Oklahoma FFA Wins Big at National Convention
The Oklahoma FFA Association returned from the National FFA Convention loaded down with honors, including 12 national championships, a National VIP Award and the Outstanding FFA Executive Secretary Award.
Two Oklahoma chapters won national champion awards in career development events – the Adair chapter in National Horse Evaluation and the Kingfisher chapter in National Parliamentary Procedure – and 10 Oklahoma students won individual national champion titles.
Winning individual championships in career development events were Wyatt Smith, Adair, National Horse Evaluation, and Tyler Schnaithman, Garber, National Prepared Public Speaking.
Winning national championships in proficiency award events were Jacob Grossnicklaus, Chickasha, Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance – Entrepreneurship; Carson Vinyard, Altus, Diversified Crop Production – Placement; Tanner Miller, Mulhall-Orlando, Diversified Livestock Production – Entrepreneurship/Placement; Blake Goss, Sentinel, Emerging Agricultural Technology – Entrepreneurship/Placement; Garrett Sharp, Waukomis, Environmental Science and Natural Resources – Entrepreneurship/Placement; Tyler Sanders, Wanette, Goat Production – Entrepreneurship/Placement; and Garrett Yerigan, Pryor, Outdoor Recreation – Entrepreneurship/Placement.
Oklahoma had seven national proficiency winners, the most of any state and 20 national proficiency finalists, the second most of any state, said Kent Boggs, Oklahoma FFA executive secretary in the CareerTech agricultural education division.
Also, Bailey Wesberry, Waurika, walked away with the title in the first National Talent Competition.
“This was the first year for the talent competition,” Boggs said. “Bailey will always be the first national winner.”
Oklahoma earned five gold emblem team spots in career development events and 16 gold emblem individual spots. Thirty Oklahoma FFA chapters also received Three Star awards.
Oklahoma ranked fourth in the number of members receiving American FFA Degrees, with 179. The American FFA Degree is awarded to members who demonstrate the highest level of commitment to FFA.
The state was also represented in band, chorus and talent, with nine National Chorus members, six National Talent members and one National Band member.
The Oklahoma FFA Association also took honors as a group. It was recognized as a 100 Percent Membership State and an Increase in Membership State. Oklahoma FFA has 24,369 members and had an increase of 229 members.
“Oklahoma ranks fifth in total membership,” Boggs said, “and in national delegates, with 18.”
The VIP citation, one of the most prestigious awards given to FFA supporters, recognizes individuals who contribute to the FFA mission of student success through hard work and cooperation. Stoddard was one of only six people to receive the honor.
Stoddard serves on the Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation, the Oklahoma FFA Foundation and OSU Ag-Ed Scholarship Inc. and was recently inducted into the Oklahoma Career and Technology Education Hall of Fame.
Boggs won the Outstanding FFA Executive Secretary Award from the National Association of State Supervisors in Agricultural Education. Boggs joined ODCTE in 1985 as the FFA executive secretary.
An Oklahoman also took the reins of leadership in the National Association of State Supervisors in Agricultural Education. Jack Staats, CareerTech state program administrator in agricultural education and state FFA adviser, was elected president-elect at the 2012 National FFA Convention and became president at this year’s convention.
Also, four Oklahomans – Jami Longacre, Kellyville; Scott and Melissa Eisenhauer, Edmond; and Kelly Barnes, Norman – received Honorary American FFA Degrees.
The FFA, affiliated with agricultural education, is one of seven CareerTech student organizations affiliated with CareerTech programs. The others are Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, family and consumer sciences education; Business Professionals of America, business and information technology education; HOSA, health careers education; DECA, marketing education; Technology Student Association, science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and SkillsUSA, trade and industrial education.
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members as part of 7,498 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 57 campuses, 393 comprehensive school districts and 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities.
The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.
Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor Oklahoma
Department of Career and Technology Education
1500 W. Seventh Ave., Stillwater, OK 74074