The following essays about the recent FFA National Conventoon were written by Worthington High School sophomores Tyler Jaycox and Lilly Mahlberg. They were shared with The Globe by FFA Advisor Deb Martin.

Tyler Jaycox: “National Convention + 4 Things”

8-10 sentences about each of 4 activities;

1. Jim Bridenstine speech. I learned and gained a lot from this speech. For example, I learned that measurements from space of evapotranspiration are helping create irrigation plans. NASA is also trying to create a way to increase crop yields while also reducing erosion and nitrates. Ecostress from the ISS can record the temperature of plants all the way from space which I found pretty cool. Commercial constellations can tell farmers how to increase yields and prevent crops from being damaged by not enough water. One other thing I found really cool is that the Grace mission can measure water movements by changes in gravity and this can predict where droughts will occur to help water managers. The last thing I learned is that NASA is getting closer to developing plants that can grow in microgravity locations like other planets. NASA also can see future weather to help farmers and everyone with preparing for storms or other weather occurrences. Finally, the main reason that they had this speaker was to show us all that NASA is taking knowledge of the earth and applying this said knowledge to agriculture.

2. Blue Room. The second thing that I did at the convention was attending the blue room. I thought that the blue room was really cool and it was fun to have an interactive thing like it. The first thing I did in the blue room was visiting the Minecraft bee stage. This one was probably my favorite because it had you do a small game where you matched what type of nest each different bee has. It also showed a cool video about how bee farming works and why it is so important to agriculture and the world. My second favorite thing in the blue room was the one from Microsoft which showed how technology is being implemented into different agricultural practices. It showed a short video about how you can design a robotic hand to work like a humans and this could make some different things in agriculture be done through robots. Overall, I though the blue room was really cool and I learned a lot about different things and innovations happening within the world of agriculture right now.

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3. New National Officers: I watched the video of the new National officers getting elected and also read an article that said some things about all of the new officers. I didn’t know much about how this election process worked and how many people were able to win so I learned a lot through this. I learned that there is a main President but then also Vice Presidents that represent different regions. For example, there is Vice Presidents from Missouri, Illinois, California, and Florida. These 4 Vice Presidents represent the central region, eastern region, western region and southern region. The main president is from Georgia and then the secretary is from Arkansas. I then learned that there were 38 candidates that are up at a time to get the honor which I thought was a lot. This year they had to complete extensive interviews with the committee board to get a chance to win a spot on the national board. I found this cool and learned a lot about who the national officers are and where they are from/how they got where they are.

4. Retiring Address. The final thing I did was watched one of the retiring addresses from last year. I though the speech was really good and I took a few things away from it. The speech was all about living in the moment and making every moment meaningful. She said that one time she was in a plane and slept throughout the whole ride and missed going over Niagara Falls. She said that if she knew that she could have seen the falls in that moment, she would not have fell asleep. Throughout the whole speech she pretty much talked about how you should never keep looking forward and you should concentrate on what you are doing at the time and worry about the future when you are in the future. She also said that you can waste moments while doing stuff like looking at social media while others are making lasting memories. Overall, I thought the speech was good and took away that you should worry about what you are currently doing/live in the moment and not what you will be doing in the future. She then asked two questions which were who and where are you and pretty much said that you should ask yourself these questions often to help you understand where you are in life.

Lilly Mahlberg “Lilly Nat Con”

Graceful Leadership: Kolesen McCoy: In this student workshop I learned about “Graceful Leadership” and how to be a leader! The biggest aspect of graceful leadership is valuing yourself and loving others as well! Some questions that the speaker said that stuck out to me where “Why is it important to value ourselves?” “How might we love others well?”. I thought these questions were very reflective and can remember us to put ourselves first! “Leadership is active and receptive, Grace is to.” I am so happy I was bale to watch this video I learned a lot about what it is to not only be a leader but a graceful leader!

"From A-Z There’s an Ag Career For Me!" Tessa Matuszak: In this student workshop I learned about the numerous carrier fields that are associated with agriculture and how agriculture isn’t just farming. The speaker talked about the Journey 2050 level six where you try different agricultural careers. And in 9th grade during distance learning we used this app to learn about sustainability!! She talked about how their are so many steps that go into making cheese, snickers and pasta! I am very happy that I watched this video in really opened my eyes to all the career felons under agriculture!

How to Grow in the midst of Uncertainty: Reagan Pugh. In this student workshop I learned all about how to keep going, a new way to look at challenges, growth mindsets, and an experiment to run on real life. Something super cliché that the speaker kept saying was “You are not alone”. Even though I have heard this over and over, the speaker really made me believe it. I learned about the three different types of leaders and the pros and cons off all three. Something that I will try and carry with me through out my life is this, “You are the main character of your life. Main character face challenges and go through lows, but always comes through and saves the day..Be The Main character!” The lowest moments we go through are the moments where we grow the most. This was my FAVORITE blue room I had been to, I have learned how to keep going while still growing. I believe everyone should watch this video it was super beneficial!

Living To Serve Are You Ready?: Jennifer Kerschner and Stefonie Sebastian: In this workshop I learned how to properly plan a service project! The 4 steps in planning your service project are, Investigate, plan, serve, and evaluate!

Investigate- chapter strengthens and community needs!

Plan- Like a coach creating a game plan for his team!

Serve- Invite others to your service project!

Evaluate- Learn How successful you service project was and how to improve it for next time!

I learned that if you follow these steps planning your service project will be super easy! I can say after watching this video I feel ready to plan a service project!

Lilly Mahlberg “Ag Reflection”

Ag Reflection: This past week I had the amazing opportunity to attend the 93 rd Annual National FFA Convention….. virtually! Although this wasn’t the “normal” convention, there were things I really enjoyed about it being virtually. The first being how we were able to re-watch all of the speakers, the second being how you were still able to connect with other FFA members across the country and finally how we were still able to learn all about agriculture and leadership.

One of the speakers that really stuck out to me was Reagan Pugh. Her speech was entitled “How to Grow in the Midst of Uncertainty.” From this speaker I learned all about how to look at challenges in a positive mindset. I also enjoyed the speakers Jennifer Kerschner and Stefonie Sebastian. They went above and beyond to make their speech entertaining and to involve the audience.

I really enjoyed my experience at the 93 rd Annual National FFA Convention! Thank you Mrs. Martin for giving us the opportunity to experience this.

Lilly Mahlberg