FFA members attend National Convention, gain new perspective

Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky was one of the attractions visited by Cortez FFA members, left to right, Riley Oliver, Tristen Shelby, Aaron McClain, Chantell Ford, Chance Lambert, Tierney Wilson and Ahanabah Finley. Enlargephoto

Courtesy Photo

Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky was one of the attractions visited by Cortez FFA members, left to right, Riley Oliver, Tristen Shelby, Aaron McClain, Chantell Ford, Chance Lambert, Tierney Wilson and Ahanabah Finley.

The blue corduroy FFA jackets were all ready to go, the name of our state, “Colorado,” stitched on the back of each jacket. The suitcases were stuffed, the preparation was complete. The destination was Indianapolis, Indiana, where the National FFA Convention was held. Seven Cortez FFA members along with their advisor, Amanda Ramos, were off to attend the 85th National FFA Convention held on October 24-27.

The week was jam-packed with a surprising array of events to keep the members on their toes. Throughout the week, the FFA members and Ms. Ramos attended workshops, keynote speeches and took career and educational tours in Louisville, Nashville and Indianapolis, including the Louisville Slugger Factory, Churchill Downs racetrack, Country Music Hall of Fame and historic Studio B, the National FFA Center, and Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage Mansion and plantation grounds. The members also toured Wirecut Technologies, a precision metal fabrication shop in Indianapolis that fabricates prototype parts for the automotive and medical industries.

While at the convention, members attended the Career Show which was filled with booths from companies such as Ford, John Deere, NASA, Farm Bureau, most state FFA associations and many colleges and branches of the military. Members got to talk to company recruiters at the career fair. There were many guest speakers that discussed their life experiences as well as many motivational speakers who urged the FFA members to become more active in organizations as well as in life. Two of the many inspiring motivational speakers included figure skater Scott Hamilton, USA Olympic Gold Medalist in the 1984 Olympic Games and cancer survivor, and former NBA star, Walter Bond.

The experience at the 2012 National FFA Convention created lifelong memories, gave each member a new perspective on agriculture and all the related industries, and friendships that span across the nation. The members couldn’t wait to be home and share their experience with their families, friends and FFA members at Montezuma-Cortez High School. The blue corduroy FFA jackets that the members got ready to take with them before beginning the trip played an important role, allowing the members to represent Cortez FFA and the Colorado FFA Association everywhere the jackets were worn.

The seven FFA students who attended the National Convention were representing not only Montezuma-Cortez High School, but the state of Colorado as well. The Cortez FFA members who attended were: Chantell Ford, Ahanabah Finley, Chance Lambert, Riley Oliver, Aaron McClain, Tristen Shelby and Tierney Wilson, chaperoned by their advisor Amanda Ramos.

Members of the Cortez FFA Chapter are pictured after attending the keynote speech of Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton. Shown from left to right are, back row, Advisor Amanda Ramos, Tristen Shelby, Chance Lambert, Aaron McClain, Riley Oliver; and front row, Tierney Wilson, Chantell Ford, Ahanabah Finley. Enlargephoto

Courtesy Photo

Members of the Cortez FFA Chapter are pictured after attending the keynote speech of Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton. Shown from left to right are, back row, Advisor Amanda Ramos, Tristen Shelby, Chance Lambert, Aaron McClain, Riley Oliver; and front row, Tierney Wilson, Chantell Ford, Ahanabah Finley.

The National FFA Center in Indianapolis, Indiana was visited by Cortez FFA members. Shown, left to right, are Chantell Ford, Ahanabah Finley, Tierney Wilson, Advisor Amanda Ramos, Tristen Shelby, Riley Oliver, Chance Lambert and Aaron McClain. Enlargephoto

Courtesy Photo

The National FFA Center in Indianapolis, Indiana was visited by Cortez FFA members. Shown, left to right, are Chantell Ford, Ahanabah Finley, Tierney Wilson, Advisor Amanda Ramos, Tristen Shelby, Riley Oliver, Chance Lambert and Aaron McClain.