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82nd Kansas FFA Convention Underway in Manhattan

The first day of the 82nd Kansas FFA Convention featured an opportunity for high school students to explore potential careers; recognition of student success in the FFA creed speaking, agricultural issues and parliamentary procedure career development events; and a challenge to members made by renowned speaker Jeff Yalden.

The opening session welcomed Kansas FFA members, advisors and guests to Manhattan and announced the first of many individual and team honors that will be granted to members during the week.

Lindy Billberry, Garden City FFA, was recognized as the top individual in the Creed Speaking Career Development Event, with Talara Renfroe, Labette County FFA, placing second; Jody Bargary, Tonganoxie FFA, placing third; and Ciara Houlton, Stafford FFA, placing fourth.

The Clay Center FFA was honored as the top team in the Ag Issues CDE and the Mission Valley FFA took home top honors in the Parliamentary Procedure CDE. The Paola FFA was recognized as the top chapter in the Career Development Events Sweepstakes. Washington County FFA was second, followed by Labette County FFA, Linn FFA and Louisburg FFA.

All members in attendance were inspired by the message delivered by kick-off speaker Jeff Yalden, renowned speaker and author, who has appeared in the MTV reality show, MADE. Yalden challenged the members to find their purpose in life.

Following the session, members enjoyed FFA Night at Manhattan Town Center with pizza and dancing.

Earlier in the day, members attended the Ninth Annual Convention Career Show and interacted with agribusinesses and other professionals to learn more about their future opportunities after high school graduation.

Convention continues tomorrow with recognition of the 42 proficiency award winners who were selected for accomplishing specific career goals in their supervised agricultural experience programs. The top individuals in the prepared and extemporaneous speaking career development events will be announced and the recipients of the honorary degree and distinguished service award will be recognized. Thursday evening convention attendees will hear from author and TV host Josh Shipp.

The Kansas FFA Association is a part of the National FFA Organization, a national youth organization of 506,199 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture with 7,429 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit www.ksffa.org for more information.

About Derek Nester

Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communication. After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. 6 radio stations. In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on 69 radio stations across 9 Midwest states.