Ag Time with Abby: FFA wants to amplify on ag causes and careers

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THE THEME of the 2014-15 National FFA year was to amplify our voice, not just in our FFA career but in our lives, families, and communities. In the opening session of the 88th National FFA Convention, Andy Paul, 2014-15 National FFA president, stated that “in order to chase our dreams, we must choose to amplify. Amplify is taking what we have and boosting it to impact. When we chase our dreams, we amplify our time, our energy, our resources, and ourselves, and we don’t stop until we achieve our goal.” Students all over the nation have chosen to amplify their voice in their hometowns and states this year.

One such example of amplification was achieved by one of Hawaii’s state officers. Members of the Hawaii FFA Association found it difficult to attend the state’s convention due to travel expenses. This state officer helped FFA Chapters across the islands raise money to travel to the convention site, which resulted in the largest attendance in recent years. Fueled by his passion, he amplified his voice and sparked action — impacting every single member’s life who was able to attend the Hawaii State Convention.

Polk County students were able to amplify their voice in FFA while attending the National FFA Convention. We had more than five Polk schools represented in Louisville this year! Four of those schools were mentioned on stage as students were receiving awards.

Three Polk graduates were awarded American FFA Degrees: Justin Barthle and Baileigh Williams from Haines City, and Hannah Combee from Tenoroc.

Kathleen FFA won first place in the National Forestry competition with the team consisting of Cody Clark, Shelby Carlton, Hannah Scionti, and Alex Yelvington. Hannah also placed fifth highest individual in the nation for forestry!

Madison Dvorak placed bronze for creed speaking.

George Jenkins FFA was able to send their Vet Science team to compete in the national contest, where they placed bronze. Their team consisted of Caitlyn Martin, Alissa Averill, Ashley Jennison, and Natallia Barria.

Aside from teams competing, Warner University had a team of six students, including myself, Sophia Relick, Keri Greenwood, Morgan Kennedy, Chris Massey, and Doug Batson, who were advocating for Warner’s Diversified Ag Studies major. President of Warner’s CFFA, Kaylee Norris, was in attendance also with the National Ag Ambassadors, hosting workshops about advocating.

Overall, it was a great 88th National FFA Convention, and I am beyond proud of each and every student that attended! In closing, I challenge you to find something that you want to amplify. As Andy Paul would say, “Chase your dreams by choosing to amplify your life.”

Until next month, as you enjoy all of your delicious Thanksgiving food, make sure to thank the farmer who worked endlessly day and night to get it from the field to your plate. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!


article by ABBY CRAWFORD

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Abby Crawford is currently enrolled at Warner University, majoring in Agriculture Studies with hopes to go into the agriculture education or communications. She is the former president of the Haines City High School FFA chapter as well as the voice behind 97 Country’s segment, “Ag Time with Abby,” which airs the first Friday of every month during the Breakfast Club with Roger and Melissa. Abby is also the 2014 Polk County Farm Bureau Youth Speech Contest Winner. For questions, FFA news, or FFA story ideas, email Abby at

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