Minnesota FFA resumes traditional State Convention, April 24-26

Published 7:26 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2022

93rd annual event carries the theme ‘Thrive’

More than 4,000 FFA members, teachers, adult supporters and sponsors will gather April 24-26 for the first time in nearly three years, resuming a tradition that was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the theme Thrive, Minnesota FFA will celebrate the accomplishments of students who have excelled in leadership, career exploration, science, community involvement and agriculture experiences.

“All across Minnesota, FFA students, advisors, supporters, and parents are thrilled to have the State Convention return to an in-person format,” said Austin High School FFA co-advisor Nick Schiltz. “Attending State Convention is one of the hallmarks for many FFA students, a culmination of the hard work they put into their studies and work experiences throughout the years. For some students, this will be the first in-person Convention they have attended. The excitement is very high for 2022’s State FFA Convention.”

The organization’s 93rd Convention is taking place during a benchmark year of 15,000 student members, the highest since the 1980s. Nineteen FFA chapters chartered over the past three years are indicative of the growth Minnesota FFA experienced, even during the challenging 2020 and 2021 school years.

“FFA has provided myself and my team with an abundance of moments where we were at our best,” said Emily Matejka, the 2021-2022 Minnesota FFA president, from Martin County West. “As we shaped our year and influence, we wanted members to remember that FFA continues to provide these thriving moments for all members.”

General sessions, workshops, state competition Career Development Event and Leadership Development Event contests, and selection of the 2022-2023 Minnesota FFA State Officers will take place at a combination of the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus, the 3M Arena at Mariucci – University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

“In 2022, many of our students will be experiencing this event in person for the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Matejka said. “State FFA Officers, teachers and partners are eager to provide opportunities to help these students not only find belonging and success, but discover the traditions and culture of FFA in a way they haven’t been able to in a virtual world.”

Fifteen students have been selected as FFA Star finalists with their Supervised Agricultural Experiences. Winners will be named Monday evening, April 25.

Finalists for Star Farmer include: Addison Hillman, Brainerd FFA; Taylor Lacek, Russell Tyler Ruthton FFA; Jessica Willegal, GFW Pioneer Express FFA; and Isaac Larry Beck, Hayfield FFA.

Selected as finalists for Star in Production Placement are: Andrew Caughey, Brainerd FFA; Blake Krienke, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA; Kyle Hagen, Glencoe-Silver Lake FFA; and Sophie Lynn Kyllonen, Sleepy Eye FFA.

Finalists for Star in AgriBusiness are: Catie Erickson, Fertile-Beltrami FFA; William Benjamin Bugbee, Paynesville FFA; Caldyn Huper, United South Central FFA; and Matthew Schell, Lewiston-Altura FFA.

The three finalists for Star in Agri Science are: Colton Converse, Staples-Motley FFA; Katherine Miller, Stillwater FFA; and Lance Thomas Sawatzky, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg FFA.