Lancer Spotlight 11/9/22 : Linganore students place at 95th National FFA Convention


Ashley Abuelhawa

Juniors Tate Ondrik, Nate Pelino, Evan Mayhew and senior Aaron Eng celebrate placing silver in the forestry competition.

by Jenna Fountain, Reporter

This year at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN, the 95th National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention was held.

The National FFA Convention is an annual celebration of all things agriculture within the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Students from all over the country come together to participate in competitions, workshops and other agricultural education experiences. 

“The FFA National Convention is a huge convention with about 69,000 FFA members present. They have many competitions within the convention, such as the FFA Creed contest. We had a parliamentary procedure team and a forestry team go. There are many different options that you can do within the FFA, whether that is career development or leadership development,” said sophomore Sierra Howell. 

Each year, Linganore sends different teams to compete in the convention. This year, they included the Parliamentary Procedure team, the Forestry team and FFA Creed speaker Howell. 

“The parliamentary procedure team is a group of seven individuals from any grade. They study the procedures of running a business meeting and they demonstrate that to a group of judges. You’ve got your president, vice president [and] all those different roles that you’ll fill with the different members in FFA. They go and showcase that by running a fake business meeting, just developing those skills to run a real business meeting,” said Howell. 

Following the student-run business meeting, students take an exam on the different parliamentary procedures and the rules of each individual within the group. The score they receive is based upon the written exam and on their performance running a business meeting.

The Parliamentary Procedure team includes 2022 graduate Shea Cencula, senior Emily Ausherman, and juniors Gracie Stephens, Mahati Konduri, Makayla Burrier and Madison Umberger. Their team placed bronze in their competition.

Another team that was sent to Nationals was the Boys’ Forestry team. The members of the team were juniors Tate Ondrik, Evan Mayhew, Nate Pelino and senior Aaron Eng. As a team, they placed silver, but as an individual, Eng placed gold. 

Howell competed as an individual in the creed contest and placed silver as a semi-finalist.

“It was quite an experience to say the least. It was so cool seeing many different people from all over the country, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. There are so many other diverse opportunities in agriculture, and I believe the best way to gain that perspective is to go to the national convention. You get to see all those different people come together for one purpose and that is to contribute to the constant development of agriculture, ” said Howell. 

Working her way up to national level, Howell had to learn, memorize and recite the FFA Creed to place first at county level, regional level, and states before even going to nationals to compete. 

“Originally, my advisors introduced the creed to me. They said if you memorize it, we will give you a free FFA jacket, so I was like ‘I’m on board’ … I went on to the county contest, and they asked me three questions. Once I finished the creed pertaining to agriculture and the worlds and values within the FFA … So I did that contest and placed first in the county, so I went on to the states, and I was fortunate enough to win that,” said Howell.

Nationals is a great opportunity to learn and to meet others in the agriculture industry.

“The kids were seeing FFA jackets from all across the country walking right beside them and participating in events,” said Adivsor Patricia Beachy

Beachy has gone to the National FFA Convention for over 20 years. She has had her range of experiences at nationals, but she felt this year was special because the competition hadn’t been held in person since Covid, and each student going had never been to a national convention. 

Ashley Abuelhawa is one of the FFA advisors along with Beachy and Thomas Hawthorne. 

“This was the first year that we have been back since Covid, so it was really cool to kind of see how the old times were coming back. We got to see all these different people from all these different states. It was also awesome because none of our FFA members who went had ever been to nationals before, so it was a new experience for them,” said Abuelhawa.

The National FFA Convention is a major event for many students all around the country.

My favorite part was probably the sessions. One of the things we all said that we thought was cool is that we would look around and see all these people we didn’t know but were related to them in some way. It was crazy that we were connected with them and shared similar interests. It was mind boggling to see the amount of people just like me,” said Ausherman.