Twenty-three Taylorville FFA students attended the National FFA Convention by being selected through an application process.
The trip started early on Wednesday October 28th. Early that afternoon, the Agri-science Fair students Cole Emerson, Austin Norris, Adam Stepping, and Alec Higgason were hard at work setting up their displays and competing with their projects at the Convention Center. The other Taylorville FFA students had the opportunity to tour Lane'. This gave students the opportunity to see top through bred race horses and visit with owners, managers, veterinarians, and farm workers about this prestigious business. Taylorville FFA Chapter was the only FFA program in the nation to secure this private farm tour. When the Science Fair students were finished with their projects, they had the opportunity to visit the historic Churchhill Downs race track and museum. Students went on a walking history tour, made a stop at the track, and went through the museum. Later that evening FFA members came together to attend the Dierks Bently concert at the Yum Center and reflected on the days activities.
On Thursday, all students attended the Opening Session of the 86th National FFA Convention. This session was highlighted by a keynote address from the award winning coach, Rick Patino. "His motivational message reminded FFA members to work hard, set goals, and to remember to always work from the ground up. He was a great speaker that showed his passion for success. " Says Chapter President Brandon Butcher. After this powerful opening session, the chapter attended the career fair and trade show and had the opportunity to visit with different colleges, trade schools, and Agriculture businesses throughout the country.
. Later in the evening the chapter reflected on the day at the hotel while the Marketing Team and Agriscience Fair competitors practiced for the next day's competition.
Thursday, October 22th was another huge day for Taylorville students. Throughout the day, at scheduled times, students competed in the National Agri-Science Fair by presenting an oral and visual presentation of their research project. The Taylorville Marketing Team competed in the first round and was then asked to compete in the semi-final round. The rest of the group had the opportunity to attend the career show and FFA shopping mall. In the afternoon the group attended the Second Session of the Convention where the Taylorville FFA Chapter received the 2-Star Chapter Award on stage. Only the top 1% of all Chapters in the United States was presented National Chapter Awards on stage at the convention.
Friday, October 23th was an award winning day for Taylorville Agri-Science competitors. The entire chapter was invited to attend the National Agri-Science Award Luncheon. This banquet was held at the Westin Hotel across from the Convention Center. Months of hard work paid off for all Taylorville FFA Agri-Science competitors as all members received either a gold, silver, or bronze award. "I am very proud of all the Taylorville Agri-Science competitors. They spent many hours working on their projects by conducting experiment, researching, constructing their visual displays, putting together their review of literature, and preparing for the interview.
Saturday, October 24th was another award winning day as Taylorville FFA members watched Veronica Handegan and Weston Meteer receive the American Degree. This was an inspiring ceremony that encouraged young THS FFA members to work hard and strive to someday achieve their State and American Degree.
The 82nd National FFA Conventions Theme was "Lead Out Loud". In every convention session teaching the importance of serving others, our community, and our school was stressed through keynote speakers, awards given, and examples of Chapters and people that have made a difference. The message was clear that the Blue FFA Jacket should make members feel a sense of pride. FFA members are held to high standards in the areas of community service, leadership, and decision-making.