94th Missouri FFA Convention to be held April 21-22 in Columbia
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., April 16, 2022 – FFA members from across the state will meet in Columbia, April 21-22, at the 94th Missouri FFA Convention to honor fellow members for outstanding achievements, conduct association business, elect new officers and participate in leadership workshops.
NOW is the theme for this year’s annual convention, which is expected to attract more than 8,000 students and guests to Hearnes Center on the University of Missouri campus.
According to Missouri FFA Advisor Keith Dietzschold, the state association will present State FFA Degrees to 893 members who, as a result of their agricultural and leadership achievements, have qualified for the state’s highest FFA degree. Dietzschold also said Missouri has the second-largest number of American FFA Degree recipients of any state – 539 Missouri FFA members received the American FFA Degree in 2021 during the national convention held in Indianapolis, Indiana, in October.
During the state convention the State Star Farmer, the State Star in Agribusiness, the State Star in Placement and the State Star in Agriscience will be named. In addition, 542 FFA members will receive awards in 46 agricultural proficiency areas for development of their supervised agricultural experience program (SAE). The proficiency areas are varied and include production, management and communications disciplines. SAE programs in Missouri, during the 2020 record year, generated more than $57 million in student income.
FFA members also will participate in a number of organization program areas, including career development events such as agricultural sales, floriculture, livestock evaluation and speaking competitions.
The Missouri FFA will present awards to several adults and groups for their support of agricultural education and FFA. This year 23 Honorary State FFA Degrees will be presented. An additional 16 honorary degrees will be presented to parents of the retiring state officers. The Distinguished Service Citation will be presented to Leon Busdieker, Hawk Point, Mo. and Valerie Harris, Clarksburg, Mo. Busdieker has served as an agricultural education instructor, agricultural education district supervisor, and recently retired as Missouri Director for Agricultural Education and Missouri FFA Advisor. Harris served as an administrative assistant for Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources in the Office of College and Career Readiness, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
During the two-day event, Missouri FFA President Kaitlin Kleiboeker, a member of the Pierce City FFA Chapter, will lead 706 delegates, two from each chapter, in official business sessions.
Two FFA chapters will be chartered during the Friday morning session. The new chapters are Nixa and Viburnum.
National FFA Secretary Jackson Sylvester, from Felton, Delaware, will address FFA members and guests during the first general session Thursday afternoon and the fifth general session Friday evening. For his SAE, Sylvester founded and operates the Lake Forest FFA Dairy Lease Program. Sylvester is a full-time welder, fabricator and machinist.
Sylvester was elected as a national officer in October during the national convention. The six-person national officer team, including Sylvester, collectively will log more than 100,000 miles representing FFA to top leaders in business, government and education. National officers also lead numerous personal growth and leadership training sessions, and promote agricultural literacy.
The first session also will include remarks from Christopher Daubert, vice chancellor and dean of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
During the Friday morning session Chris Chinn, Missouri Department of Agriculture director and Margie Vandeven, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education commissioner will deliver remarks to FFA members and guests.
The Missouri FFA Association has 25,626 members in 353 chapters. FFA strives 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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