Zane Trace and Paint Valley travels to National FFA Convention
Zane Trace and Paint Valley started the trip to the National FFA Convention early Wednesday morning on October 30. Zane Trace had 34 people attending and Paint Valley had 10 people attending. Their first stop on their journey to Louisville, Kentucky was to Jungle Jim’s, the largest single story grocery store in America. Here, they had a tour where they got to try a wide variety of foods, such as cheesy worms, dragon fruit, and sushi.
Once the bus arrived in Louisville, they headed straight to the Kentucky Expo Center for the FFA Career Show. The Career Show is a huge event where companies and colleges from all over the country come and set up booths, giving students the chance to find learn about options they have in their future through agriculture. “It was really cool to see what all I can do in agriculture once I get out of high school,” said Ann Shelby.
Next on the schedule was Opening Session. There were over 50,000 FFA Members at this single session. It was a stadium full of blue corduroy jackets representing our country’s future of agriculture. At Opening Session, the National FFA band and Choir performed, along with speed painter Dan Dunn. Then speaker Rick Pitino, coach of University of Louisville Men’s Basketball team, came and spoke to the FFA members about how to communicate properly, and how important good communication skills are necessary in their lives.
The following day the Zane Trace and Paint Valley members went to Marengo Caves to go spelunking, also known as caving. This was a first for many members. “Caving was definitely my favorite part of the trip,” said Zane Trace member, Haylee Vollmar. While in the caves the students were taught about the history of the caves, and about the animals that live in them. Some students even got to see a bat or an albino fish.
After cleaning up from caving, students travelled to the Louisville Stoneware tour to learn how this old-fashioned company hand makes each of their products. Then students had a chance to use their creativity to paint their own pottery. The rest of the night the two chapters stayed busy by eating a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant, going to a hilarious hypnotist show, and hanging out with FFA members from all over Ohio at a dance called the Buckeye Bash.
The last day was filled up with fun and interesting tours, just like the rest of the convention. Zane Trace and Paint Valley FFA travelled to a grocery store called Whole Foods for a tour. Whole Foods was not a normal grocery store though. Whole Foods Grocery focuses on the well being of their customers and the environment. They buy their animal products from farms who raise their animals humanely, and are always working on informing our society about taking care of our environment and eating right. The last tour was to an old-fashioned candy shop called Schimpff’s Confectionary, where the FFA chapters were shown how to make cinnamon drops.
Zane Trace didn’t only come to National Convention to have fun though. They also came to compete. Zane Trace had four members compete in National Agri-Science Fair. Mariah Cox received a silver rating, Nathaniel Freeman received second place with a gold rating, and the team of David Glass and Audrey Hoey won 3rd place with a gold rating. Audrey also competed for a proficiency award, and was a national finalist in the Food Science category. Overall, National Convention was a very successful trip for Zane Trace and Paint Valley. They not only received several awards, but they also gained knowledge about the vital role they play in the future of agriculture in our growing nation.