MN FFA State Convention

By: Trump Vang

Between April 23rd – 25th of 2023, FFA members had the opportunity of attending the Annual MN FFA State Convention. Here, members can engage in a multitude of activities ranging from sessions to workshops provided by the MN State FFA Association. The convention lasts 3 days in particular, holding different events each day.

The State Convention:

On Sunday, April 23rd, members qualifying for specific competitions known as Leadership Development Events (LDE’s) would compete. The following LDE’s are as listed below:

  • Conduct of Chapter Meetings
  • Creed Speaking
  • Farm Bureau Discussion Meet
  • Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Parliamentary Procedure
  • Prepared Public Speaking
  • Best Informed Greenhand

Following these competitions, the first general session would be held at the Williams Arena. Essentially, these general sessions are to inform members about other outstanding members and chapters (schools with the organization) of FFA. They also present information about retiring officers, keynote speakers and talent acts.

The second day of the convention (April 24th) allows members to participate more within agriculture related activities and job fairs. Along with those activities, the rest of the competitions, being mainly Career Development Events (CDE’s), are held on this day. They are as listed below:

  • Dairy Evaluation
  • Farm Business Management
  • Fish and Wildlife
  • Floriculture
  • Horse Evaluation
  • Livestock Evaluation
  • Milk Quality and Products
  • Poultry Evaluation
  • Nursery Landscape
  • Soils
  • Vet Science
  • Crops
  • Forestry
  • Meats Evaluation and Technology
  • Companion Animal Science
  • Marketing Plan
  • Employment Skills (LDE)
  • Ag Issues (LDE)

All events are held on the State Fairgrounds, the St. Paul University of Minnesota campus or the Minneapolis University of Minnesota campus. If a member is free during this time, they may attend a wide array of activities.

During the early afternoon, the second general session will be held, followed by the third general session later within the evening. Both sessions covered talent acts, winning Agriscience projects, as well as retiring addresses for some officers. Members who had received their State Degree would also be recognized for their efforts at the end of the third general session.

There are leadership workshops on the State Fairgrounds that strive to help people grow in leadership and other communicative skills. Otherwise members can visit the colosseum on the State Fair grounds to enjoy Ag related activities or interact with other Ag organizations, colleges or jobs.

On the third and the last day of convention, the last two sessions are held for members to watch. During these sessions, members are recognized for their efforts through their Supervised Agricultural Experiences, or their competitions they’ve been competing for.

At the end of the 5th general session, new FFA members are elected to hold the positions of those who have retired. There are six current positions being held at the Minnesota FFA State Organization, being as follows: Sentinel, Reporter, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President.

As of this year, the new elected positions are shown below:

  • President – Katelyn Ketchum
  • Vice President – Tyler Ratka
  • Secretary – Alison Murrell
  • Reporter – Miriana Eiden
  • Treasurer – Mason Grams
  • Sentinel – Alison Murrel

All In For All

Each year, FFA has a theme surrounding its convention, for example last year’s theme was “THRIVE”, expressing the want for growth within agricultural experiences, career opportunities and personal values. This year’s theme was “ALL IN FOR ALL”.

This theme exhibited diversity within FFA, and presented it with equal rights for all and throughout. Through the activities and sessions, these values were heavily expressed, ensuring that FFA was a safe place for everyone regardless of their backgrounds.

Highland Park FFA

Highland Park attended the state convention, with a varied number of members from 20 – 35 students attending the sessions and activities presented. There were many achievements made for our FFA Chapter this year.

Our FFA Chapter was presented with an award for being, a “Model of Innovation” for our work with diversifying FFA chapters through joint meetings with other clubs within Highland Park. Along with this recognition, we gained many other individual awards for those competing this year. There were many firsts on the competition scale for Highland Park Senior High’s FFA Members.

This year, we had a variety of students competing in 9 different competitions, which are as listed below with placements*:

Image taken by HPSH’s FFA
  • Ag Communications – 3rd placing team, 2nd and 4th placing individual.
  • Best Informed Greenhand – 10th placing team in state
  • Creed Speaking – Silver Ranked individual
  • Employment Skills – 6th placing individual
  • Floriculture – 15th placing team
  • Milk Quality – 4th placing team, 5th placing individual
  • Prepared Public Speaking – 2nd Individual in State
  • Soils – 8th placing in State
  • Vet Science – Gold Ranked Team

*There were many competitors competing within these competitions. There were nearly 40 teams at some competitions, and 180 competitors individually.

Overall, it was a great year of competition for Highland Park FFA through its CDE’s and LDE’s. This year at the state convention were many member’s firsts within the field, and stands as their first experience at a session with state officers. It stood as an experience for all members to be a part of the MN State FFA Convention whilst being “All in for All”.

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