FFA attends National Convention
Students of NUHS were fortunate enough to attend the 95th Annual National Convention in Indianapolis, IN where they were able to tour many different attractions and facilities.
November 22, 2022
An annual tradition for New Ulm FFA has recently occurred that brings home much knowledge and many stories to a select few students of NUHS. A tradition of traveling to Indianapolis, IN for FFA National Convention.
At the beginning of the trip, students of New Ulm FFA met the bus in Nicollet, MN at 7 AM on a cold, bitter, and windy Tuesday morning. Once loaded on the bus, the trip began for students from New Ulm when they started the day off by driving and picking up Cleveland FFA, Waterville FFA, and then Blue Earth FFA. Once the bus had reached full capacity, members were hunkered down on the bus and ready to ride.
Over the course of the trip heading to Indianapolis, students attended many tours along the way, including Cave of the Mounds in Blue Mounds, WI, Fair Oaks Farm Dairy, and Swine, in Fair Oaks, IN. One student that attended the trip, Jared Beranek said, “One of my favorite memories of going to Indianapolis was going to the Fair Oaks Farm. The things I loved the most were the big ice cream cones and seeing the DeLaval milking robots. It was amazing to see that the farm had six of the automated milkers.”
Once the attendants arrived at the hotel in Indianapolis, they unpacked but did not have much time to unwind. “As soon as we got there, we unpacked a little bit, and then we were back on the road to go to more events. It was so much fun, we just didn’t get much downtime,” said Jared.
The next day of the National Convention was a busy one. Attendants started the day out early with a hot hotel breakfast of custom homemade omelets. Once breakfast was over, the day officially began. Students found themselves back on the bus headed to Hunter’s Honey Bee Farm in Martinsville, IN. Once they arrived, they toured the facility and learned about the process and products that honey bees make. A New Ulm High School senior, Blake Voges said, “I could not believe that there were so many different kinds of honey, each flower is a different flavor. And there were so many different snacks that were made from honey.”
After students finished the tour at the Hunter’s Honey Bee Farm, they left back to attend the convention. While they were there, they were able to attend workshops, radio interviews with KNUJ, explore workshops, and sift through the FFA merchandise shop. As the day went on, students began to see more and more incredible things including trucks and tractors, college displays, welding simulators, and many more things. As the day went on, it came closer and closer to the final event for that day. A concert was held by Russel Dickerson and opened by Mickey Guyton.
After a long day, members left the concert and headed back to what some called home for the week. Students finally arrived back at the hotel at almost 11 o’clock at night.
The next day, the members were awake bright and early and on the bus at 7:00 a.m. when they left for the fourth general session. Once they arrived at the convention and session, members had free roam over the day. Some chose to go to the session, and some chose to go to the convention and wonder what was offered. As the day went on, members were trusted to be able to wander downtown Indianapolis to look for lunch. One student from GFW Pioneer Express Chapter, Andrew Burns, Region VII President, found himself and a group of friends in a very fancy restaurant for lunch. “The restaurant was super fancy, they had really good food and the waiter made me feel like a king,” said Burns.
After lunch, students headed back to the convention to roam the workshops offered. As the day began to come to a slow, members loaded back on the bus and headed back to the hotel for dinner and a change of clothes. Once downtime had passed, members found themselves back on the bus, headed to Hanna Haunted House Acres for a Haunted Hayride. Students arrived at the facility all bundled up and filled with fright. After a long line, and a few screams, a group of members were loaded onto the hay rack and started the journey through the haunted forest and pasture. As the ride went on, members were horrendously frightened and let out countless screams of fright. Once the ride was over, the members loaded back on the bus and headed back to the hotel after a long day.
As some members began to miss home, the trip came to an end. On the last day of the Convention, members had to be on the bus at 6:30 AM and they left for the American Degree Ceremony soon after. After a few hours of sitting through the session, students were back on the bus and headed home. Members found themselves preparing for the long journey home as they had to stop to not only change clothes but also put to stop for food, twice, and a stretch break once.
Once arrived, members of the New Ulm FFA found themselves in Nicollet, MN at almost 12 o’clock at night, giving a sweet goodbye to other chapters still on the bus, and a warm welcome from the friends and family that had to pick them members up.