By: Co-Reporter, Grace Schminke
From October 26th to October 29th, 20 members of the Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Chapter traveled to the 95th Annual National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Senior member Josh Wiley was also selected to travel on behalf of Iowa FFA as a delegate and Junior member Rachel Rollinger was selected to participate in the National FFA Band.
Members left Wednesday morning and drove straight to Indiana. To keep them safe and organized, they were chaperoned by community members and parents Chad Newton, Nichole McKenna, Mari Sue Schminke, and Susan Rollinger.
From there the members attended the World's Toughest Rodeo which was exclusive to FFA members only or they visited a Conservatory in the city. The chapter spent the next day at the National Convention where they were able to attend workshops to improve their leadership skills, got to cheer on Rachel during her band performances, and attend sessions where they listened to guest speakers and had dance parties on the convention floor.Members were also able to explore the FFA Mega Shop and attend the FFA Exhibit center to meet leaders of the industry and talk to colleges.
At one of the sessions, the Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Chapter received a 3 Star Rating for National Chapter. To give perspective: 1 Star is the top 7.5% of chapters in the nation, 2 Star is top 5%, and 3 Star is top 1.5%.
On the following day, members spent the day touring several different areas. The chapter traveled to Kentucky and toured the Louisville Slugger Museum where they were able to learn how the baseball bats were made and about the timber industry. From there, they traveled to the Churchill Downs Racetrack where they learned how much it takes to care for race horses.
On the final day of the National Convention, the Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Chapter was able to acknowledge Phillip Kalina, in receiving his American Degree. This is the highest degree that a member can earn in FFA.
Overall the time spent in Indianapolis was a lot of fun and the members definitely created memories that they will never forget and can't wait to go back next year!
Members at Churchill Down Racetrack
Back Left to Right: Andrew Pingenot, Clayton McKenna, Austin Noe, Spencer Williams, Gunnar Schminke, Matthew Bookmeier, Paul Herger, Kail Evans, Christopher Fleming
Front Left to Right: Grayce McClintock, Kaelyn Pettyjohn, Kate Timmerman,
Grace Schminke, Rayleigh Stander, Alana Fleming, Megan Schlitter, Annabelle Newton, and Izzie BirkerFFA Photo
Back Left to Right: Andrew Pingenot, Paul Herger, Grace Schminke, Annabelle Newton, Gunnar Schminke, Matthew Bookmeier, Christopher Fleming, Spencer Williams, Kail Evans, and Clayton McKenna
Front Left to Right: Izzie Birker, Megan Schlitter, Rayleigh Stander, Baylee Wheeler, Kaelyn Pettyjohn, Autumn McGowan, Kate Timmerman, Grayce McClintock, Alana Fleming, and Austin Noe