George West FFA members who attended the convention were, Noah Arciba, James Baker, Derek Cantu, Shelby James, Kate Jimerson, Kailey Keach, Katelyn Keach, Ashley Keadle, Bailey Keith, Tara Liska, Blake Mosley, Cason Newberry, Quest Newberry, Garrett Pawlik, Taylor Thompson, Sarah Whitley and Bruce Williams.
The 84th annual Texas FFA Convention recorded more than 10,000 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.
More than $2 million in scholarships were awarded to FFA members and more than 1,500 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. Cantu, Jimerson, Katelyn Keach, Keith, Quest Newberry, and Williams were among the recipients.
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 (SAE) program, demonstrate their leadership skills and show a commitment to the FFA through involvement at the chapter level and above.
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 a Spanish version Creed Speaking Event for the first time in its history. The Creed delivery and the five-minute question-answer period were conducted entirely in Spanish.
Texas FFA honored soldiers and all American military service personnel, including Retired Marine Corporal Anthony Villarreal, during the Honoring Our Heroes Ceremony. In 2008, Villarreal suffered severe burns when a roadside bomb detonated near the vehicle he was riding in on a mail and water run in Afghanistan. It was his third combat tour; the first two were in Iraq.
Members heard from National FFA Central Region Vice President Alicia Hodnik, as well as motivational speakers Judson Laipply and Chad Hymas.
Agriculture advocate Jeff Fowle addressed FFA members on the importance of sharing the positive experiences of agriculture through all media outlets. Texas Country music artist Wade Bowen also performed exclusively for FFA members.
The Texas FFA has evolved from an organization focusing primarily on production agriculture, to a broader-based encompassing organization that addresses the needs and interests of students in urban and suburban schools in addition to the rural communities from which FFA rose in 1929.
The Texas FFA is the nation’s largest state FFA associations with a membership of more than 86,000 and more than 1,000 local FFA chapters. FFA gives students the opportunity to apply practical classroom knowledge to real world experiences through local, state and national competitions. For more information about the Texas FFA Association visit www.texasffa.org.