• 59°

Austin FFA goes virtual at national convention

Austin FFA members attended the 2020 National FFA Convention via livestream in October.

The National Convention is usually held in Indianapolis with 67,000 members from across the country attending; however, this year it was live streamed. The national convention is a place where FFA members can connect with each other and learn about leadership and experience opportunities in FFA.

Austin FFA members took part in the annual National Convention in October. Photo provided

“We are very proud of our students for taking part in this year’s virtual National FFA Convention,” said Austin High School Agriculture Teacher/co-FFA advisor Nick Schiltz. “This is one of the main highlights for our students each year, and the trip to Indianapolis for convention ranks as a bucket list item for any FFA student. The experience is unlike any other for them. They get a glimpse into like-minded and aged students are doing all across the United States. We made the best of it this year! We had 14 students take part virtually, we shared pizza, ice cream, and discussed what we were learning. In all, it was meant to be a fun night of companionship, friendship, comradery, safe-distance learning, and intrigue for all students. Our students left excited for FFA and especially for next year’s Convention.”

Topics covered included national awards, opportunities in FFA, FFA experiences, scholarship opportunities, national officers retiring addresses, humility, finding your own strengths and how to connect with others.

“It was truly amazing to hear the president speak,” said Austin FFA member Katie VanPelt.

Many FFA members are looking forward to national convention next year.

“I miss all the activities and memories made [at convention] but we were able to make different memories this year,” said  Gloria Hansen

“I am hoping for an in person convention next year,” added Blake VanPelt.

“As the new co-advisor of the Austin High School FFA, I am honored to be part of such a great group of young adults,” said Austin High School co-FFA advisor Kim Schechinger. “We have so many individuals that bring so many different qualities to our chapter. Yes, I have to be honest, I was also bummed we were not able to go to Indy this year, as I was honored 2 years ago to accompany several of this year’s Juniors and Seniors. It would have been a great way to celebrate the upcoming closure of our Seniors high school FFA careers.  But as it was, we adjusted and held a virtual convention food and all. A big part of going to convention is the chapter meal at Golden Corral. Sorry seniors for not being able to uphold this tradition, but we will set a place at our table in your honor, should it all happen next year. Our chapter has accomplished so many wonderful and rewarding projects so far this year, in such a short time under the current conditions. I am very proud of each and every one of you! You all make me FFA proud.”

FFA stands for “Future Farmers of America.” FFA challenges its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in various career pathways.