FFA members from across the state will meet in Columbia Thursday and Friday, April 25-26, at the 91st Missouri FFA Convention to honor fellow members for outstanding achievements, conduct association business, elect new officers and participate in leadership workshops.
For the first time, convention sessions will be viewable at Livestream.com/MoDESE/MoFFA, according to a convention news release
"Cultivate Tomorrow, Today" 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, the release said.
According to Missouri FFA Executive Secretary Keith Dietzschold, the state association will present State FFA Degrees to 760 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 largest number of American FFA Degree recipients of any state — 518 Missouri FFA members received the American FFA Degree in 2018 during the national convention held in Indianapolis, Indiana, in October.
During the convention, the State Star Farmer, State Star in Agribusiness, State Star in Placement and State Star in Agriscience will be named, the release said.
In addition, 576 FFA members will receive awards in 48 agricultural proficiency areas for development of their supervised agricultural experience programs. The proficiency areas include production, management and communications disciplines. The release said Missouri SAE programs during the 2017-18 school year generated more than $52 million in student income.
FFA members also will participate in a number of organization program areas, including speaking competitions and career development events, such as agricultural sales, floriculture and livestock judging.
The Missouri FFA will present awards to several adults and groups for their support of agricultural education and FFA. This year 22 Honorary State FFA Degrees will be presented. An additional 16 honorary degrees will be presented to parents of retiring state officers.
The release said the Distinguished Service Citation will be presented to Don Fuhrmann of Hillsboro.
During the convention, Missouri FFA President Paxton Dahmer, Nevada FFA Chapter member, will lead 694 delegates in official business sessions, the release said. Each chapter is represented by two delegates.
Four FFA chapters, Oak Ridge, Valley Caledonia, Newburg and East Carter, will be chartered during the Thursday evening session, the release added.
Speakers at the convention include Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn, Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven, and Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient Dave Roever of Fort Worth, Texas.
The release said Missouri FFA Association has 25,375 members, “ranking sixth as a state in membership.”