The Bloomfield FFA Chapter was represented at National FFA Convention by Jackson Eisenhauer, a finalist in his proficiency area of Agricultural Processing. Attendees Mia French, Madie Ziegler, Abi Rohde, Kate Bruns, Ella McFarland, Logan Doerr, and Tyreen Furagganan joined him and FFA advisor Kaydee Alexander joined Eisenhauer on his trip.
During their time in Indianapolis, the crew experienced riding on a bus full of other Nebraska FFA members, they partook in a scavenger hunt and had to meet and get a signature from at least one person from every state represented at National FFA Convention.
After making new friends, the crew watched sessions full of inspiration by the National Officers and keynote speakers, their favorite being Kyle Scheele from Missouri.
On Wednesday evening, they watched Ned LeDoux and Garth Brooks perform in concert. On Thursday and Friday night there was a Nebraska only social and dance that all the students got to attend and network with various chapters.
During the day, when they weren't in sessions, they went to the FFA Expo where there are various colleges, businesses and other industry members working to inspire students to work for them through internships, job shadows and further education.
Logan Doerr was able to practice welding at one of the booths which he thought was an amazing experience.
“The students truly enjoyed the opportunity to watch sessions and hear from the National FFA Officers,” said Alexander.
There is a large, competitive talent show and according to Alexander, the students were both shocked and impressed by the show. The students were excited to watch their fellow members from various states show off their skills. Not only was there singing and instrument playing, there was a young man who was blind that sang beautifully and played the piano, as well as a set of sisters that did a river dance.
The FFA members experienced more than downtown Indianapolis. On both Thursday and Friday the group was able to partake in tours.
On Thursday, they visited to Hilltop Orchids and got to see the production of orchids from beginning to end. Dick and Sandy Wells have been growing orchids since 1954 and had a lot of wisdom to share with the students. They showed the students how breeding an orchid takes place, the complicated procedures and time it takes to grow a beautiful flower, how many years it takes to get a bloom and the special care each flower takes.
On Friday, the group went on a tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They drove around the track, stopped to kiss the bricks and got to see a lot of memorabilia in the large museum there.
Friday was also the day Eisenhauer was invited on the national stage to be honored for being a national finalist in his proficiency area.
“He was not awarded top honors, but was a close 2nd place, which is a huge achievement,” said Alexander.
Alexander helped Eisenhauer prepare but his achievement was largely due to his own hard work and Alexander could not be more proud.
“I believe that Jackson placing so high is and will continue to be an inspiration to our chapter members to work hard on their SAE's and hopefully they will be able to make it to the same level of competition as their fellow member,” said a hopeful Alexander.