When you ask most FFA members what one of their fondest memories of FFA was, they would almost always include the Greenhand Conference as one of their favorites. For most, this is their first experience leaving school, on a school day, to compete against other schools in a competitive event.
Greenhands are first year FFA members, almost always freshman, and this is typically their first opportunity to compete in one of the high school organizational competitions outside of sports. For that reason alone it usually sticks with them for a very long time.
Another reason that days like these are memorable is when the student’s team and/or teammates have really successful days that leave the members with a huge sense of school pride. Fortunately for the Southeast FFA Greenhands, Thursday, September 24th met both criteria at the Southeast District FFA Greenhand Conference in Iola, Ks.
The competition that every Greenhand competes in is the FFA Information test. The fifty-question test is made up of everything that has to do with FFA. FFA traditions, operations, ceremonies, history and important people make up most of the test. For the first four weeks of school, Freshman at Southeast that are enrolled in Agriculture Science learn and study about all of these items. Greenhand Conference is their opportunity to show off what they have learned in a competitive environment against the other 23 schools in the Southeast District.
Southeast FFA looked to improve on their 7th place finish last year, and did so by placing 4th at this years’ conference. Teams placing in front of them were Labette County, Girard and Chetopa. The team score is comprised of the Chapter’s top three test scores. This year’s top test scores for Southeast belonged to Peyton Simpson, Noah Newcomb and Jaret Brumback.
While placing 4th in the Information contest was considered a very good result, the highlight of the day came in the FFA Creed Speaking Contest. In the Creed Speaking contest, students recite the FFA Creed, written by EM Tiffany, in front of a panel of judges. After a preliminary round, ten finalists are selected and give the Creed a final time for another round of scores. Expectations were high going into the competition after Southeast’s success last year in this contest. Daisy Burns, currently a sophomore and the Southeast FFA Chapter President, won the contest in 2014 and ended up finishing 3rd in the state of Kansas. However, even cracking the top ten of this contest is very difficult and is considered an honor to simply make it that far.
But, Southeast FFA continued it’s run of success in the contest by getting both of our speakers, Daria Stricklin and Isabella Friemel into the top ten. From there Isabella Friemel finished 6th overall, and for the second year in a row, a Southeast FFA member won the district contest when Daria Stricklin was named the Creed Speaking Champion. Daria is now qualified for the State contest, which is held in late May.
The Southeast Freshman FFA members will now begin preparing for the Southeast District FFA Leadership contest where members will compete in FFA Opening Ceremonies, Parliamentary Procedure demonstrations, and an information test over Kansas Agriculture and FFA Information.