2021 Ohio FFA State Convention

Life skills learned in the Helterbrand family FFA state officer tradition

To schedule your campus visit go to: wilmington.edu

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

Family traditions run deep in the FFA and, for many FFA members, there once was a time where they watched an older sibling wear the blue jacket. That was the case for 2020-2021 Ohio FFA State Secretary Joe Helterbrand from Hillsboro. 

His older brother, AJ Helterbrand, was a state officer in 2011-2012. Joe was just a little boy at that time, but says that he still remembers going to watch his brother at the state convention that year. He said that first opportunity to witness the convention is what sealed his interest in FFA.

“With my parents, they said that you had to try it out for at least a year and if you didn’t like it you didn’t have to stay in it through your high school career. But I chose definitely to stay with it and to definitely get more involved through FFA,” said Joe Helterbrand.… Continue reading

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Hammersmith named Ohio Agricultural Educator of the Year

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Presented by Nationwide, the Ohio FFA, Ohio Farm Bureau, Farm Credit Mid-America, and AgCredit, the Golden Owl Award recognizes agricultural educators across Ohio for their tremendous contributions to helping the next generation of agricultural leaders.

Through the program, students, fellow teachers and other supporters can nominate their favorite agricultural teacher and summarize what makes him or her the best in the state.

On Thursday, April 29, Don Hammersmith from Ayersville High School was named the 2021 Ohio Agricultural Educator of the Year. Along with the title, Hammersmith will win the $3,000 grand prize to support continued ag education efforts at Ayersville. Hammersmith is known for his high standards as an educator, his commitment to students, and his value as a role model.

“Mr. Hammersmith has been a teacher at Ayersville High School for over 25 years. During this time he has impacted the lives of students by teaching life lessons through supervised agricultural experiences, lab assignments, research projects, and Career Development Events,” said Allison Engel, 2020-2021 State Treasurer from the Ayersville Chapter.… Continue reading

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93rd Ohio FFA Convention: A beacon of hope for all

To schedule your campus visit go to: wilmington.edu

By Bethany Starlin, Ohio FFA president

Each May, Ohio FFA members, educators and supporters travel to Columbus to celebrate the successes achieved over the past year. Although the delivery format and location may be different, this year is no exception. 

Bethany Starlin

In the best interest of the health and safety of all, the 93rd Ohio FFA Convention will be held virtually, April 29th and 30th. Despite being delivered in a virtual format, FFA members, advisors, family and supporters will still attend general sessions, see the selection of the new state officer team, celebrate their Career Development Event successes from the past year and more. Ohio FFA staff and the state officer team have gone above and beyond in order to make this convention special for all involved. 

“We are including students in convention through live reactions and ceremonial pieces. We hope to bring more excitement to our screens and include as many members as possible from around the state,” said Allison Engel, Ohio FFA State Treasurer and senior at Ayersville High School.… Continue reading

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Recognizing top Ohio FFA public speakers

To schedule your campus visit go to: wilmington.edu

By Meredith Oglesby, OCJ FFA reporter 

Although speaking in front of a crowd may seem daunting, FFA members competing in the Public Speaking Career Development Event (CDE) find it energizing and exciting. Students practice and prepare speeches to share in front of a panel of judges and the top 20 students in each category compete at the state level. 

The Ohio FFA Association selects winners in four categories: Creed Speaking, Beginning Prepared Speaking, Advanced Prepared Speaking, and Extemporaneous Speaking. This year the entire speaking contest was hosted virtually and students competed via Zoom. The 2021 Ohio FFA Public Speaking CDE winners include: 

  • Creed Speaking: Lacie Bachman, Bloom Carroll 
  • Beginning Prepared Speaking: Vanessa Trotter, Peebles 
  • Advanced Prepared Speaking: Morgan Anderson, Amanda-Clearcreek
  • Extemporaneous Speaking: Kaelyn Lortz, Big Walnut-DACC. 
Kaelyn Lortz, Big Walnut-DACC member and the 2021 Ohio FFA Extemporaneous Speaking winner. Photo provided by Jeffrey Stimmell.
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Schedule for the 93rd Ohio FFA Convention

To schedule your campus visit go to: wilmington.edu

The First Session of the 2021 Ohio FFA Convention starts Thursday, April 29 at 10 a.m. with Teacher/Administrator Recognition, National FFA Officer Remarks with Artha Jonassaint, Ohio FFA Talent, and Agriscience Fair recognition. The first session will also include the 2021-22 Ohio FFA Officer Ballot announcement.  

The Second Session at 1 p.m. on Thursday will recognize the Honorary State FFA Degrees, Star State FFA Degrees, State FFA Degrees, and more Ohio FFA talent. Other highlights on Thursday include the Golden Owl Award, Ohio Ag Educator of the Year recognition, gold-rated officer book recognition, and American Star Award Candidate recognition.

In the Third Session on Friday, April 30, Proficiency Award winners will be recognized. In the Fourth Session at 1 p.m. there will be Chapter Awards, State CDE Recognition, Ohio FFA Officers’ Parent Recognition, and the Retiring Address from State President, Bethany Starlin. This final session will also include the 2021-22 Ohio FFA Officer Team announcement and installation. … Continue reading

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