Kentucky FFA members excel at National FFA Convention

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Graphic reading: KDE News, Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky FFA was well represented at the 94th annual National FFA Convention, which was held Oct. 27-30 in Indianapolis. More than 60,000 FFA members, advisers and guests attended the convention, which is the largest youth organization gathering in the United States.

Mallory White of Union County was elected to serve as the Eastern Region vice president for National FFA. White and her five teammates will travel over 100,000 miles this year as they serve the more than 700,000 members of the National FFA Organization. She also will visit with agriculture and business leaders and government officials as she serves as an ambassador for the organization and the agriculture industry.

White will take a year off from her studies at Murray State University to fulfill the duties of her office. She is the daughter of Ryan and Brooke White of Sturgis. Her FFA advisers are Jeremy Hill, Emilee Black and Kelsey Stevens.

Seneca FFA (Jefferson County) was recognized for having the best state display in the National FFA Convention Hall of States. The booth – which Seneca members designed, constructed and staffed – helped showcase the diverse aspects of Kentucky agriculture and promote the state to convention attendees.

Spencer County FFA placed second in the Nursery/Landscape Career Development event. Members of the team were Thomas Fox, Jackson Tobbe, Aaron Alcorn and Katelyn Tabor. Alcorn had the sixth-highest individual score in the contest. Their coach was Daniel Dunaway.

Matt Rowlette of Madison Southern High School (Madison County) was named as one of four national finalists for the American Star in Agribusiness Award. During his years in FFA, Rowlette has built a successful lawn care business. He began with 10 customers in 2015 and had more than 70 residential and commercial clients in 2020. Rowlette is the son of David and Sandy Rowlette of Berea. His advisers are Kevin Anderson and Janna Clark.

Kate Burton of Royal Spring Middle School (Scott County) placed third in the Food Science Division I of the National Agriscience Fair. She completed a research project and presented her findings in an online interview with judges.

Jaylin Cox of Taylor County FFA placed fifth in the Employment Skills Leadership Development event. Cox completed a resume, job application and online interviews prior to traveling to Indianapolis. She completed various rounds as part of the onsite event, including additional interviews and a networking activity.

McCreary Central FFA (McCreary County) placed sixth in the Forestry Career Development event. Team members were Isaiah Staley, Logan Creekmore, Deavon Shelton and Emily Watters. Shelton received the 10th-highest individual score in the contest.

Spencer County FFA placed eighth in the Dairy Cattle Evaluation Career Development event. Team members were Brooke Montgomery, Lily Palmer, Jackson Baird and Loralae Cox. Baird had the sixth-highest individual score in the contest.

Henderson County FFA placed ninth in the Agricultural Sales Career Development Event. Team members were Emily Marsh, Jenna Byrd, Taylor Chambers and Travis Herndon.

LaRue County FFA placed ninth in the Milk Quality and Products Career Development Event. Team members were Madison Chaudoin, Jacob Hinton, Andrew Reding and Will Faulkner.

Madisonville North Hopkins (Hopkins County) was a finalist in the National Chapter Model of Innovation in the area of Growing Leaders. Bondurant Middle School (Franklin County) was a finalist in the National Chapter Model of Innovation in the area of Strengthening Agriculture.

Three Kentucky FFA members were selected as national proficiency award finalists in their areas, meaning they were in the top four nationally. Proficiency awards are based on a written application detailing the student’s accomplishments and learning related to his or her Supervised Agricultural Experience Program. National finalists complete an in-depth interview with industry leaders as part of the selection process. The finalists were:

  • Brian Gill: Caldwell County, Beef Production Entrepreneurship
  • Jacob Hinton: LaRue County, Fruit Production
  • Paxton Boldry: McCracken County, Landscape Management

Other teams/individuals competing in National Career Development and Leadership Development Events included:

  • Harrison County: Agricultural Communications, Bronze
  • Locust Trace (Fayette County): Agricultural Issues, Bronze
  • Whitley County: Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems, Bronze
  • Rockcastle County: Agronomy, Silver
  • Nicholas County: Conduct of Chapter Meetings, Gold
  • Aspen Reynolds, Western Hills (Franklin County): Creed Speaking, Silver
  • Addison Houchens, Barren County: Dairy Handlers, Gold
  • Isaiah Pruitt, LaRue County: Extemporaneous Speaking, Bronze
  • Spencer County: Farm Business Management, Silver
  • Spencer County: Floriculture, Silver
  • LaRue County: Food Science and Technology, Silver
  • Allen County-Scottsville: Horse Evaluation, Silver
  • Boyle County: Livestock Evaluation, Bronze
  • LaRue County: Marketing Plan, Silver
  • Caldwell County: Meats Evaluation, Silver
  • Western Hills (Franklin County): Parliamentary Procedure, Bronze
  • LaRue County: Poultry, Silver
  • Madyson Planck, Nicholas County: Prepared Public Speaking, Bronze
  • Locust Trace (Fayette County): Veterinary Science, Bronze

Ten Kentucky FFA members placed in the top 12 in the FFA Agriscience Fair. They were:

  • Blake Scott, Mason County: Environmental Science, Division 1
  • Sara Baxter and Gracelynn Singleton, Casey County: Food Science, Division 4
  • Alexandria Whitman, Green County: Food Science, Division 5
  • Elijah Cowan, Mason County: Power, Structural and Technical Systems, Division 1
  • Kaydence Brewer and Hailey Collins, Harrison County Middle School: Power, Structural and Technical Systems, Division 2
  • Ambry Shepherd, Williamstown Independent: Power, Structural and Technical Systems, Division 3
  • Sadie Perkins, Harrison County Middle: Social Systems, Division 1
  • Chloe Ebelhar, Apollo High School (Daviess County): Social Systems, Division 3

The American FFA Degree was awarded to 91 Kentucky FFA members. This honor is the highest award the organization can bestow on a member. 

Eight Kentucky FFA chapters were recognized in the National Chapter Contest.  Bondurant Middle School (Franklin County), Carlisle County, LaRue County, Madisonville North Hopkins High School (Hopkins County), Royal Spring Middle School (Scott County), Spencer County and Taylor County were recognized as National Three Star Chapters. Scott County was recognized as a National Two Star Chapter. 

Brayden Hall of John Hardin High School (Hardin County) represented Kentucky in the National FFA Chorus. 

Avery Miller of McCracken County represented Kentucky in the National FFA Band. 

Sam L. Smith of Montgomery County and Arielle Evans of Trigg County represented Kentucky in the National FFA Talent. Both Smith and Evans had the opportunity to perform on the main convention stage.    

For a complete listing of National Convention winners, visit the National FFA website.

For more Information, email KDE’s Matt Chaliff.

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