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Hotchkiss FFA chapter recaps an eventful year

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Photo submitted Hotchkiss FFA members have some fun at the District Leadership Conference.

This has been a great year for the Hotchkiss FFA chapter. We started off the year Sept. 14 with a family barbecue meeting which was a great opportunity for all members and parents to get together and spend quality time with each other and prepare for the upcoming events while enjoying well-prepared food. Our annual Cattlemen's Ball (formally known as the Harvest Festival) was held two Saturdays later. This celebration of the end of the harvest is a great opportunity for all ranchers and farmers of our county to kick up their feet and enjoy a night out with great food grown by these same families of our valley all while enjoying music, a dance and fun games for all ages. Something to remember for next year's celebration is there is a convenience to buy tickets ahead of time.

Following this event our chapter had many new freshmen members attend the "Becoming Involved as a Greenhand" conference in Grand Junction. This was a really fun and successful event, considering this assembly is a freshman's first chance to really experience the family effect FFA has. The next day there was also a district leadership conference where mostly upperclassmen were able to practice the important roles of leadership under the workshops and activities prepared by each chapter's district officers. District officers were appreciative of this conference by being able to obtain great ideas from other officers and were able to show examples of leadership to other FFA members.

Another large event was the national convention held in Louisville, Ky., from Oct. 28-31. The number of members that went and attended had a great time visiting different landmarks such as KESMARC, Keeneland, and Churchill Downs. The 31st of October we held a Halloween party at the Hotchkiss fairgrounds where we had many kids in costumes show up with their parents. There were plenty of fun activities and games for all participants.

The next week we also participated in the fruit sale fundraiser. The fruit was provided by River Star Farms. On Nov. 11 and 20 we had speech contests where we had members place in extemporaneous (gold and silver), creed (gold and silver), and prepared (gold and silver). More recently our sophomore class members had the opportunity to write articles showing what makes them FFA proud.

Now the week starting Feb. 22, the whole chapter will be able to express its appreciation for our FFA chapter. During this week, members get together for daily fun activities, discussions, games, and chapter bonding. Also coming up is our annual Bull Fry on March 30 where our chapter gathers the community together for the yearly labor auction. At this auction the community will be able to buy members of the chapter in pairs for a day's work on the date of their choice, while all proceeds go to the chapter. There is another convenience to purchase tickets ahead of time (see contact info below).

Please be sure to be involved with our chapter by liking our Facebook page "Hotchkiss FFA Chapter" to be informed of all upcoming and current events. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email at dennaleewilson@gmail.com or phone at 970-250-9837 or the Hotchkiss High School at 970-872-3882.

Denna Wilson
Hotchkiss FFA Chapter Reporter

Photo submitted Hotchkiss FFA members who attended the national convention are pictured in Louisville, Ky.
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