Pictured outside the Kentucky Exposition Center at the convention are, from left: Kerry Lindgren, advisor; Rebekka Paskewitz, Katie Benson, Brenden Thompson, Rachel Paskewitz, Jenna Trantina, Scout Strickland, Superintendent Klamm, Molly Lindgren, Dominic Nistler, Mary Sarah Sauber, Hayley Carlson; and Brian Schornack, advisor.

Staples Motley FFA brings home medals from national

“I enjoyed watching our students meet up with ‘old friends,’” she said. Another highlight for Klamm was the opportunity to listen to the inspiring messages from the conference keynote speakers Amberley Snyder and Dr. Rick Rigsby.
Staples Motley FFA members had the opportunity to attend and compete at the 88th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., from Oct. 27 - 30.
 
The state champion Agricultural Sales Team, which included Zachary Strickland, Hayley Carlson, Mary Sarah Sauber and Rebekka Paskewitz, competed at the national contest and earned a silver ranking.
 
Strickland said, “I learned the sales process and how to conduct myself in a business meeting and sales calls. Although I am not planning on going into sales, lessons learned in this contest will help me in my future career.”
 
The competitors and delegates that attended had the opportunity to hear many influential speakers ncluding
 
Dr. Rick Rigsby and Amberley Snyder.
 
They also learned about making an impact and serving others and will be able to bring those skills back to use in the Staples Motley area.
 
Rachel Paskewitz met a past
 
National FFA Officer which she said “was really cool...because they were incredible leaders in our organization and also they are great role models and basically celebrities to other FFA members.”
 
There was also a large career fair at the convention with hundreds of agricultural businesses and career opportunities represented, as well as several college booths.
 
“It was a really great opportunity to see all of the job opportunities that are available in the agricultural industry,” Rachel Paskewitz said.
 
Rebekka Paskewitz added, “It shows that there is so much more to agriculture than what we see in our area. It’s more than the natural resources and production farming. The career fair helps to broaden the concepts students have of the industry.”
 
There were also booths to help FFA members become aware of certain issues such as food insecurity and environmental problems that young agriculturists like them are working to eliminate.
 
Having applied for and been awarded a scholarship, the Staples Motley FFA Chapter were privileged to bring Superintendent Mary Klamm to the convention. She connected with students and attended events with them.
 
“What a thrill it was for me to attend the 2015 National FFA Convention with students and parents from Staples Motley and advisor Kerry Lindgren,” Klamm said. “ I mostly enjoyed getting to know more of the Staples Motley students and some of their parents. Highlights for me included watching and supporting our students as they competed at a national level; all the blue jackets - proudly worn each day of the convention...reading which state and school each student represented right on the back of their jackets.”
 
Klamm went on to note the times when the hundreds of Minnesota students gathered together.
 
“I enjoyed watching our students meet up with ‘old friends,’” she said. Another highlight for Klamm was the opportunity to listen to the inspiring messages from the conference keynote speakers Amberley Snyder and Dr. Rick Rigsby.
 
Witnessing the pride and dedication the students and teachers have for FFA was also an inspiration to Klamm.
 
This year’s National FFA Convention had a record attendance, with over 65,000 members present. Because the gathering has outgrown the City of Louisville, future conventions will be held in Indianapolis.
 
The Staples Motley FFA Chapter rode on a bus with the Brainerd, Wadena and Menahga FFA Chapters, all of which are chapters from Region II. Approximately 35 students were on the bus. Jim Greig, of Northwestern Transit in Motley, was the driver.
 
“Although the drive to Louisville was long, there was a new sense of camaraderie built between the schools and many friendships and memories were made with students from other chapters,” Benson said.

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