LA GRANDE, Ore. – (Release from Eastern Oregon University Athletics) A winter weather front did not chill the enthusiasm for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Thursday, Feb 23 as more than 140 high school students from the tri-county region made their way to the Eastern Oregon University campus for the Eastern Oregon District FFA Convention.
The annual convention included tours of EOU, presentations, meetings with the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Program as well as scholarship interviews.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Business Chad Mueller who leads the Agriculture Entrepreneurship (AE) program at EOU said he was “very pleased” with the turnout.
“It was good energy, good activities, and the students really seem to enjoy themselves,” Mueller said. “And, it brought 140 kids to campus.”
Mueller said the FFA gives young people a chance to develop leadership skills, from agriculture to team building, skills he emphasized help build good citizens.
“We’re like a family,” Karly Burges, of La Grande High School said. “We work together, taking care of each other. Once you put on that jacket you’re like family.”
Kara Ann Akers of La Grande High School who was running for district office credits FFA with helping her develop valuable skills.
“I fell in love with the competition,” Akers said, “I’ve learned so much, and I’ve learned to push myself out of my comfort zone.”
Thirteen school districts were represented at the convention, including, Cove, Elgin, Enterprise, Joseph, La Grande, North Powder, Pene Eagle, Union, Wallowa, Imbler and Baker.
During an awards ceremony at the conclusion of the convention, Eva Anderson was presented with the EOU FFA Scholarship, presented by Suzannah Moore Hemann of the EOU Foundation.
Elliana Jenson, of Pine Eagle, participated in a drawing and won a laptop sponsored by the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network.
The event was hosted by the Eastern Oregon University College of Business.