Benjamin Russell’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) agriculture mechanics team made a name for itself this weekend at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis. The team received a silver medal but doesn’t know if it’s placed between 13th through 28th in the state, according to FFA advisor Josh Williams.
“We know we’re silver on it, which is excellent,” Williams said. “We’ve got (silver) because the way the contest is set up we’re competing against a lot of tech centers and stuff like that where the students have a lot more opportunities than maybe ours do here at the school.”
The top 12 were announced Friday; the rest of the teams will be told where they placed through mail. Silver teams earned 13th through 28th and the rest took bronze.
“I was proud of them,” Williams said. “Everything that was under our control that they could do well on, we have the equipment and the facilities here to do, they did really well on.”
The ag mechanics team, made up of Colton Allen, Reed Scott, Jackson McMichen and Wyatt Allen did hands-on activities such as troubleshooting engines. It also took a written exam and did electrical wiring, welding, troubleshooting diesel engines, worked with large equipment and did surveying.
Scott was the highest placed individual on the team, ranking gold. Colton Allen and Jackson McMichen ranked silver and Wyatt Allen made bronze.
The 92nd annual convention had about 70,000 people attend and is one of the largest career expos for high schoolers, according to Williams.
“It is by far the largest convention that’s held annually,” Williams said.
In addition to the ag mechanics team, officers Allie Broom and Landon Daniel also went through leadership workshops at the convention.
“They were wanting to go and experience the national convention as well, so they helped us raise money during the fall to go up there and kind of experience some of the stuff,” Williams said.
Williams said the students who attended now have insight into what the convention expects of the teams.
“It was a good first experience for us,” Williams said. “We’re looking to take what we’ve learned up there and bring it back to some of our other teams this upcoming spring so we have the chance to go back the next few years as well.”
Benjamin Russell’s FFA program is in its fourth year and those who attended the convention were freshmen when they began.
“The students had a great time,” Williams said. “I’m very proud of how they did. This was our first chance to go up there on a team contest and go compete.”
The trip was also the first time half the students traveled on a plane and most of them had never been out of the state.
Williams said since returning, many students from other FFA teams at BRHS have already contacted him about competing.
“Just because of the opportunities they had because they were successful outside of the contest they were able to go and do those things and represent our state,” Williams said. “In the few days that we’ve been back they’ve got the other teams excited.”