Leadership Conference 2016
by Nate Van Buren
On April 19th-21st the HLV FFA chapter took part in the 88th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference in Ames, Iowa. This is the second year that the FFA chapter has attended the event that hosted over 5,000 students from 226 FFA chapters across the state of Iowa.This year the HLV FFA chapter took 13 FFA member and two advisors.
On April 19th the group departed from the school at 3:30 P.M. westbound towards Ames. Immediately upon arriving in Ames students toured the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine. While there students were given the opportunity to see the many classrooms, dissection labs, surgery suites, as well as the the small and large animal hospitals. Following the tour students dined at Ames Mongolian grill, before their stay at the Hilton Garden Inn of Ames. Students enjoyed their evening at Perfect Games with bowling, lazer tag, and an arcade.
Monday kicked off the official beginning of the Iowa FFA Convention. Edmond Henning who advanced through sub-district and district competition, competed among 11 other students in the Career Development Event, Extemporaneous Speaking. Ed gave an excellent performance, and earned a gold rating. Ed was later recognized on stage during the 1st general session, along with the 3 other students who achieved a gold.
Other activities that students participated in Monday morning included the college/career fair, which included trade schools, community colleges, and universities from across the Midwest. Students were able to spectate one of the over 12 Career Development Events; including Conduct of Meetings, Parliamentary Procedure, Ag Broadcasting, FFA Creed Speaking, among many more. Workshops were also available for students to participate in, focusing primarily on leadership in agriculture.
Monday afternoon the chapter traveled 10 south of Ames to the Monsanto Learning center in Huxley Iowa. While at the Learning Center students learned about seed and planting technology used today in commercial production. Following the 2 hour tour of Monsanto students returned to the Hilton Coliseum for the first general session of the FFA Convention. Rick Rigsby, a renowned motivational speaker gave the keynote address and filled Hilton with laughter.
Monday night ended for the students with an FFA barbeque at the newly constructed ISU livestock pavilion. Following the barbeque the students enjoyed FFA Fun Night at Iowa State's Memorial Union, and learned how to line dance.
The final day of the convention students toured Ag Leader Technology in Ames. While visiting Ag Leader students learned about the story of the company, technology, and future of agriculture. Students were able to see how precision planting and yield monitor technology are designed and manufactured. Following their early tour of Ag Leader students returned to attend the second general session of the convention, which recognized students and chapters across the state for their accomplishments.
With a break between sessions students toured the Iowa State University campus, ate a Mexican lunch at El Azteca restaurant, and toured the many livestock farms owned and operated by Iowa State. Lastly students took part in the closing convention session, before traveling back to Victor.
FFA Advisor Corey Van Otegham said in regards to the convention, "This is a great experience for students to be able to see what other FFA chapters are doing across the state, and bring some of those ideas back to our chapter. Edmond did an outstanding job in Extemporaneous Speaking, and my goal is to bring more individuals and teams to compete in the many Career Development Events that the FFA has to offer. The students had fun, got to meet other FFA members from other chapters, and toured some businesses that help tie the industry to what we learn in the classroom. The students are excited, and we're already starting to make plans for next year."