The Future Farmers of America (FFA) recently held its 94th Annual Convention in Fort Worth from July 11-15 bringing together thousands of young people from Texas, including students from Tilden’s FFA chapter.

The Texas FFA Association was chartered in 1929. The organization seeks to contribute to a sophisticated model of secondary agricultural education in which students take part in classroom instruction as well as supervised agricultural experiences during their time with FFA.

The FFA as stated in its core mission and principles, works to “make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.”

During the convention, 70 Texas FFA members representing 58 FFA chapters from across the state were presented with $1.4 million in scholarships from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and there were other scholarships from various sponsors presented.

Scholarship recipients from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo were: Tilden FFA, Area 10, Charity Harris, $20,000, and Makenzie Sherrer, $20,000.

Receiving a $20,000 scholarship from the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, from Falls City, Area 10, was James Sartwelle, IV.

Aaron Lewis of Tilden was the recipient of a $2000 scholarship from Farm Credit.

The scholarship recipients from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo were selected by Texas FFA officials “based on the students’ involvement with the program, academic and FFA achievements and financial need, as well as the FFA member’s performance in an interview process” according to rodeo officials. Each scholarship recipient receives a $20,000 scholarship from the Rodeo to apply toward a four-year undergraduate degree at a Texas college or university of their choice.

“These FFA scholarships tie directly back to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s mission of promoting agriculture and supporting Texas youth and education, and we are so proud to support these students’ academic journeys,” said Chris Boleman, Rodeo president and CEO. “Many of these FFA scholars will actually go on to pursue a career that promotes agriculture, which makes these scholarships particularly meaningful to us at the Rodeo.”

Rodeo officials stated that the top four schools where many of the Rodeo scholarship students will be attending are: Texas A&M University, Tarleton State University, Texas Tech University and West Texas A&M University. Of the 70 FFA students taking home a scholarship award, the top four declared majors as they pursue higher education pathways include animal science, agricultural business, agricultural engineering and agricultural communications.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo “promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage and provides year-round educational support within the community,” officials stated.

Since its beginning in 1932, the Rodeo has committed in excess of $550 million to Texas youth. The 2023 Rodeo is scheduled for Feb. 28 – March 19. The 2023 World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, presented by Cotton Holdings, is scheduled for Feb. 23 – 25. For more information, visit rodeohouston.com.

Karnes City FFA members Lilly Nebraska, Isabella Kotara, Riley User, Louis Kroll and Kaslyn Moczygemba each received their FFA Lonestar Degree in a ceremony held Wednesday, July 13.

During the convention, students competed in several days of leadership contests and competitions in such diverse areas as an agricultural science fair, a rodeo and speaking events. Awards and scholarships were presented. According to organizers, students attending the convention were able to build their leadership skills, and at the same time, network with their peers from across the state.

Members from the Karnes City FFA also participated in a series of events throughout the five days of the convention including bringing school supplies to add to the organization’s backpack service initiative that partnered the Texas FFA association with Tarrant County and Our Community Our Kids for the annual convention service project,

Traveling with the Karnes City members were school advisors Katelyn Ebrom and Mick Kroll.

Student members especially enjoyed the Fun night at the convention, dressing up to a theme: Travel through Time, Decades.

On the final day of the convention, national television celebrity Mike Rowe offered humor and advice to those getting ready to head home for another year of school and service to the community. 

•baudet@mysoutex.com•

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