The 83rd Indiana FFA State Convention Opened with a bang and ended the same way. Here are Highlights from the event.
Monday, June 18- Opening session- Scott McKain is a once-in-a-lifetime speaker with a smooth voice that has taken him all over the country speaking, and even into Hollywood circles ins tints doing movie reviews. He's also a best-selling author. McKain was form Crothersville, FFA, and was the 1972 state president, and later a national officer. He returned to open the convention with an action-packed speech that left the audience wanting more.
One of his inspirational moments involved Taxi Terry, a cab driver in Jacksonville, Florida, who made his business different by going above and beyond to make sure customers not only liked his service, but recognized him the next it, they needed a cab. McKain made the point that we need to set ourselves apart, and differentiate ourselves from others. FFA can help do that, he says.
Retiring address- Jacob Mattox, 2011-2012 state officer, Greensburg, delivered one of the best retiring addresses ever, revealing in dramatic fashion that he was the cause of a fatal accident just two years earlier. He ran the gamut of emotions, and made a plea to all young people that if you has a problem, help was out there, just a call or text or email away from friends and family.
Tuesday, June 19- Due to conflict sin scheduling, the morning sessions moved back to Loeb Playhouse, which once held the entire convention. Today the convention has outgrown this facility, and all seats were packed at 8:30 a.m. each morning. Overall, just under 3,000 people registered for the convention. Loeb Playhouse holds 1,100 people. Elliott Hall of Music, home of the convention for the past several years, holds 6,000.
Despite the cramped quarters, members receive awards in various categories. Breaking New Ground presented awards to chapters who had taken special effort sot do a project to help the disabled. The award is open to all groups, not just FFA chapters. The Warrick County Extension Homemakers took first place for efforts they took in making their fairgrounds handicap accessible. Franklin FFA took second for installing sidewalks and taking other measures to make the environment user-friendly for people with special needs. Places three though sixth also went to FFA members.
At the Tuesday afternoon session, 47 winners were named in proficiency awards. Winners will move on to compete at the National level.
At the Tuesday evening session, 367 members from Indiana's 9,500 total membership were awarded the Hoosier degree. Members must complete SAE projects and FFA Leadership and Community Service events to qualify for the award. Jay County alone took home 28 Hoosier Farmer Degrees.
The Stars over Indiana were awarded at this session.
Wednesday, June 20- The morning session featured introduction of winners in Leadership contests. There are more than 20 contests in leadership alone that are held each year at the state level.
Finally, in the afternoon session, top chapters were announced and the state officers for 2012-2012 were elected. The slate of the nominating committee was passed.
When the gavel fell, there was no doubt this was another action-packed, vibrant convention which keeps people coming to convention each year.