FFA members attend nationals, return with memories, knowledge

Contrary to popular belief, FFA is more than plows, cows and sows. For some it means learning all about how baby elephants are made.

Electric City FFA recently traveled to Louisville, Ky.,  to attend their second trip to Nationals.

“Agriculture is different all across the country,” Jodi Koterba said.

So in order to get a taste of Kentucky’s local culture, the group attended several sightseeing ventures from their plane landing in Cincinnati, Ohio to their bus drive to the convention in Louisville. Sites included a winery, local produce farms, an alpaca farm, a zoo, Louisville Slugger museum, and the  Kentucky Derby where kids talked to the trainers,.

“[Kids were]asking science-based questions regarding the reproduction process of an elephant,” Koterba said of their trip to the zoo.

“I love watching the expression of the experience of our kids,” Koterba said. “Different things impact all of them.”

The Electric City FFA chapter presented the State Display for Montana, attended general sessions and supported their state public speaker winner Amber Robert’s.

“It was fun and it was a good experience,” senior Amber Roberts said.

Although she enjoyed speaking at nationals she also enjoyed the general sessions.

“General session was absolutely amazing,” Roberts said, “The speakers and everything was just top notch.”

“All kids went to a career workshop based on their career interest and all went to leadership and general sessions,” Koterba said.

Roberts said a big part about going to Nationals is to “gain knew knowledge and use what we learn”.

“One of the biggest things is to keep a positive light on everything and including everyone,” Roberts said.

Freshman Kaitlyn Koterba particularly enjoyed a leadership session called “The Power of Empowerment” where she learned that, “to be a leader you have to lead in the way you want other people to act.” She said that most sessions depend on kids being outgoing.

“You gotta let go, be crazy and be yourself,” Kaitlyn said.

Starting FFA two summers ago, Kaitlyn had her eye on going to Nationals for quite some time.

“From that point I decided I wanted to go to Nationals,” Kaitlyn said.

“To get to Nationals is kind of a long process.”

In order to get her ticket to Nationals, she competed and won state for juniors creed where she had to memorize the five paragraph FFA creed and answer questions about it in front of judges.

“The point is for freshman to improve their public speaking,” Kaitlyn said. “Not how to write a speech but how to say it.”

Although since joining FFA, her experience has meant a lot more to her than preparing for competitions.

“We’re so close FFA is seriously like a family,” Kaitlyn said. “It’s so much fun to be with this group of people.”

“We have so many different personalities; [those] different personalities make us a lively group, and accepting different personalities makes us closer,” Kaitlyn said.