Strasburg FFA was recently named the No. 1 FFA chapter in the state during the 93rd State FFA Convention at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
They advance to the national level in October in Indianapolis.
“I am so proud. They work hard every day,” said agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor Abbi Copp. “I think we have great kids; they are dedicated and work hard.
Agricultural education teacher and FFA adviser Brian Fisher was not surprised by the team capturing the honor.
“I knew what they are capable of. They showed what they can do,” Fisher said.
The achievements that helped win the title included:
The chapter during the convention received a gold rating for the Superior Chapter Award.
The chapter was named the Northern Area Winner for Strengthening Agriculture.
The chapter was named the Northern Area Winner for Growing Leaders
The chapter was also named State Winner for Growing Leaders
The chapter was named the Northern Area Winner for Senior Chapter
Team member Shelby Smith recalled her reaction at hearing the announcement the chapter had won as the state’s top chapter.
“Man, we did it, especially for the seniors and our four years of work,” Smith said.
Aidan Keller agreed, saying it was the culmination of the work the students had put into the FFA for years.
That includes going into elementary schools to teach the kids agriculture-related lessons as well as community service work, including cooking and serving community meals, he said.
In conjunction with the United Methodist Church, they also helped with a program called Friendship Lunches.
Other titles won during the State FFA Convention:
The Agricultural Communications team placed first. They will advance to the national convention.
Team members were Madison Estep, Cameron Froemel, Amber Gessner, and Keller.
They had to create a plan on how to get a story published in a newspaper and on social media, Estep said.
The Marketing Plan team placed first. They will compete at the national convention.
Team members were Joel Gessner, Anna Rankin, and Smith.
They had to create a business plan for a company. Smith said they created one for Woodbine Farm Market, which she works for.
Makenzie Kline received a silver rating in Employment Skills. Kline was also chosen to serve as treasurer of the Virginia State FFA Officer Team for 2019-2020.
She knows the upcoming year will be very busy but she is excited to be able to serve as a state officer.
Kline said the process she went through before being named to the post involved interviews with a committee and with individual members.
She felt good about her chances but was still surprised when she heard her name called.
“I thought I had a shot but state officers are a big deal. I was shocked to be up there,” Kline said.
Strasburg FFA adviser Abbi Copp and Strasburg High School Vice Principal Derek Ritenour received honorary State FFA degrees.
Both were nominated by Fisher but they did not know if they would achieve it.
Fisher said Copp deserved the honorary award because of her hard work and that Ritenour has always been supportive of the program and was also an ag educator.
Copp said she got the letter in June.
“I was excited,” Copp said about the news.
Smith was recognized as the Northern Area Star in Agriculture Placement.