It was a special night for the Sullivan FFA Chapter during the recent National FFA Convention in downtown Indianapolis.
“We take it as a community award,” says Sullivan FFA advisor Jeff Miller. He tells Hoosier Ag Today how humbled they were to be one of ten chapters nationwide to be dubbed a Model of Excellence chapter, exhibiting exemplary qualities in all categories of growing leaders, building communities, and strengthening agriculture.
“It’s an award that we’ve worked a long time to get to this level and certainly appreciate the recognition that we received.”
It’s quite a feat considering there are nearly one million FFA members and over 9,000 chapters nationwide. Sullivan FFA member Makayla Hitt says the honor is “overwhelming”, and it all stems from their love of FFA.
“I really love FFA. It’s a very big part of my life. I enjoy the community I’ve built through it. So, to me, I think it just means home. I really love the whole organization and everyone I’ve met through it and everything I’ve been blessed to be able to do.”
Sarah Francis from the Sullivan FFA chapter had quite the convention. Not only did she get to celebrate being one of the top 10 chapters in the country with her team, she also had the opportunity to compete in the national extemporaneous public speaking competition.
“This contest is referred to as the Ironman competition and I think that’s a perfect representation of this competition,” says Francis. “So, you do so much preparation, but genuinely you don’t know what they’re going to ask you about. So, a lot of preparation went into this, just learning about agriculture through participation in my community, as well as research about the industry.”
Francis was a bronze finalist in the competition. She was proud to represent the state of Indiana, Section 3, and Sullivan FFA.