Members attending this year are pictured from left to right: (front row) Jeff Anderson, Perry Baird, Tyler Southworth, Jadyn Davis, Jenna McMackins, Jacob Carlton, Briley Cunningham, Rachel Hale, (back row) Hunter Owen, Will Byford, Edward Robertson, Abbye Moore, Tyler Lance, Abigail Buchanan, Ashley Hurley, and McKenzie Elkins.
The Woodbury FFA chapter traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana for the 91st National FFA convention. Oh boy, did they have fun! Their trip started on Tuesday, October 23, traveling north with stops at the Corvette museum as they headed to Indianapolis. Wednesday members visited the National FFA career fair and trade show. At the career fair and trade show, they visited national sponsors around the U.S. and even met with colleges from around the nation. A great opportunity for members to investigate potential school opportunities. They finished it off with going to the National FFA store. Following the convention center, members headed to the first opening session and enjoyed listening to Kyle Scheele give an amazing speech. That night, Garth Brooks was in concert and he put on an outstanding show.
Thursday morning, they were up bright and early to head to their tours. The first stop of the day was to RDM Saltwater Shrimp Farm where they got to learn about how to grow and raise shrimp. The owner even told the background story of the farm. Next, the tours included Fair Oaks Farm, where members observe a 72 cow rotating carousel to be milked. The milking tactic is one of few in the nation, along with the farm housing about 30,000 cows in 10 free stall barns. At Fair Oaks, between 80-100 calves are born there each day. Additionally, there is a swine farm that was broken down into farrowing, weaning and breeding. Down the farrowing isle, over 300 piglets are born to countless sows that are accompanied by multiple birthing assistants. These individuals educated through processing a newborn piglet- clipping its tail, ear notching and trimming needle teeth. Best of all, the tour was wrapped up with farm-fresh ice cream. That night, members visited a historic theatre in downtown Franklin, Indiana, Artcraft Theater. Here, multiple chapters from across Tennessee were able to socialize and visit while watching the Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus.
As the chapter headed south on Friday, there first stop was at Ozark Fisheries. This is a koi fish farm that is fourth generation owned and operated. Our tour guide was the great-granddaughter of the original founders of the farm. This farm hatches and raises koi fish, crayfish and tadpoles that are shipped and transported all across the US. Woodbury FFA got to see how these varieties are hatched from egg size all the way up to several inches long before being shipped. Their facility was shown to members from the beginning, harvest the eggs, to the end ponds the house the parent fish as well as growing fish to an acceptable size. Next stop was the Lucas Oil production facility outside of Louisville, Ky. The staff here walked our members around their assembling lines, railroad shipping and product storage for almost 70% of all of their products production. Members were shown the makings of the assembling lines from sifting through the product bottles to filling, sealing and boxing. There were also multiple robots that were included in the assembly lines that were operating for our viewing specifically. For the parts of the facility that were all hands on, employees were eager to show and tell to the members and easily solidly the idea that they are the heart of the business.
This year, Woodbury FFA had seven, American Degree recipients and was a two star National FFA Chapter. These results are a product of our Program of Activities the previous year and recent graduates completing a rigorous application. Our very own Woodbury FFA President, Emily Nave, was selected to participate in the National FFA Chorus. This week she performed and was chosen for a solo. Every year, the National FFA Organization invites the standing United States President to speak at convention. This year, President Donald Trump accepted. He is the first President since 1991 to speak in person to the convention hall. President Trump gave remarks to the 69,000 FFA convention members where Emily had the opportunity to shake hands with him! We're so proud of you Emily!