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National FFA convention is held every year and attracts FFA members from every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. The 94th National FFA Convention was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, October 26-31, 2021.  Eighteen Catoctin FFA members joined over 60,000 other FFA members and guests from across our nation. Members were able to participate in sessions, workshops, and a career expo.

Members competed in Career Development Events/Leadership Development Events, more often referred to as CDEs and LDEs. To complete a CDE/LDE, each team or individual contestant extensively learned their subject and rehearsed their task in preparation for state convention. Every state gets to send one winning team per CDE/LDE to advance to nationals. This year, Catoctin FFA’s Agricultural Sales, Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management, Horse Evaluation, and Milk Qualities and Products teams advanced to nationals. Each team had to complete a portion of their contest virtually before going to Indianapolis. 

Agriculture Sales had to research several different types of Merck Animal Health Products and sell one to a customer. The members on this team researched the features and benefits of each product, interacted with a customer, determined that customer’s wants and needs, and tried to sell the product to that particular customer. Catoctin’s team members were Ella Burrier, Caroline Clark, Abby Moreland, and Kolton Whetzel. Each member placed silver, individually, and the team was a silver team. The team was coached by Michael and Amy Jo Poffenberger.

Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management team develop skills in dairy cattle selection and herd management. Participants evaluate the cattle’s physical characteristics, explain their various classes, and analyze a herd record as a team.  Owen Cook earned a bronze placing, individually. Rianna Chaney, Sheridan Chaney, and Cadin Valentine earned a silver placing, individually. The team placed bronze. The team was coached by Becky Chaney and Patti Hubbard. 

The Horse Evaluation team judged different classes of horses and presented reasons as to why they placed the classes that they did. Working together, the team identified and problem-solved horse issues. The team earned a silver placing. Carly Ridenour earned a bronze placing, individually. Kendall Abruzzese and Corinn Gregory earned silver, individually, and Cheyenne Van Echo earned a gold placing. This team was coached by Dani Jackson.

Milk Qualities and Products:  Members in this CDE demonstrate their knowledge about the quality production, processing, distribution, promotion, and marketing of milk and dairy foods. Dallas Hassel placed bronze, individually. Syenna Biser, Abigail Christian, and Sierra Flanary placed silver, individually.  The team placed bronze. The team was coached by Shelby Green and Carrie Wivell Wolf.

American FFA Degree recipients: Less than 1 percent of FFA members receive this prestigious degree. To be eligible to receive the American FFA Degree, members must meet qualifications such as receiving a State FFA Degree, holding active membership for the past three years, completing secondary instruction in an agricultural education program, and operating an outstanding supervised agricultural experience program. This year, Catoctin FFA had two members receive this highest honor: Robert Hahn and Hannah Hartness.

Catoctin FFA would like to thank everyone for all of the support in helping them to participate in the 94th National FFA Convention.  These students have gained skills and memories that will last a lifetime.