Victory in Indy
Missouri FFA members earn top awards at the national convention
Missouri FFA chapters brought home five first-place awards among many other honors from the 95th National FFA Convention & Expo, held Oct. 26-29 in Indianapolis.
Two of those national winners came from the same chapter—Audrain County R-VI FFA—in Agricultural Proficiency categories, which honor outstanding work in supervised agricultural experiences (SAE). Emily Hoyt took first place in Agricultural Education with a project involving her work with Missouri Farmers Care’s Ag Education on the Move program. She also served as a teaching assistant for seventh- and eighth-grade agriculture classes.
Justin Duenke, a fellow Audrain County FFA member, was the national winner in Diversified Agricultural Production, Entrepreneurship/Placement. His SAE involved multiple areas, including grain, oil crops, forage production and tending to beef cattle and Haflinger draft horses on his family farm in Laddonia.
Trenton Jones of the Higginsville FFA Chapter was tops in the nation for Diversified Horticulture. He works at C&M Farms greenhouse and operates his own plant store, Trent’s Tropicals, which he started in his backyard by selling exotic plants on social media.
Gallatin FFA member Trent Lane Dowell was the national proficiency winner in Wildlife Production and Management. He has a two-part SAE involving wildlife habitat management and deer feed mineral production.
North Shelby FFA also captured a national championship in Agronomy as part of the convention’s Career and Leadership Development Events. North Shelby member Luke Schwanke was the top-placing individual in Ag Technology and Mechanical Systems competition, in which his team also won second place overall.
Other top-placing chapters in CDE/LDE events included second places for Farm and Agribusiness Management, Palmyra; Poultry, Columbia; and Nursery/Landscape, Van-Far, with Ennis Childs as the top-placing individual. Third-place honors went to North Shelby for Conduct of Meetings and Troy for Parliamentary Procedure. North Callaway took fourth place for Floriculture, Forsyth earned fifth place in Forestry, Fair Grove came in seventh in Livestock Evaluation and Monroe City landed ninth place in Food Science. Lauren Bailey of Clinton FFA was the fifth-placing individual in Horse Evaluation.
During the national convention, Missouri members were also awarded 582 American FFA Degrees, the most from any state in 2022. Less than one-half of 1% of all FFA members earn this top individual honor given by the organization.
In 2022, a total of 35 Missouri chapters received the highest available rating, three stars, with the Blue Springs FFA chapter named as a “Premier Chapter: Building Communities” national finalist. Centralia FFA was selected to represent Missouri in the “Hall of States,” an exhibit that provides members the opportunity to learn about various agricultural industries through interactive booths created by FFA chapters across the nation.
Nine Missourians were also awarded Honorary American FFA Degrees, which are given to individuals who have provided exceptional service on a national level to agriculture, agricultural education or FFA. This year’s recipients are Dave Baker of Columbia, the late Edward Hager of Eugene, Eddie Sydenstricker of Mexico, Aimee Hood of O’Fallon, Mindy McDermott of St. Louis, McKenzie Conner of Neosho, and agricultural teachers Sherry Byram of Owensville and Sarah Peterson of Mansfield.
FFA student enrollment is now at a record high of 850,823 members, an increase of 15% from last year. In addition, chapter numbers increased by 178 over the past year, numbering 8,995 in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Missouri has 26,260 members from 353 chapters, ranking it eighth in national membership.
A full list of this year’s award winners and event results are available at www.ffa.org/95th-convention-event-results.
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