Members of the Hamilton FFA pose for a picture outside the Fair Oaks Dairy Farm in Fair Oaks, Indiana. Members from left to right include Tony Casarotti, Kristi Wratten, Lindsey Palmer, Morgane Kerval, Josephine Conley, Greg Palmer and Hamilton FFA advisor Johanna Bossard.

A member of the Hamilton FFA, Greg Palmer, attempts to pet a shark at the Indianapolis Zoo. The chapter attended the zoo in between sessions while at the National FFA Convention.

Submitted by Lindsey Palmer

(Hamilton, NY – Nov. 2012) On Oct. 23, six members of the Hamilton FFA loaded up the bus at 4 a.m. to catch a coach bus in Vernon-Verona-Sherrill. Tony Casarotti, Morgane Kerval, Josephine Conley, Greg Palmer, Kristi Wratten, Lindsey Palmer and Mrs. Bossard were joined by 12 other FFA chapters from across New York state, totaling about 110 members.

On the way to Indianapolis, the group stopped at the Museum of Natural History in Cleveland, Ohio, to tour the museum’s exhibits and which included dinosaur skeletons, rare gems and minerals and the whale exhibit.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, the group drove to Fair Oaks Dairy Farm located in Fair Oaks, In. The members and advisors got to see the farm, which consists of more than 32,000 dairy cows, see two calves being born and visit the gift shop where dairy products such as milk, cheese and ice cream are made fresh each day.

After lunch, the group headed back to the FFA National Convention to tour the career show filled with many colleges and career placement opportunities. Members also got the chance to visit the FFA “superstore and mall,” as well.

After, members headed over to Bankers Life Stadium to take in the opening session where they heard from keynote speaker Scott Hamilton. Hamilton reflected on his triumphs and tribulations through his years as an Olympic figure skater. This year’s theme for convention was titled “Grow.”

Members were encouraged to grow not only mentally, but physically, also.

On Thursday, Oct. 25, NY FFA members walked to the Indianapolis Zoo where the students saw an array of animals. Some members even got to pet a real live shark. Students spent most of the day at Convention, and later at session two, watched Kenny Quick (a former NY FFA member and the former FFA National Eastern Region vice president), give his retiring address entitled “Seven Bucks.”

On Friday, Hamilton FFA members attended a hypnotist show at FFA Convention. Members saw other FFA students get hypnotized by Dr. Al Snyder. This was quite an eye-opening experience, as many members had never witnessed this before! Members headed to a third session, which was titled “Grow Your Voice.”

During this session, members watched former FFA Central Region Vice President Alicia Hodnik give her retiring address. Members also heard from keynote speaker Josh Bleill, who was in the war where he lost both of his legs.

On Saturday, members attended the final session at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. During this session, members saw former National FFA President Ryan Best give his retiring address called “Mama Said.” Members also recognized National FFA Officers of former years and saw the 2012-13 National FFA Officer Team elected.

By martha

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