The 85th annual Texas FFA State Convention recorded more than 11,000 members and guests. Members of the agricultural youth leadership organization spent the week attending leadership workshops, participating in events and activities, being recognized for their achievements and serving as the legislative body for the Texas FFA Association.
One of the highlights of the convention for George West FFA members was watching their very own Quest Newberry give his officer candidate speech on stage in front of more than 11,000 members and guests in his goal of becoming the next Texas FFA President.
More than $2 million in scholarships were awarded to FFA members and more than 1,700 members received the Lone Star FFA Degree, the highest degree of active membership bestowed by a state FFA association. More than 2,000 members were recognized on stage for their accomplishments.
Kate Jimerson, Ashley Keadle and Quest Newberry were all awarded an $18,000 scholarship, sponsored by Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Jimerson, Keadle and Newberry were awarded for their qualifications in academic achievement, leadership, SAE, FFA involvement, financial need and personal interview.
Shelby James, Tara Liska and Cason Newberry were awarded the Lone Star FFA Degree, which is the highest degree bestowed by the Texas FFA. The Lone Star FFA Degree recognizes FFA members who have received the Chapter degree, been active FFA members for at least two years, complete at least four semesters of agricultural science at or above the ninth-grade level, maintain a supervised agricultural experience program, demonstrate their leadership skills and show a commitment to the FFA through involvement at the chapter level and above.
James, Liska and Newberry were one of more than 1,700 FFA members receiving this esteemed degree.
The George West FFA was named as a gold-level chapter for the esteemed Golden Horizon award in the multi-teacher division. The gold-level Golden Horizon award is the highest state rating to be bestowed upon a Texas FFA chapter. Golden Horizon award selection is based on exceptional chapter involvement and activities within the school and community. The Golden Horizon award recognizes well-rounded chapter involvement that promotes maximum participation, in order to deliver all facets of the agricultural education program.
James, Jimerson, Newberry and Bruce Williams were all recognized as a state champion in Livestock Judging. Career Development Events build on what is learned in agricultural classes and encourage members to put their knowledge into practice. These events are designed to help a member prepare for a career in agriculture by testing and challenging the student’s technical, leadership, interpersonal and teamwork skills as well as their knowledge of the subject matter.
Members also competed for state titles in public speaking and Agriscience events. In the interest of premier leadership, personal growth and career success, the Texas FFA Association also offered an opportunity for students to compete in the fourth annual Spanish Creed Speaking Invitational Event. The Creed delivery and the five-minute question-answer period were conducted entirely in Spanish.
James placed second in the Texas FFA Prepared Public Speaking Contest. To qualify for the state competition, James advanced through one of 57 district competitions in the state and finished as an area winner or runner-up.
Participants prepare and present a six-to-eight-minute speech about a current agricultural topic. Speakers present their speech before a panel of judges and followed by a five-minute question-answer series designed to test the student’s knowledge of the chosen subject matter.
James also served on the Texas FFA Convention Media staff. James was one of 15 FFA members chosen to serve on the Convention Media staff, which consists of the Convention Chronicle and the Convention Report. The Chronicle is the official newspaper of the Texas FFA Convention and is published during the week of convention. The Chronicle staff consisted of editors, photographers, reporters and layout designers. The inaugural Convention Report newscast was also produced by the staff.
The Convention Media staff is a significant commitment that begins at 7 a.m. each day and doesn’t wrap up until past midnight each night. It is deadline-specific and requires great attention to detail. The staff underwent a competitive application process to be chosen, and then attended Camp Chronicle, a two-day training session that gave them the necessary skills to succeed as part of the Convention Media staff.
George West FFA members who attended the convention were: James Baker, Bella Chapa, Sarah Crawford, Bethany Davis, Chase Galloway, Matthew Hyde, Shelby James, Kate Jimerson, Jacy Johnson, Alison Katzfey, Kailey Keach, Ashley Keadle, Tara Liska, Blake Mosley, Laney Mosley, Cason Newberry, Quest Newberry, Garrett Pawlik, Darren Rhodes, Taylor Thompson, Bruce Williams and Walker Wright.