with members. She also shared how fear control most of her early life. The pressure from others around her made her feel unworthy. However, following her own dreams and being her own person helped her to succeed. She encouraged members to surround themselves with positive and uplifting people. She also advised members not to low their standards for someone who is not willing to raise their own standards. During the third session, members were awarded in their CDE and LDE competitions, and the 2018-2019 State Officers were selected.
Prepared Public Speaking - Leah Welk and Jess Herr
Members spent the remainder of their 3 days at the 89th PA FFA State Convention learning, enjoying activities on the Penn State Campus, making new friends, and restoring old friendships.

--By Danae Ranck, FFA reporter

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