Tyrone FFA Members Attend National Convention in Indianapolis

A group of Tyrone Area FFA members recently visited Indianapolis, Indiana to attend and compete at the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo. The members in attendance included: juniors Elizabeth Buck, Karly Diebold, Garin Hoy, and Wade Hendrickson, and sophomores Emma Bartel, Olivia Beck, Grace Peterson, and Jordan Snyder. 

On Tuesday, October 29, the group began their trip by boarding a charter bus at Sideling Hill Plaza in Waterfall, Pennsylvania. Other chapters on the bus were: Upper Dauphin FFA, West Perry FFA, and Topahoaken FFA. The e group stopped in Wheeling, West Virginia for a lunch break, and then continued their trip before stopping a couple of hours later in Fairborn, Ohio.

National Convention was a great experience,” said Synder, “I had a lot of fun and I would highly recommend it to any FFA member.

— Jordan Snyder

Located in Fairborn is Wright-Patterson Air Force Base which contains the United States Air Force Museum. With over 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles on display, the museum is the world’s largest military aviation museum and was popular among the visiting FFA members. 

“When I walked into the museum, it was like going into another world. It was a great experience getting to see all the airplane engines, missiles, and the inside of some warplanes,” remarked Buck. 

After departing from the museum, the members continued on their way to Indianapolis while stopping for dinner at Carver’s Family Restaurant in Richmond, Indiana. The group arrived at their hotel that evening and prepared for the following day.

Wednesday, October 30 was the members’ first day at the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo. Tyrone Area FFA’s Farm Business Management team began their competition today by completing an individual three-hour written exam. The members that competed on the team included: Wade Hendrickson, Grace Peterson, Emma Bartel, and Olivia Beck.

“Once I got into the room, I realized the test was a lot harder than I expected,” stated Bartel, “I realized that just because something is hard, doesn’t mean you have to give up it.”

The remaining members explored the conventions large shopping mall, which included various clothing and souvenir vendors, and attended a workshop on diversity called “Diversity Does Not Mean Deficit. It’s Just Difference.” Devine Carama, a hip hop artist, hosting the workshop which highlighted the meaning of diversity and how to advocate for it. 

“Devine did an amazing job speaking, and I hope to bring what he talked about back to our chapter,” said Hoy.

Later that day, junior Karly Diebold competed in the National FFA AgriScience Fair, and the group got back together to go to dinner at a local restaurant. Following dinner, the group had some social time back at the hotel where members played pool, card games, and talked with other chapter members. 

Thursday, October 31, was the busiest day for the members as the schedule was packed with activities. The Farm Business Management team started their morning by heading to compete in their full-team group activity, while the rest of the members attend an opening session. The opening session included a retiring address given by 2018-19 National FFA President, Luke O’Leary, and keynote speaker, author, Bob Goff. 

“The competition was difficult, but it was fun competing with the team,” said Beck.

After the team was done competing, the group got back together to attend Session 2 which included National Chapter Awards and a retiring address by 2018-19 Western Region Vice President, Shea Booster. Dinner at Punch Bowl Social followed the session and also allowed the members to participate in the arcade portion of the restaurant for over an hour. Following the session and dinner was a concert with country singer Brett Young, that the members greatly enjoyed.

“I thought Shea had a remarkable retiring address, and the session was better than I could’ve dreamed,” said Hendrickson.

Friday, November 1st, included a trip to Ozark Fisheries in nearby Martinsville, Indiana, along with a social night with the other chapters on the buses. The members had the choice to go bowling, compete in laser tag, mini-golf, and play in the arcade while enjoying pizza. Saturday morning came quickly and the FFA members packed up their bags and rode the bus home to Pennsylvania. 

The Farm Business Management Team received a bronze medal team ranking with junior Wade Hendrickson receiving an individual silver ranking, and sophomores Grace Peterson, Emma Bartel, and Olivia Beck receiving bronze.

“National Convention was a great experience,” said Synder, “I had a lot of fun and I would highly recommend it to any FFA member.”