Pictured: (Top left)Ben Mcgowan, Wes McKenna, Ben Buhr, Andrew Pingenot, Austin Noe, Jerry Lee, Dallas Fairbanks, (Second row) Will McKenna, Cooper McClintock, Izzie Birker, Megan Schlitter, Grayce McClintock, Juliana Luis, (Third row) Anabelle Hernandez, Kelcie Appleby, Mac Goodell, and Alana Fleming. All of these members are on the track of the "Indianapolis 500"

By: Co-Reporter Izzie Birker and Co-Reporter Juliana Luis

The National FFA Convention took place on 1st-4th of November and the Vinton-Shellsburg Chapter got the opportunity to take 17 FFA members to Indianapolis to the Lucas Oil Stadium for the most fun-filled week of their lives! They started the week out by going on a tour of a local reindeer farm called Hardy's Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul, Illinois. This was a great opportunity for the members to learn more about reindeer production and how to take care of them. This was also a great time for them to work on their teamwork skills while navigating themselves through a 10 acre large corn maze.

During the rest of the days in Indianapolis members got to participate in the daily sessions that the National Officers put on that included dance parties, lots of amazing messages about leadership, and awards for members' hard work in contests and chapter operations. Members also got to hear all of the retiring speeches of the National Officers and many different guest speakers. VS- FFA also received an award for our 2-star national chapter rating, Andrew Pingenot and Grayce McClintock got the opportunity to walk across the stage and represent Vinton-Shellsburg while accepting the award.

The following day, members started with a session in the morning, then we went to a family-style lunch where they also took food to those in need as an act of kindness. Then afterwards they enjoyed a 1.3 mile hike to see Indiana's oldest Bur Oak and walk off all that pasta! Members toured Traders Point Creamery where we got to see how a small dairy farm is run and the amazing products that they make. A long day full of sessions and walking was all worth it because for that night's activity they were able to go to Top Golf to practice their amazing golfing skills. This was also just a good time for all of the members to relax, eat some good food and just have a good time!

Members also toured the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the "Kiss the Bricks" tour where they got the opportunity to go all the way around the track itself and see the memorial of the original brick track. They also got the chance to tour the museum and see all of the past racers and their cars! While at convention, members also got to explore the expo center full of industry experts and colleges that support agriculture.

On the last day of the National Convention members went to the first of the morning sessions, then took the time to go walk around Indianapolis and see Memorial Circle. We also got time to tour some of the stores and buy some souvenirs to take home! The chapter also had three American Degrees awarded: Emma Arnold, Ethan Rollinger, and Emma Wiley. These three recipients had to spend a lot of time and effort in their SAE, they dedicated many hours to their project and were awarded the highest degree that a FFA member can receive! All in all the group of members thought it was a successful National Convention and want to thank to all of the people that made this trip possible!


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