As the 2017-2018 school year wrapped up, the Hotchkiss FFA chapter spent its summer wisely by attending the Colorado State FFA Convention.
The 90th Colorado State FFA Convention was held in Pueblo in June 2018. We had over 20 members attend this past year. Before the convention even got started, Coley Wondra, Hotchkiss FFA advisor, planned a trip to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and said they can't wait for more trips! State Convention consisted of the state officers' retiring addresses and keynote speakers. Apart from the actual convention, members had activities they could participate in such as the volleyball tournament against chapters from across the state. We also had two of our members, Amber Mattler and Karsen Sommers, achieve their state degree. We had one member, JD Miller, speak at the state level in prepared speaking, which was very exciting. State Convention is always a great FFA experience for the new and old members.
With the new school year starting up, we have a new officer team in place. Amber Mattler (president), Ruby Shiftlet and Teagan Sommer (co-vice presidents), Sydnie West (secretary), Alyssa Palecki (reporter), JD Miller (treasurer), and Gilly Knott and Hunter Bryant (co-sentinels). The new year started with our annual family barbecue. All members and parents were welcomed to come to hang out, visit, and enjoy well-prepared food. Henceforth, the new freshman FFA members appeared at the "Becoming Involved as a Greenhand" (BIG) Conference in Montrose. This was a really fun and successful event, considering this assembly is a freshman's first chance to really be introduced into the family effect that FFA has.
October also held events for the FFA members to enjoy and experience. On Oct. 3, 2018, District Leadership Conference (DLC) was held in Collbran. We had over 16 members come along to this conference along with the two district officers from Hotchkiss, Amber Mattler and Alyssa Palecki. DLC is a great way to get into the FFA lifestyle. The district officers prepared a great set of workshops about leadership, influences on people, and more.
With the last full week of October 2018, we had four members and two coaches attend the 90th National FFA Convention and Expo. We left on Sunday, Oct. 21, and spent the entire week in Indianapolis, Ind. This year we had our ag mech team, consisting of Teagan Sommer, Will Ela, Karsen Sommer and Nathaniel Mattler, compete on a national level. This was a huge accomplishment as they placed in the top 20. National Convention is the cherry on top of FFA conventions. Tens of thousands of members attend every year and experience something that is breathtaking. With October wrapping up, we held our local Halloween party again. Every year it is a big hit and personally, I think it improves more and more every year.
With 2018 coming to an end, we had our local speech contest on Nov. 9. We had three members move onto the district level that competed a week later on the 14th. We did not have anyone place first and qualify for state, but everyone was very well placed and they all had a great time.
Starting off the new year strong we had the quiz bowl contest on Feb. 13. Hotchkiss didn't win, but it enjoyed it nonetheless.
FFA Week is Feb. 25 through March 1 and Hotchkiss has a week planned full of fun. We will be having a movie night, stick horse races, hay bale relays, and much more. Also coming up is our annual labor auction on March 27. Advertising will be out shortly for this event.
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.