The Shelby Promoter: Shelby FFA Gains Valuable Experience at John Deere Agriculture Expo

Wednesday, Nov. 16, the Shelby FFA left for another fun and educational trip to Bozeman to attend the FFA John Deere Agricultural Exposition. The annual John Deere Ag Expo is full of competitions and leadership activities designed for FFA members to sharpen their skills and expand their knowledge about agriculture and leadership. 

The competitions, or Career Development Events (CDEs), included Food Science, Agricultural Communications, Meat Judging, Agricultural Sales, Job Interview, Livestock Judging, Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems, Veterinary Science, Horse Judging and Market/Business Planning just to name a few. 

The first CDE Shelby competed in, Meat Judging, was held on Thursday. Most of our chapter attended this event or competed in other CDEs. Some of the chapter officers attended the Premier Leadership Conference (PLC). PLC was a three-day event that featured many guest speakers from the agriculture industry, as well as a visit from Senator Steve Daines. Later that day the entire chapter went to dinner and the FFA opening ceremonies. We listened to the guest speaker, Sarah Bohnenkamp. She spoke to nearly 1,550 FFA members and guests in attendance about leadership and how all of us could be leaders with the right judgment. 

On Friday there were more CDEs such as Food Science and Livestock Judging. Later that evening we went to a dance in the Strand Union Building. Saturday was the last day of events with most of us going to the Agricultural Communications CDE for the first time. 

Overall, it was a really fun weekend, and a lot of firsts for the freshman in FFA. We even got to help celebrate Curtis Conant’s 17th birthday while on the trip.

Some notable achievements by teams and individuals from the Shelby FFA chapter include:

Junior Meat Judging Team, placing 14th out of 37, Allyson Knight, 52nd out of 133 individuals, and team members, Justin Nieman, Selena Neith and Michael Sanchez. 

Sr. Livestock Judging Team placed 29th out of 59, Curtis Conant, 68th out of 266 individuals, and team members Jonathan Henke, Ethan Schwenke and Michael Sanchez. 

Sr. Mechanics Team, placed 22nd out of 58, Jonathan Henke, 63rd out of 246 individuals, team members Austin Taylor, Ethan Schwenke and Justen Henke.