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home : schools and education : schools October 20, 2014

11/7/2012 8:51:00 AM
FFA members bring home national awards from national convention in Indianapolis
Chelan FFA Horse team (L to R) Melissa LaHaye, Shanna McGinty, Selah Valencia, and Pashiya Sandum competed in the 2012 National FFA Horse Evaluation CDE at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.Photos courtesy Chelan FFA
Chelan FFA Horse team (L to R) Melissa LaHaye, Shanna McGinty, Selah Valencia, and Pashiya Sandum competed in the 2012 National FFA Horse Evaluation CDE at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Photos courtesy Chelan FFA
Chelan FFA members at Churchill Downs at the statue of Derby Winner, Barbaro.
Chelan FFA members at Churchill Downs at the statue of Derby Winner, Barbaro.
By Derek Ahl
FFAChapter Reporter

Twelve members of the Chelan FFA traveled to the corn and soy bean fields of Indiana for the 85th National FFA Convention held in Indianapolis Oct. 24 through 27.

Four went to compete on the big stage of the National FFA Horse Evaluation Career Development Event; two went to accept the 2Star National Chapter Award for the Chelan Chapter; and the others went as Chapter Delegates to join the 52,000 other FFA members from across the nation who attended the convention and experience the spectacle of the National FFA Convention.

The experience that the Chelan FFA members shared will stay with them the rest of their lives. They traveled back a couple days early and were able to tour the regions agriculture and historical sites.

On Sunday, members toured the Helvey Brothers Farm in Ossian, Ind., They saw corn and soybeans in the field and then get up close and personal with the farm equipment used in the operation.

On Monday, members traveled to Kentucky and toured Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum. They watched riders working out thoroughbreds for the upcoming racing season on the track, see the twin spires of the high church of horse racing, and see the history of the derby.

They then toured the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. They watched bats being made for the World Series and swung bats made for legendary players like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig. They then traveled to Versailles, Ken., and toured Winstar Farms, the premier stud and training farm in the race horse world. They met with the Stud Farm Manager Andres Cabellero, who talked to them about the 20 Thoroughbred Stallions standing at the farm and the business and science of the horse breeding industry. They were able to see Super Saver the 2010 Kentucky Derby Winner and Tiznow the only two-time winner of the Breeders Cup.

Pete Joyce, who is from Drewsey, Ore., saddle breaks the yearlings on the farm, then gave students a tour of the state of the art training facility. Once he breaks the 80 yearlings, they are turned over to the trainer and exercise riders where they are worked out and built into stars on the track. They have swimming pools, hot walker barns, vibrating stall floors, hyperbaric chambers, and underwater treadmills all to train horses more efficiently and assist in recovery after workouts.

On Tuesday, members toured the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis. They were able to view one of the largest collections of original Remington bronzes, and Russell sculptures and oils in the world along with Native American and Contemporary Western Artists. They then went to the Indianpolis Zoo where they petted sharks, saw lions, tigers, bears, white rhinos, cheetahs, monkeys, and many more animals.

The horse team was made up of Selah Valencia, Pashiya Sandum, Shanna McGinty, and Melissa LaHaye. On Wednesday their day began at 8:30 a.m. and they competed until 8:05 p.m. They evaluated four performance classes which included Reining, Hunter Hack (Hunter under Saddle with fences), Arabian Western Pleasure, and Quarter Horse Western Pleasure classes. They also evaluated four halter classes of Appaloosa Mares, Arabian Mares, Quarter Horse Geldings, and Arabian Geldings. They then talked four sets of oral reasons, which required them to defend their placings of two of the halter and two of the performance classes.

They were evaluated on their format, terminology, and accuracy in seeing the classes. They then had to take an individual identification test on 20 horse breeds, colors, markings, and tack.

On Thursday, they completed their team activity which required them to saddle and unsaddle a horse, take vital signs, and evaluate body conditioning. They then were given a scenario to review for 10 minutes and then required to make a five minute team presentation addressing the questions posed in the scenario. When it all shook out, each of the girls delivered their personal best performance on judging and reasons and the team earned a bronze rating placing 43rd in the nation. Individually, Selah earned a silver, and the other three girls earned a bronze.

The Chelan Chapter received a 2Star National Chapter Award. The National Chapter award is based on how well the chapter program of activities fulfills the mission and goals of the National FFA Organization. It addresses nine standards within the Community Development, Chapter Development, and Student Development goals of the FFA.

Only the top 270 FFA Chapters in the country qualify for a 2Star award or higher. There are over 7,280 chapters across the nation. Chapter President Lupe Villasenor and Chapter Vice-President Apolinar Blanco accepted the award on behalf the chapter.

Three Chelan FFA Members also earned their American FFA Degrees by earning or investing $7,500 in their Supervised Agriculture Experience projects, completing a minimum of 3 years of Agriculture Education Coursework, 100 hours of community service, and competing in at least 5 events above the district level. Sammi Jo Cool, Jorge Villasenor, and Zaren Sandum all received their American FFA Degrees.

The members attended the opening session of the convention and enjoyed the laser light show, the opening ceremonies, and the keynote speaker, former Olympic Ice Skater, Scott Hamilton. Members toured the FFA Career Show with over 1300 booths from colleges and universities, agribusinesses, and government agencies. Members also attended the second and third General Sessions of the

Other convention attendees were Chapter Secretary, Sean Hess; Chapter Treasurer, Jake Straub; Chapter Reporter, Derek Ahl; Chapter Sentinel, Michael LaHaye; and Chad Miller. They were accompanied to the convention by Chaperone, Janice LaHaye, and FFA Advisor, Rod Cool.

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