By: Griffin Anderson, Contributing Writer
The Centralia High School FFA chapter wrapped up a remarkable run, concluding with a top 10 award in the nation and also recognized as the 7th best chapter in Missouri.
This journey started back in February, when they began the application process for the Models of Innovation competition. After being ranked as the 7th best chapter in Missouri, they qualified to move on to the national level.
At the national level, judges identify 10 chapters from the following categories: strengthening agriculture, building communities and developing members. The Centralia FFA chapter was selected as the top 10 in building communities for their Needle in the Haystack activity. That activity was then presented to the panel of judges through Zoom, by Annamarie Stone and Lauren Lafferty. Following their presentation, the two answered eight minutes worth of questions. The national winner was announced at the FFA National Convention. Scott Stone, CHS FFA advisor, said “We were very proud to be in the top 10 in the country.”
Lafferty talked about her experience with the Zoom call.
“I do feel like we were prepared for the questions. Between Annamarie and myself, I feel that we knew the answers to all the questions that were asked,” said Lafferty.
Lafferty also shared her experience with attending the National Convention, which was held in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“National Convention was an absolute blast! I loved being able to be back in Indianapolis in the sea of blue corduroy. Being on stage was very surreal, looking at all of the people there, being a small portion of people involved in this great organization, was an image I will never forget,” said Lafferty.
In addition to the chapter recognition, seven CHS graduates received their American FFA degree, which is the highest degree one can attain in FFA. Those recipients included: Mary Kate Bennett, Emily Bruns, Tristin Haas, Dallas Lewis, Shane Rhaodes, Garrett Schuering and Zane Stone.