Members of the Big Walnut/DACC FFA will not just attend the 2015 National FFA Convention & Expo this year. A local team was selected to compete for national recognition in the Agricultural Issues Forum Career Development Event at the Oct. 28-31 convention in Louisville, Kentucky, according to a national FFA press release.
The agricultural issues forum is one of 24 national Career Development Event (CDE) areas, covering job skills in everything from communications to mechanics. FFA members present both sides of a current issue facing agriculture to local community groups before competing in the national event.
Big Walnut/DACC FFA members who will represent the chapter in the CDE are Gabby Adair, Harrison George, Lex Marvin, Meghann Hale and Troy Herrel.
Big Walnut High School ag science teacher and FFA adviser Jeff Stimmell said the students focused on the issue of urban sprawl.
“The students worked for weeks preparing for the state competition, which they won April 30 at the Ohio FFA State Convention,” Stimmell said. “Specifically, they studied the effects of the Simon-Tanger Outlet Mall and the NorthStar developments and the effects of those projects on agriculture in Delaware County.”
Stimmell said the students worked for several weeks preparing for the state competition.
The team members are all freshmen and sophomores, and each student took on the role of a community member affected by the issue and then acted out a meeting of the Berkshire Township trustees, Stimmell said.
“According to the awards and records in the Big Walnut ag science room, this is the first time in the history of the Big Walnut/DACC FFA that a team has qualified to compete in a Career Development Event at the national FFA convention,” Stimmell said. “After school starts, we will hold some fundraising events to help send our students to Louisville for the event.”
Stimmell said FFA rules stipulate that students who were on this year’s winning team are now ineligible to compete in the Agricultural Issues Forum CDE at the state level again, but a new group of students will chose a new issue and compete in the event next year.
The national FFA organization is a youth organization of 610,240 student members as part of 7,665 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
For more information, visit the national FFA organization online at < ffa.org >, on Facebook, Twitter and the official national FFA organization blog.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093