By Lauren Zeugner
SYRACUSE — Wawasee High School’s FFA chapter played host to the District 2 convention held Thursday, April 27. Wawasee was selected as the host school, since Arrington Krull, a senior at Wawasee and FFA member, is serving as District 2’s president this year.
Approximately 110 FFA members from 19 schools participated in a variety of contests ranging from scrapbooking to ag mechanics to quiz bowl.
Reese Rowland, an FFA member from Warsaw High School and District 2 reporter, noted the contests began about 4:30 p.m. with the awards presentation beginning at 8 p.m. Krull and the other District 2 officers were able to find enough sponsors to provide a meal to those attending the convention. Along with the meal, cornhole and Jenga were also provided as a way for FFA members to blow off some steam between competitions.
Kiersten Gagnon, a Warsaw FFA chapter member, has been in FFA for five years. She said she enjoys meeting people from different schools. For the convention she did a horticultural demonstration showcasing ikebana, Japanese flower arranging.
Gagnon explained she spent about two to three months working on how she wanted to present her demonstration since ikebana has a lot of meaning to it. She wanted to be able to explain the meaning of each part of the arrangement. “I thought it was more interesting to do something from a different culture,” she said.
Krull said it was a lot of fun planning the convention at Wawasee. She did note there was no real home court advantage except she knows the layout of the school. She and the other officers from District 2 held several meetings over the year to plan the convention,which included finding judges and sponsors.
This year the convention had 98 judges. Krull said district conventions can typically have as many as 100 to 125 judges.
Krull was also busy, as she was a competitor at the convention, placing first in Leadership Ambassador. For the leadership ambassador competition, Krull had to prepare and submit a professional résumé, a two-page FFA résumé, proficiency and star battery and describe a job or invention. Krull currently runs her own business selling meat goats to local auction houses and area families. She also had to submit a school transcript and then was asked to discuss three world problems and three agriculture world problems. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun,” she said.
Kathrine Sharp, an FFA member from Whitko High School and District 2 historian, has been in FFA for six years. “The historian keeps records of who wins from District 2. I have to keep track of what events happened or whether they are canceled. It’s easier if I go to the event,” she said, explaining her responsibilities.
Stephanie Diaz, a senior from John Glenn High School, has been in FFA for four years. As District 2 sentinel, she greets people as they come in. She said she really enjoys making new friends. “Having friends from different schools is cool,” she said. She did admit, when it came to competing with her friends, there were some pros and cons.
Rowland explained how district officers are selected. Usually 20 FFA members run for the different offices. They write down the top three of seven positions they are interested in. There is then a group interview with one FFA member and up to 20 interviewers. The FFA member is asked why they want the position, what traits they have that would contribute to the office and how the FFA member will strive to build the District 2 team.