The West Holmes FFA Chapter traveled to the National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana from October 26 to October 30. Sixteen FFA members attended the convention. The 16 members who attended the National Convention were: Cora Crilow, Maren Drzazga, Garrett Houin, Derek Miller, Jess Miller, Pacee Miller, Alex Pringle, Alysa Pringle, Bree Pringle, Leah Reining, Andi Schuch, Becca Schuch, Jenna Sheldon , Chloe Shumaker , Alexa Tate and Quentin Vehrs.
On Tuesday, the chapter left school to begin a riverboat ride with BB River Boats in Cincinnati. During the trip, they had dinner and danced. They spent that night in Kentucky before the first full day.
On Wednesday, the chapter started its day in Kentucky. They visited the University of Kentucky. After that, they left for Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is held. Then they watched how they made red candies at the Schimpff confectionery. To end the day, they were able to eat at a Japanese steakhouse in Indianapolis.
On Thursday, members attended the first session where they heard keynote speaker Courtenay Dehoff talk about her history as “Fancy Lady Cowgirl” and the need for people to share their stories. Later, members were able to shop and visit the trade show. After the show, they went to the next session and saw Brayden Shumaker on stage for his Masters in Agricultural Services. He earned a pin and $500 and represented 0.00029% of FFA membership. Finally, the members ate at an Italian restaurant and went to Cabelas to do some shopping.
They attended a session on Friday and heard a retirement speech from Eastern Region Vice President Miriam Hoffman. After the session, they visited Indy Speedway. Then they went to Not Just Popcorn to see how they make all their different flavors of popcorn. After that they went to Hunters Honey Bee Farm and saw how they get and make honey, and were able to bottle some of their own honey. To end the day, they ate pizza at the hotel.
On Saturday, the chapter saw graduates Ethan Drzazga, Macin Hager, Anna Irwin, Laura Irwin, Lexi Ogi, Kylie Ramirez, Brayden Shumaker, Tierra Slaubaugh and Chase Stitzlein receive their American degrees. The American Diploma is the most prestigious award given to anyone in FFA, it is a very difficult diploma to achieve, but its rewards are worth it. To earn this degree, candidates must have completed the Greenhand degree, Chapter degree, and State degree; they must also have been involved in FFA for at least three years; Must have graduated at least one year before the National Congress; invested a total of $7,500; have good leadership skills; been involved in a large number of community service activities; and maintained a “C” or better. They represent 1% of FFA members. Congratulations to all the members who received their American diplomas. After the session, the chapter made its way home safely.