Elizabeth Farrell, Ashley Cox, Jessica Rogers, Gracie Kempken, Kody Pederson, Braden Bergman, Cole Gordon
Seven members of the Friendswood FFA Chapter ventured to Fort Worth, Texas July 9-13 to attend the 90th Annual Texas FFA State Convention. The State Convention is where FFA members and agricultural science teachers all over Texas gather together to meet new people, attend leadership workshops and recognize individuals and chapters who received awards and scholarships throughout the year. The theme for this year’s convention was “It’s Time.” The motive behind this theme was to inspire people to take action and make a difference in the here-and-now. The theme emphasized the idea of not putting something off until later because “there is no better time than now.”
Each day consisted of three sessions in which attendees heard state officers give their retiring addresses and guest speakers tell their stories on what made them who they are today. One of the guest speakers was Bill Sarpalius, former US Representative and Texas FFA President. Bill talked about how he had a hard time growing up, but did not allow the adversity affect the rest of his life. When he was younger he went to the Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch where his love for FFA grew. He was a very active member and, in 1969, he made the motion to allow females into the organization. Additionally, he published a book called The Grand Duke from Boys Ranch which illustrated his experience. Bill taught his listeners to not let the hardships they face represent who they are, but let the hardships teach them a lesson to do better.
The FHS FFA Chapter also attended leadership workshops where “Success” and “Speak Ag” were the topics. In the “Success” workshop, members defined what success meant to them, shared what success meant to each other and discussed the obstacles that might get in one’s way. In the “Speak Ag” workshop, members talked about the misconceptions in the agricultural world and ways FFA members can educate people on those misconceptions.
In the evenings, there were different events such as the Flatland Cavalry concert, rodeo night, a dance, stockyards visits, emergency Walmart runs and dinners all over town.
What everyone did over the course of those five days opened their eyes to new things they got to bring back and show people in their chapter such as scholarship and fundraiser ideas, how to get their chapters more involved in activities and ways to get people to join their chapter. The convention showed them they need to make changes in their chapters if they want to be the ones to make a difference. Overall, everyone got to know their chapter members and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Friendswood FFA Reporter