Lone Star FFA Chapter Excels at State Convention
Photos Courtesy of Heidi Simpson & Glenda Summers
The Colorado State FFA convention is a place where FFA members from across the state gather to compete in various events, receive awards, listen to motivational speakers and participate in leadership workshops. The 84th convention was held on June 5-7, at Colorado State University-Pueblo in Pueblo, Colo.
“Envision your Impact” was this year’s convention theme. More than 1,500 FFA members, advisors, supporters and guests attended the convention, and more than 250 State FFA Degrees were award to FFA members. This is the highest degree the state can bestow upon its members.
Hundreds of students won awards, from parliamentary procedure to creed speaking to livestock judging. Lacie Bone, a student from the Lone Star FFA Chapter, won the Agricultural Communications Placement Systems Proficiency Award.
The agricultural communications proficiency award is designed to recognize students who are involved in a supervised agricultural experience, where the student is placed at a newspaper or other agricultural print facilities to obtain training and practical experience in writing and publicizing in preparation for a writing communications career.
Bone, who is now a sophomore at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo., won the award for her work as a rodeo queen. Bone took her role serving through the Washington County rodeo queen program to mentor youth and promote the message of agriculture. She traveled to county fairs, National Western Stock Show and community events to educate the audience on agricultural issues and leadership.
“No one even knew what the stock show was. They thought rodeo was just bull riding. There is so much more than that. We were re-informing them what an actual rodeo was. People had never seen one. They see it and understand what we do. It was a new world for them,” Bone said.
She continued, “A lot of people don’t understand anything with agriculture. People don’t understand where their milk comes from. There is so much more to it than they know about. They get a better understanding that things don’t come just from the grocery store. The inter-city people when they live there, they don’t get out to see the country world. A lot of those people have no idea what agriculture even is. It was good for me to be able to tell them. After a little bit of explaining they are really surprised. Even just simple Denver people had no idea where their food was coming from.”
Bone is the daughter of Randy and Treena Bone, and her adviser was Mr. Leon Hanhardt. “When I started my freshman year, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do FFA. I knew I was growing up in the ag world and I wanted put a new meaning on it. I owe it all to Mr. Hanhardt. He taught me so much. All the hands on experience and learning everything, and he was the one who taught it,” she said.
Bone plans to finish her animal science and animal nutrition degree at NJC, and then transfer to Oklahoma Panhandle State and finish her bachelor degree. “Then hopefully I want to get a job with a feed company, particularly a show feed company, and start down the career path of animal nutrition,” she said.
Another student from the Lone Star FFA chapter who excelled at the state convention was Jace Harris, who received the Beef Production Placement Proficiency Award. Harris grew up in production agriculture on a cattle-feeding operation and wanted to continue working on his family’s operation. He manages the fencing and administers the vaccinations. He also works on local cow/calf operations to learn the different sides to the industry.
“I was running cows and helping my family’s operations. I have four part times jobs I work between, so I’m pretty much on call all the time for when people need me. From cow/calf to yearling to grower operations, I have worked with all of them,” he said.
He continued, “FFA got my name out there in terms of meeting new people, and talking to those people and getting new ideas. I take those back to the places I work. As far as being able to go out and talk to people, FFA has helped me out a lot there. In terms of learning how I need to act and behave, I’ve learned a lot of manners as well in terms of respect. FFA helped opened my eyes and help me grow up to be a more responsible, respectable young man.”
The beef production placement proficiency award is designed to recognize the students who are involved in a supervised agricultural experience and requires the students to use the best management practices available to efficiently produce and market beef. Harris is the son of Jay Harris and Danna Sonnenberg-Harris.
He is a sophomore at NJC studying agriculture education. “I plan to finish my degree at CSU and then come back to the family operation and start an operation of my own. My goal in the next five years is to take over the cattle part of my family’s operation,” he said.
In one of the team competitions, the Weld Central FFA chapter won the Parliamentary Procedure competition. The chapter received the Jerald Truax Memorial Trophy and $700 in recognition of its accomplishments and will represent Colorado in the national competition, which will be held in conjunction with the 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., in October.
The Parliamentary Procedure CDE is designed to help students learn and apply effective meeting management skills. Team members draw assignments immediately preceding the competition. One member receives the chairmanship assignment and others receive assignment regarding business items that are to be conducted.
Aidan Soguro of the Estes Park FFA Chapter won first place in the Creed Speaking contest. He received a plaque, a metal and $200. He will represent the state at the National Convention as well.
The state convention is also where the new state officers are elected. The new officers are: President: Kristen Schmidt, Greeley West; Vice President: Jayce Tappy, Merino; Secretary: Rebekka McCaleb, Arickaree; Treasurer: Mitch Stahley, Platte Valley; Reporter: Carly Hinton, Sangre De Cristo; Sentinel: Kendall Wilkins, Yuma; Executive Committee: Chance Kanode, Highland, Brandy Jo Marrinan, Alamosa, Lance Gilbert, New Raymer and Brooke Miller, Eaton.
One thing that is unique about the Colorado FFA convention is the attendees can have access to a mobile application, which allows them to find the schedule and see the results from their phone.
“It’s a great way if you are on the go, very easy to find Colorado FFA. It’s a great way to start teaching our students about the proper use of technology and how it can be a great tool,” said Don Thorn, Executive Director for the Colorado FFA Foundation.
FFA is an integral part of the Agricultural Education Division within the Colorado Community College System. The Colorado FFA Association currently stands with more than 4,700 members. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
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