83rd Missouri FFA Competition Held in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - More than 8,500 students and guests attended the 83rd Missouri FFA Convention in Columbia, April 14 and 15.  Competitors, delegates and visitors took over the Hearnes Center at the University of Missouri where they took part in competitions, a career fair and leadership conferences.  

Students competed in more than 20 different events such as forestry, dairy, poultry, and FFA Knowledge.  Musical FFA members participated in the FFA choir and several competed in the talent show for a chance to perform during Friday's closing ceremonies.

In addition to competitions, several students will be honored with awards based on their participation in FFA during Friday night's closing ceremonies.  Missouri's 326 FFA chapters are divided into 16 regional areas in the state.  One student from each area will be awarded the State Star Farmer, the State Star in Agribusiness and the State Star in Placement.  Then one student will be named overall State Star Farmer, State Star in Agribusiness and State Star in Placement. 

According to organizers 752 FFA students will be receiving their State FFA Degree during the convention.  Seth Nobis, a senior from Paris High School, came to convention to compete in Agriculture Issues as well as receive his State FFA Degree.  Degrees are awarded based on each student's Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project.  Nobis completed his SAE in swine production and was awarded second in the state for his efforts.  "FFA is a great way to meet people and learn leadership skills," Nobis said.    

Kelsie Lovelace is the first Vice President of the Palmyra FFA Chapter and said joining the agricultural organization was an easy decision.  "Family tradition, my grandpa was in FFA and my freshmen year I wore his jacket which is from 1961...I love agriculture, I couldn't expect to do anything else with my life."

This was Brandi Maddux's first trip to state FFA convention.  "Our school just got an FFA chapter this year.  I'm really excited about it.  I'm secretary, it's something I've always wanted to be in."  Maddux is from Warsaw and a member of the State Fair FFA chapter.

Missouri has more than 25,000 members in FFA, an all time high for the state.