The Mississinawa Valley-MVCTC FFA Chapter attended the 96th National FFA Convention. The convention was held on November 1-4, 2023. It was held in the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The members who attended were Aron Hunt, Aaron Hummel, Thomas Gower, Brandon Miller, Bryson Gower, Tanner Leichty, Paytyn Heistand, Breanna Germann, Christana Mangen, Dylan Wehrkamp, Makenna Guillozet, Taylee Woodbury, Harley Hanes, Stephany De La Torre Barron, Daniel Hartzell, Aldon Edger, Ethan Grow, Matalin Meyer, Shane Germann, and Brennan Manning. They were chaperoned by advisors Carmen Hartzell and Jessica Byram.
At 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, members left MV and headed for the Indianapolis Zoo. Once they arrived, the students had time to walk around and see all the exhibits. They grabbed lunch at the zoo and then headed to the hotel to change into their official dress.
The members then went to the first session of the 96th National FFA Convention, where they heard speaker Juan Bendana motivate them to work as hard as possible and make the most of their lives. Afterward, they returned to the hotel to eat supper and hang out with Franklin Monroe’s FFA Chapter.
On Thursday morning, the one-day trip members arrived with advisor Gwen Bergman. The members who attended the one-day trip were Shelby Fennig, Emily Byram, Gretchen Rodeheffer, Hunter Cox, Emma Brock, Makenna Hoggatt, and Paige Emrick. The members then had time to walk around the expo center, where they could shop and look at all the different booths. Then they enjoyed a lunch from Chick-fil-A together.
After lunch, the students attended the third session of the convention, where they heard the retiring address from the National FFA Central Region Vice President, Karstyn Cantrell. Karstyn spoke about her experiences in Ag and how they have impacted her life. After her address, Paytyn Hiestand and Christina Mangen walked across the stage to receive the chapter’s two-star recognition for their national chapter award.
They left straight from the session to eat dinner at Fogo De Chao, a Brazilian Steakhouse. The students then enjoyed watching hypnotist Micheal C. Anthony. The members who attended the one-day trip then headed back to MV, while the other members went to watch the Eras Tour Movie at a nearby IMAX. After the movie, members headed back to the hotel to get some rest after such a long day.
On Friday morning, members checked out of their hotel room and then headed to their Career Success Tours. Members had the choice to tour Victory Field, Teter Organic Farm, Saddlebrook, or the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Golf course. There, they learned the different careers that go into each of these fields. After everyone’s tour was finished, the members met back at the hotel and left for a group tour of the Apache Sprayer factory.
There, they learned how Apache Sprayers are manufactured and all the different kinds of jobs it requires. Members left Apache Sprayers and headed for The World’s Toughest Rodeo. On their way, they stopped for some delicious ice cream at a local ice cream shop. Once they arrived at the rodeo, members had time beforehand to meet the riders, get their signatures, and they could even sit on a bull! Members then took their seats as the rodeo began. After the rodeo was over, members headed back home towards MV with advisor Gwen Bergman.
On Saturday, November 5th, advisor Carmen Hartzell stayed behind to watch Alison Byram receive her American Degree. Alison was a five-year FFA member. She was a chapter officer for two years, along with being the chapter Vice President her senior year. Ali’s SAE was beef production entrepreneurship; she is now a veterinary assistant at Hartzell Vet Service. Alison is the daughter of Andy and Jessica Byram. Congratulations Alison!
The members had a great time and did a wonderful job representing Mississinawa Valley’s FFA Chapter at the 96th National FFA Convention!