This convention was an exciting one. We had teams and competitors in every single event. Our National Officer Candidate, Morgan Shaver, represented the very best of our state with grace and enthusiasm. State Officers made some of the most compelling, logical arguments for a key constitutional change I’ve seen in five years observing and helping with the national delegate process. On stage, NY students shone – students from Granville, Stockbridge Valley and Tri-Valley lit up the stage in the band and chorus. Behind the scenes, NY alumni made convention work. Several key roles were filled by OUR FFA alumni members. The Expo was loaded with former members helping students make strong decisions about college and careers. And of course, every NY student had a chance to recognize that they can achieve the highest levels of leadership in FFA as one of OUR members, Kenny Quick, served the last few days of his National Officer year of service. This success can be credited to the advisors who have built this association with their dedication to students and to agriculture.
We’re starting to see greater success on a level beyond New York – and it is well deserved. But just as the officers challenged our members – we have room to grow as well. I think a phenomenal example of this is the Tri-Valley FFA earning the national Model of Innovation award for Community Development. This is not the first time they’ve applied, nor is it the first time they’ve been a finalist – but after years in the making, the chapter was finally recognized for something they’ve been doing well – and improving steadily – for years.
As a state, we do many things well. Our classrooms are packed with relevance and taught by caring teachers. Our FFA members are eager and filling state level events. Student SAEs are diverse and there are some phenomenal projects throughout the state. The things your chapters do for students, for your schools and for your communities are practically unrivaled. I believe we can continue to see more NY students and schools being recognized by continuing to emphasize and facilitate the recognition process. We can take student development and the level of instruction we’re delivering to the next level. I’m going to do my part from the state office to provide as much support as possible, and as a state we can continue to grow the value of what we do for our students and our chapters.
A little success brings a desire for greater success – and this is an exciting time to not only celebrate what NY FFA has already accomplished but to envision where we will go, together. I believe we’ll see schools making impacts in their community’s fight against hunger; students developing better speaking skills than we’ve ever seen on the local level; SAE projects that are garnering attention beyond our state convention stage and chapters being recognized for the full value of what they are delivering.
Let’s start by telling our story. I’d encourage you to have your students write an article about their convention experience and send it to local media. Have them connect with your local supporters – partners, administrators, school boards – to share with them the value of what they just did. Sit down with your chapter officers to identify how they want to grow their membership and grow your chapter’s success. Capitalize on the post-convention enthusiasm. If there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know.
Congratulations on all the success you earned this week in Indianapolis. Thank you for making me proud to say that I represent NY FFA.
NY FFA Executive Secretary