OESJ Students Attend 90th Annual NYS FFA Convention

Members of the Mohawk Valley FFA chapter at OESJ High School brought home several honors from this year’s New York State FFA Convention, including a first place state win in the Talent Competition.

This year 11 OESJ students attended the NYS FFA Convention held May 14 to 16 at SUNY Morrisville in Morrisville, NY. At the convention, approximately 1,000 teens from across the state competed in Career Development events, earned scholarships, listened to speakers, attended workshops, tours and sessions, and conducted state-level business to guide the New York FFA Association into the coming year.  

Laiken Whittredge auditioned against 25 other talent acts, earning first place in the talent competition for her hula-hooping act.  By placing first at the state level, Laiken qualified to apply for the talent competition that will be held at the National FFA Convention in October of 2015.  The OESJ Parliamentary Procedure team placed fifth at the state convention after qualifying to compete at the District and Substate level competitions in March.  Members of the OESJ team are Laiken Whittredge, Liam Sammons, Zach Tinkler, Aidan Eggleston, Jeff Baker, and Aryn Feagles. Eighth grade student Casey Watson also competed in Junior Tool Identification.

Also bringing home honors were Zach Tinkler and Aryn Feagles who received bronze rankings for their Proficiency Degrees in Dairy Production Placement.  Kait Isaac earned the Tractor Supply Company Growing Scholars scholarship in the amount of $1000, and two scholarships from SUNY Morrisville in the amount of $250 per semester for her participation in the FFA and $10,000 for her role as a NYS FFA State Officer.  

When not in competition, students attended many sessions, educational tours, and workshops, including a “TED Talk” on GMOs given by OESJ Sophomore, Jeff Baker.  Students were able to tour SUNY Morrisville’s Equine Rehabilitation Center and local businesses Nelson Farms and Gold Star Feed.  Students heard a keynote speech from Ryan Porter on making decisions, as well as a speech from National FFA Secretary, Victoria Maloch from Arkansas.  Zach Tinkler also served as the chapter’s delegate, attending committee hearings and voting at the business session on motions that affect NYS FFA as a whole, including the election of next year’s state and district level officers.

OESJ CSD Senior Kait Isaac was there representing NYS FFA as the NYS FFA State Reporter for the 2014 - 2015 school year.  Kait participated in opening ceremonies, chaired sessions, gave her retiring address, presented NYS FFA members with awards, and officially retired from her state position.

The co-advisors for the Mohawk Valley FFA are OESJ High School teachers Kristy Shafer and Christopher Smith.

Above: NYS FFA Reporter and Mohawk Valley FFA Member Kait Isaac delivers the Reporter’s speech as part of the opening ceremonies.

Below: Mohawk Valley FFA Members at the NYS FFA Convention at SUNY Morrisville.

Below: Zach Tinkler and Aryn Feagles ranked Bronze with their Proficiency Awards in Dairy Production Placement.

Below: Laiken Whittredge took first place in the talent show with her hula-hooping act.