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Tri-state offers 3 greats for National FFA offices

The end of October will be an exciting time for numerous FFA members in the tri-state area as the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo comes to Indianapolis, IN. 

The many contests held at the convention will include representatives from all three states. And of course, the states will also be sending candidates to try to become one of the six National FFA Officers for 2019-2020. 

Each nominee was asked about their future plans and share advice for younger members. They are included in the largest group of candidates for national office in 15 years; there are 44 members who will be interviewed for the positions.

Ohio has a large number of national finalists competing and Kolesen McCoy is the Ohio nominee for National FFA Office. He is a FFA member from Global Impact STEM Academy where Rachel Sanders, Collin Gierke, and Jennifer Foudray served as his advisers. His parents are Scott and Holly McCoy.

He is studying Agribusiness and Applied Economics as his major at Ohio State University. McCoy’s future plans will be to pursue a Masters degree in Business Economics with the intentions of advocating for the modern agricultural industry in policy development, international trade relations and possibly non-profit management. His advice for other members includes gratefulness for supporters.

“Begin to look left and right as you go throughout your journey in the FFA,” McCoy said. 

“So many of the great memories that you will make will be with the family and friends that you find within your chapter and the experiences you share. Often, it is easy to focus upon the next box to check and what CDE to be a part of. However, what makes the FFA organization so incredible, is the classmates you have beside you, the educator you have behind you, and the supporters you have around you!”

Claire Baney is making her second attempt at National FFA Office with encouragement from her parents, Steve and Cindy Baney, and her advisers Tom Younts, Charity Keffaber, Samantha Miller & Caroline Kuhn from the Hamilton Southeastern FFA Chapter out of Fishers, IN. 

She is a busy young lady with a double major of agricultural economics and agricultural communication that she is earning from Purdue University. Baney also has plans to do graduate work in agriculture with a focus on agbiosciences innovation space. 

She would like to see sustainability and consumer choice become more important while bringing together the producers and consumers. Her advice encourages kindness in daily life.

“Never be afraid to share your smile with someone. Seek ways to help a friend, family member or someone you may not know very well, no matter how small the task is,” Baney said. 

“Identify what it means to love people in your life and do that! That is living with the heart of a servant, and it's the greatest lasting lesson we can learn from FFA.”

Michigan’s nominee served as the 2018-2019 Treasurer for the state organization. Benjamin Butcher is from the Corunna FFA chapter and was taught by Brian Kiesling and Casie Forbush. His parents are Ben and Beth Butcher.

He is a sophomore at Michigan State University and is studying Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Education to become a high school agriculture teacher. 

He is the Social Committee Chair for the MSU AFNRE Club and will graduate in 2022. His advice is to appreciate the opportunities offered through the FFA program. 

 "FFA is truly a life changer,” Butcher said. “Use your passion to get every ounce of greatness out of the FFA!"

These three young people will participate in interviews in group settings as well as one-on-one. They will demonstrate their ability to manage time, organize programs, present talks, and interact with others. It is a very intense time but rewarding for all who step out and take the challenge. 

Farmers’ Advance wishes Kolesen McCoy, Claire Baney, and Benjamin Butcher the very best as they plan for this exciting experience!