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Hotchkiss FFA recaps summer, looks forward to a new year

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Photo submitted Hotchkiss FFA quiz bowl team members Amber Mattler, Teagan Sommer and Keaton Glaser.

This summer was a very eventful time for the Hotchkiss FFA Chapter under Coley Wondra, with State FFA Convention in June, Washington Leadership Conference in July, and the Delta County Fair in August.

The Colorado state convention this year was held in Sterling and the chapter had over 20 members in attendance. The convention consisted of the keynote speakers Ryan Porter (author of "Make Your Own Lunch") and Taylor McNeel, 2016-2017 national FFA president, who astounded many of the members who were not familiar with that level of motivational speaking. Also, members got to hear the retiring addresses of the state FFA team of 2015-2016. Aside from the sessions there were events of chapter volleyball to take part in and most importantly the Quiz Bowl team of Amber Mattler, Keaton Glaser and Teagan Sommer competed, making it to the eighth round and winning silver. It was overall a great experience for both new members and old ones.

A little over a month later members Tess Gore and Morgan Miller flew to Washington, D.C., for the Washington Leadership Conference. They got the opportunity to go due to the FFA alumni and chapter scholarships they applied for in the spring. While there, they got the chance to visit the Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, not to mention seeing all the memorials from the Lincoln and Washington to the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. They also found it humbling to learn about the freedom of the press by visiting the Newseum. Then the conference covered the tragedy of world hunger and the part upcoming agriculturists can have in ending it. Attendees also developed LTS or Living to Serve Plans to bring back to their communities. The whole experience impacted many aspects of all the members' lives.

This year the Delta County Fair was held Aug. 6-13 and the Hotchkiss FFA had several members showing livestock. In swine exhibition members Trenton Carr, Colton Peebles, Mae Anderson and Morgan Miller competed. For beef, goats and sheep, Colton Peebles, Keaton Glaser and Kambry Hall represented the FFA blue and gold well. Though the livestock prices were down at this year's sale every member came out with a little bit more money and a lot more experience in raising an animal and the responsibility and hard work that goes into it.

Moving in to the 2016-2017 school year, the Hotchkiss FFA Chapter has a newly elected officer team of Lacey Rodriguez, Tess Gore, Courtney Mattler, Ashley Ziemer and Morgan Miller. The chapter kicked off the new year with a family barbecue on the night of Sept. 6. The Hotchkiss FFA looks forward to another year of speech, parli pro, Quiz Bowl and judging contests. Not to mention countless conferences like the Becoming Involved as a Greenhand (BIG) conference, the District Leadership Conference, Made For Excellence and Advanced Leadership Development in the next few weeks. Keep up with chapter events by liking the Hotchkiss FFA page on Facebook or on our website. It's going to be a great year!

Photo submitted Hotchkiss sophomore Trenton Carr drives his hog during swine showmanship this summer at the 2016 Delta County Fair.
Photo submitted Hotchkiss junior Colton Peebles shows his steer during the 2016 Delta County Fair.
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North Fork
Clubs, FFA, Hotchkiss
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