On May 1-3, 21 Black River Local Schools’ (BRLS) Future Farmers of America (FFA) students attended the Ohio FFA State Convention in Columbus under the supervision of Christina Howard, BRLS agricultural education teacher & FFA advisor. At the convention, students listened to motivational speakers, gained valuable leadership skills, engaged in educational tours and received recognition for their hard work amongst nearly 9,000 members and guests.
This was an exceptional year for the Black River FFA Chapter, as they received a number of awards at the convention.
“I am so thankful for the dedicated students that I get to work with and watch grow each year,” said Howard. “Our chapter had such a successful year and this convention was such a reflection of all of the hard work these students have put in. The whole experience from start to finish was a wonderful way to end our year!”
Receiving the first awards of the convention were Jr. Treasurer Myrissa Norton, Secretary Chloee Howard and Reporter Katlyn Kubitz. These three members received recognition on stage and were awarded gold pins for earning a State Gold Rating on their officer books.
The next group of students to receive recognition were those who had exemplary Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs and have earned their Ohio FFA State Degree. This year, Cori Aviles, Collin Burnett and Anna Shearer represented Black River High School as three members of the elite two percent of Ohio FFA members to earn the degree. Aviles’ SAE project consisted of his work at Smoke Rise Kennels and his experience of raising and showing market lambs. Burnett was a welder at Amp Tech and Anna earned her State Degree while working on Reisinger Dairy Farm.
In addition to the members who received individual awards, the Chapter also received recognition for earning a Gold Rating on their National Chapter Award application. The National Chapter Award program recognizes the elite FFA chapters in the state of Ohio that successfully complete an annual Program of Activities. In its entirety, it is a summary of all of the activities that the students and chapter participate in that encourage growth within student, chapter and community development.
Their application will advance for review at the national level, where the Black River FFA chapter will also be recognized at the National FFA Convention in October.
“The entire Black River Local School District and community are very proud of our FFA Chapter and their accomplishments this year,” said Superintendent Chris Clark. “We are glad to have such a strong chapter that lays the groundwork for our students to further explore their interests and passions.”
During their trip, the group visited United Producers auction house in Bucyrus. The students toured the facility auction ring and holding pens and had the chance to hear about how livestock is sold, market demand and how prices have changed over the years. Additionally, students also toured Crossroad Designs Candle Company and The Ohio State University’s Dairy Farm, enjoyed some dodgeball at Sky Zone and challenged their driving skills on the go-carts at Magic Mountain.
The following students attended were in attendance at the convention: Breann Czarny, Cassandra Stroud, Collin Burnett, Anna Shearer, Rebecca Stroud, Kailee Baker, Joe Mennell, Cassidy Mrakuzic, Cori Aviles, Madison Bias, Nathan Clifford, Jenna Hamilton, Hope Diaz, Katlyn Kubitz, Myrissa Norton, Billy Blicha, Abby Groesser, Allison Herbert, Molly Cordonnier and Chloee Howard.