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National FFA Convention Bests Previous Attendance Record

National award winners, officers also selected at 86th annual event

Published on: Nov 4, 2013

Attendance at the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo, held in Louisville, Ky., rose to 62,998, up from 56,176 attendees last year when the event was held in Indianapolis.

Students, teachers and guests stayed in 136 hotels for 39,247 combined room nights within a 75-mile radius of Louisville throughout the week, infusing more than $40 million into the local economy, the National FFA Organization said.

National Officers Selected

During the convention and expo, delegates representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico elected students from Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Iowa, West Virginia and Oregon to serve on the 2013-14 National FFA Officer team.

Brian Walsh of Virginia, an agribusiness major at Virginia Tech, was elected president. Mitch Baker of Tennessee, an agricultural communications major at University of Tennessee, will serve as secretary.

Brian Walsh, Jackson Harris, Mitch Baker, Wes Davis, Jason Wetzler and Steven Brockshus, newly elected National FFA Officers, share the closing gavel at the 2013 National FFA Convention, Louisville, Ky.
Brian Walsh, Jackson Harris, Mitch Baker, Wes Davis, Jason Wetzler and Steven Brockshus, newly elected National FFA Officers, share the closing gavel at the 2013 National FFA Convention, Louisville, Ky.

Steven Brockshus of Iowa, an agricultural education and global resource systems major at Iowa State University, was elected Central Region vice president and Jackson Harris of Alabama, a community development major at the University of Alabama, will serve as Southern Region vice president.

Wes Davis of West Virginia, an agribusiness management and rural development major at West Virginia University, was elected Eastern Region vice president and Jason Wetzler of Oregon, an agricultural leadership major at Oklahoma State University, will serve as Western Region vice president.

National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each travels more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public and more.

American Star Award Winners Named

Also selected at convention were the 2013 American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience.

The honors are awarded to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of a supervised agricultural experience. A required activity in FFA, a supervised agriculture experience allows students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.

This year’s winners are: American Star Farmer, Tyler Loschen, Illinois; American Star in Agribusiness, Chelsey Schlosnagle, Kentucky; American Star in Agricultural Placement, Trenton Bemis, Wisconsin; American Star in Agriscience, Jacob Schindler, Georgia.

Other requirements to achieve the award include demonstrating top management skills; completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements; and earning an American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest level of student accomplishment.

Sixteen American Star award finalists from throughout the U.S. are nominated for a panel of judges to interview during convention. Four are named winners and receive cash awards totaling $4,000. All American Star finalists receive a $2,000 cash award.

The 87th National FFA Convention & Expo returns to Louisville Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2013.

Source: National FFA