Eight seniors in the Plant, Animal, and Life Sciences (PALS) program at Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES recently attended the 2017 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The group, accompanied by PALS Instructor Mrs. Julia Rotman-Smith, joined nearly 60,000 peers from across the country to enjoy convention sessions, an interactive career show, and more. The group was able to see the retiring address from Ashley Willits, who was one of the six National FFA officers in 2017. Ashley was elected last year and was NY’s national candidate. She was the first female national officer from NY and the 13th national FFA officer New York has had.
This is not the first time Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES has had a presence at the annual FFA convention. The school’s strong FFA program regularly produces award-winning teams. Only teams who earn first place in their state competitions are able to compete at the National FFA convention.
“This year our teams were very close,” said Mrs. Rotman-Smith. “During the 2017 New York State FFA Convention, our students earned second place in floral (out of 12-14 teams) and third place in veterinary science (out of 27 teams). I told the students because they had worked so hard, we would still attend the national convention if they wanted to.”
Jolean Emmons, a senior from Auburn Enlarged City School District, attended the convention and said it was a fantastic opportunity. “It was an amazing experience to attend the National FFA convention, an experience that every student should have. It was breathtaking to see students from all over the country. The theme this year, “ I can, we will” as well as the motivational speakers, were absolutely inspiring for me to want to become a better person for myself and my community.CO BOCES students attended with other chapters in their FFA district (7) which included Moravia and TST BOCES.
In addition to the convention, the CO BOCES group visited Chicago to learn about zero waste urban food production at “The Plant,” and visited “The Bean” at Millennium Park.
For more information, please contact Mrs. Rotman-Smith at 315-253-0361.