Students from around the state, including local chapters Cloverdale, North Putnam and South Putnam, came together to build leadership, demonstration and public-speaking skills.
FFA members competed in CDEs, Career Development Events, and elected new officer teams on the state and district levels. Goals were set for the new year, and members were sent home excited about the new year.
With several state officers and one national officer coming from Putnam County over the years, the community has played a large role in the FFA. One doesn't have to look very hard in our community to find an FFA member or an adult who was a FFA member when they were in high school.
Of the seven state officers retiring this year, two were from Putnam County. Janna Oxford of the Cloverdale FFA chapter gave her retiring address from the office of state treasurer Wednesday afternoon. Besides the friendships and memories she has made through the FFA, Oxford said she has also gained a lot of information that will help her in her career choice.
Oxford plans to attend Purdue University where she will major in agriculture education and minor in crop sciences.
Also finishing out her career as state secretary was Megan Klotz of the South Putnam FFA Chapter.
"FFA gives you an appreciation for your community," Klotz said. "It teaches you a lot of life lessons."
Klotz also plans to attend Purdue University for psychology.
While no one from Putnam County was elected as a state officer this year, Putnam County was proudly represented in the election by Cody Long of the South Putnam FFA chapter.
On the District Level, four of the seven District VII officers were elected from Putnam County FFA chapters.
The new District VII president is Cameron Mann from Cloverdale. The new vice president is Valerie Scott from North Putnam. And representing the South Putnam FFA chapter are the new secretary, Katherine Spencer, and the new reporter, Justin Berry.
Not only has Putnam County played a large role in the state and national FFA, but FFA has done a lot for Putnam County. Cody Long of the South Putnam FFA chapter said, "FFA has shaped me into who I am today. FFA has made a difference in the lives of many students by developing their potential."
"FFA has taught me to be a stronger leader. I have also become more outgoing, and I'm not afraid to meet and talk with new people," said Tatum Straziscar of the North Putnam FFA chapter.
With another year of Indiana FFA beginning, students in our community are sure to gain even more from this important organization. "The Agricultural Industry is one of the largest growing industries," Klotz said. "It is constantly growing, and, in effect, is constantly needing new leaders. FFA provides those leaders."
And the fact that Putnam County is largely an agricultural-based community, those future leaders will definitely be needed.