Kentucky FFA had a high level of representation at the 92nd annual National FFA Convention, which was held Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Indianapolis. An all-time record 69,944 FFA members, advisers and guests attended the convention, which is the largest youth organization gathering in the United States.
Spencer County FFA won the dairy cattle evaluation career development event (CDE). Members of the dairy cattle evaluation team included Kelly Baird, Madison Goodlett, Tyler Moehrke and Casey Montgomery. Kelly Baird placed third among individuals in the contest, and the other team members received gold ratings. FFA adviser Bland Baird served as coach of the dairy evaluation team. This is the tenth time since 2006 that Spencer County has won the national dairy evaluation CDE.
Augustus Cole Holt of LaRue County was named the national winner in the forest management and products proficiency contest. Holt’s award was based on his work in his father’s logging business. He also built a firewood business to reduce waste from the logging business. He is the son of Matthew and Cara Holt. His advisers are Misty Bivens and Chris Thomas.
Blake Quiggins of Hart County was named as one of four national finalists for the American Star in Agribusiness Award. Quiggins has developed a national reputation for grooming and fitting livestock for shows. This led to his purchase of a livestock show supply business with sales at many major shows across the nation. He is the son of Tim and Wanda Quiggins. His advisers are Ashley Thomas and Shaun Murray.
Avery Barnes and Karley Furnish of Harrison County Middle School placed third in the social science Division 2 of the National Agriscience Fair.
Sam Smith of Montgomery County placed in the top three in the National FFA Talent Show. Alex Miller of Garrard County and Wayd Wood of McCracken County were in the top 15, and Cassidy Napier of Jessamine County and Journey McGuire of Rockcastle County also represented Kentucky in the competition.
Adair County Middle School FFA had two of the top three teams in the FFA National Invitational Quiz Contest. Lily Loy, Sarai Collins, Ellie Cheatham and Lilee Wall placed second in the event, while Bode Richard, Mason Caldwell and Wesson Burton placed third. Lily Loy placed fifth among individuals in the contest.
Lily P’Pool of Trigg County placed fourth in the creed speaking leadership development event (LDE). P’Pool made it through three rounds of competition, which included reciting the creed and answering questions in front of a panel of judges.
Madison Southern FFA placed fourth in the environmental science and natural resources career development event. Team members were Reagan Childers, Ansley Cornelius, Logan Kirby and Hunter Bolin. Hunter Bolin placed seventh among individuals in the event.
Skyla Lawless of Russell County placed fourth in the dairy cattle handlers activity.
Spencer County FFA placed fifth in the nursery landscape CDE. Jack Kennedy placed fourth and Jackson Baird placed ninth among individuals. Team members Brynn Cooper and Emily Collins received gold ratings.
McCreary Central FFA placed sixth in the forestry CDE. Kyle Privett placed third among individuals. Other team members were Elisha Shepard, Ashlyn Slaven and Sierra Coffey.
Locust Trace FFA placed sixth in the veterinary science CDE. Annika Weaver was the sixth-place individual and Catherine Wharton was the ninth-place individual. Other team members were Mara Flaherty and Kayla Riley.
Franklin-Simpson FFA placed tenth in the agronomy CDE. Team members were Ashlyn Stinson, Kayla Shaw, Chadwick Bush and Kenton Wilson.
Braedon Price of South Warren FFA advanced to the semifinals and placed tenth in the extemporaneous public speaking LDE.
Grace Clark of Franklin-Simpson represented Kentucky as a national FFA officer candidate.
Boyle County was a national finalist in the National Chapter Model of Innovation in the area of growing leaders.
Four Kentucky FFA members were selected as national proficiency award finalists in their respective areas, meaning they were in the top four nationally. They were:
- Joshua Griffin, Western Hills, agricultural mechanics repair and maintenance entrepreneurship
- Hallie Griffiths, Green County, dairy production placement
- Hunter Jackson, Lyon County, specialty crop production
- Claire Vance, Hart County, veterinary science
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.
Other teams and individuals competing in national career development and leadership development events included:
- Boyle County, parliamentary procedure, silver
- Cumberland County, livestock evaluation, silver
- Graves County, poultry, gold
- LaRue County, food science and technology, silver
- LaRue County, milk quality and products, silver
- LaRue County, agricultural communications, bronze rating
- Meade County, agricultural issues, silver
- Madison Central, agricultural sales, silver
- Muhlenberg County, horse evaluation, bronze
- Nicholas County, conduct of chapter meetings, gold
- Spencer County, farm business management, gold
- Spencer County, floriculture, silver
- Spencer County, meats evaluation, silver
- Spencer County, marketing plan, bronze
- Whitley County, agricultural technology and mechanical systems, bronze
- Conner Holmes, Marshall County, employment skills, bronze
- Skyla Lawless, Russell County, dairy handlers, gold
- Landry Woodrum, Boyle County, prepared public speaking
Twelve Kentucky FFA members placed in the top 12 in the FFA Agriscience Fair. They were:
- Colton Dawson and Jordan Arnett, Montgomery County, animal systems Division 2
- Andrea Newland and Anna Fraley, Fayette County Middle Schools, environmental systems Division 2
- Jasmine Barnes and Nathan Miracle, Fayette County Middle Schools, food products Division 2
- Briana Bentley and Alexis Little, Royal Spring Middle School, plant systems Division 2
- Logan Peters and Josie Kurtz, Spencer County, plant systems Division 4
- Jacie Morton and Larissa Arnold, Montgomery County, power structural and technical systems Division 4
The American FFA Degree was awarded to 115 Kentucky FFA members. This honor is the highest award the organization can bestow on a member.
Sixteen Kentucky FFA chapters were recognized in the National Chapter Award Program. Bourbon County, Boyle County, Graves County, Locust Trace, Madisonville-North Hopkins, Marion County, Spencer County, Taylor County and Trimble County were recognized as national three-star chapters. Caldwell County, Harrison County, Henry County, LaRue County, Scott County, Seneca and Union County were recognized as national two-star chapters.
Olivia Moore of Western Hills represented Kentucky in the National FFA Chorus.
Sara Hendricks of Nelson County, Luke Staude of Western Hills and Avery Miller of McCracken County represented Kentucky in the National FFA Band.
Seneca FFA represented Kentucky in the National Hall of States.
Two Kentuckians received the Honorary American FFA Degree. They were:
- Darrell Billings, past chairman of the Kentucky FFA Foundation
- Alissa Smith of the National Association of Agricultural Educators