July 15, 2024

Students gather for Indiana FFA Convention

New state FFA officers elected

The new Indiana FFA state officers are presented at the 2024 Indiana FFA State Convention at Purdue University. The team consists of Garrett Bolin (from left), sentinel; Sienna Alexander, reporter; Kyatalin Baker, treasurer; Cale Williams, southern region vice president; Stephanie Berenda, northern region vice president; Christina Caldwell, secretary; and Ethan Wolheter, president.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Teens from around the state gathered for the 95th Indiana FFA State Convention, where they took part in workshops, volunteered and were honored for their accomplishments.

Here are a few highlights from the event.

A new state officer team was announced. The group consists of seven high school graduates who have elected to defer their education for one year to serve Indiana FFA as youth ambassadors.

During their year of service, which begins and ends at the annual convention, these officers will travel the state presenting seven three-day leadership conferences and speaking to an estimated 14,000 FFA members, supporters and individuals involved in leadership and agriculture.

The following youths were named 2024-2025 leaders of Indiana FFA:

President: Ethan Wolheter, Prairie Heights FFA Chapter.

Secretary: Christina Caldwell, Connersville FFA Chapter.

Northern Region Vice President: Stephanie Berenda, South Newton FFA Chapter.

Southern Region Vice President: Cale Williams, Terre Haute South FFA Chapter.

Treasurer: Kyatalin Baker, Switzerland County FFA Chapter.

Reporter: Sienna Alexander, Monrovia FFA Chapter.

Sentinel: Garrett Bolin, Indian Creek FFA Chapter.

Stars over Indiana

The Stars over Indiana award program recognizes FFA members who have excelled in their Supervised Agricultural Experience programs. Members compete in one of four areas: agribusiness, agriscience, farmer and agricultural placement.

Finalists complete an application, interview and site visit as part of the process. The awards were sponsored by AgReliant Genetics and the Jeff Lehman family.

The winners were:

Star in Agribusiness: Grant Lake, Central Noble FFA Chapter — Lake owns and operates his own company, Lake’s Lube and Tune, where he maintains and repairs outdoor equipment for the community. He is handy with tools and has learned to restore old tractors.

Star in Agriscience: Blaine Wagner, North Decatur FFA Chapter — Wagner, who was the southern region vice president this year, loves research and has a list of projects that he’s proud of. Most recently, he has studied carbon sequestration and shared how landowners can make the most of the practice.

Star Farmer: Owen Knight, North Miami FFA Chapter — Knight’s dream is to raise his own livestock, and he started chasing his dream at a young age. Knight raises dairy feeder steers from the time they’re a few days old until they weigh 500 pounds or more. He then sells them to turn a profit. He cares about animal health and runs a successful herd.

Star in Agricultural Placement: Josie Kelsay, Whiteland FFA Chapter — Kelsay led field trips on her family’s agritourism destination each fall. From selling pumpkins to teaching kids about modern farms, she learned what it takes to make an agritourism farm a success.

Ag Educator Of The Year

Ron Noll, an agricultural teacher at Prairie Heights High School, received the Golden Owl Award at this year’s convention. He was recognized for his positive impact in the classroom and community.

He received a trophy and $3,000 donation to his school’s ag education efforts. The award was presented by Nationwide, Indiana FFA and Farm Credit Mid-America.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor