The Anna FFA had a record-breaking year at the Fort Worth Convention Center for 91st Annual Texas FFA State Convention. The convention was held July 9 till July 13. Twelve students who are part of the Anna FFA chapter, along with over 13,000 FFA members from Texas, were inspired by motivational speakers and participated in award recognition ceremonies.
The Anna FFA members engaged in convention activities as delegates and made decisions that could impact the association for years to come. Four of the twelve Anna chapter members, Hallie Nance, Alexis Smith, Austin Wildman and Noah Winters, received their Lonestar State FFA degree. This degree is the highest degree awarded by the state and recognizes their achievements accomplished through their FFA participation.
Hallie Nance, a senior FFA member said the award and recognition were amazing after putting in so much work.
“It feels absolutely amazing! I have been in the FFA since I was in middle school and as a Senior being awarded the highest degree in Texas is an awesome accomplishment. It really shows that time and dedication throughout the years was worth it,” Nance said.
Another winner was Austin Casada. He received the Texas FFA Foundation CJ Red Davidson Memorial Scholarship. Casada was one of approximately 100 FFA members from across the state of Texas to receive a State FFA scholarship.
Casada said the scholarship is the first of many to come. “To me, receiving the CJ Red Davidson Scholarship is a door opener. It opens the door for a college degree and then a career.”
Casada also served on the State Officer Nominating Committee; an opportunity only afforded to twelve individuals in the state. As a committee member, Casada spent nine days evaluating and selecting the 2018-2019 Texas FFA Officer team.
The Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource teacher said being a part of the committee was an amazing opportunity for Casada.
“This was an opportunity for Austin to give back to the Texas FFA and select members who will best represent the Texas FFA in the future.”
While some Anna FFA members were receiving awards, others were running for leadership positions within the FFA. Noah Winters ran for State FFA office. If elected, a state officer would represent the 116,000 FFA members statewide.
Winters said the election process was grueling and time-consuming.
“It’s a lengthy process,” Winters said. “First, you go through personal panel interviews, then individual interviews followed by an extemporaneous speaking round. Various other events occur to test your ability as both a servant leader and an effective communicator.”
Even though Winters was not elected to the position, he is the first Anna FFA member in recent history to run for a state officer position.
The Anna FFA Chapter was awarded the Silver Level Golden Horizon Award. This award ranks FFA chapters from across the state of Texas on student participation and success. The Anna chapter was ranked 80th out of over 1,600 FFA chapters.
Anderson said these accolades are the best the Anna chapter has ever accomplished and rankings are decided by merit only.
“This ranking is the highest that Anna FFA has ever been ranked. The rankings are determined regardless of school size, demographics, or program membership numbers.”
The convention was one for the history books, Anderson said.
“Overall, the 91st State FFA Convention was a huge success for the Anna FFA. The members of the chapter proved their exceptional abilities and accomplishments through award recognition, committee participation, election procedures and delegate business.”
The Anna FFA strives to give students opportunities to develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education.
Anderson said residents can follow the success of the Anna FFA chapter. “To keep up with the Anna FFA, and all its activities and achievements, follow them on Instagram or Facebook. Congratulations to all members of the Anna FFA for a record year!”