Skills put to test at FFA leadership competition

March 06, 2013 08:47 am

by JOSEY KOEHN / Cove FFA Reporter

Feb. 13 did not start out promising for members of the Cove FFA Chapter who were competing in Eastern Oregon FFA District career development events (CDEs) that day. 

We had a crazy morning meeting, getting everybody organized and prepared for the day, then left 20 minutes late due to bus troubles. On the ride over, tension was in the air and many members spent the ride reading over speeches, flipping through notecards or going over contest rules.  

There were many different leadership CDEs to compete in at Imbler High School that day — everything from prepared and extemporaneous speaking to job interview and parliamentary procedure. These events can be the most nerve wracking for FFA members. They require confidence to speak in front of judges, knowledge to debate ag issues and concentration to stay on the top of your game throughout the entire contest.

 Upon arriving in Imbler, it was not 20 minutes before advanced parliamentary procedure began. In this CDE, six advanced members of each chapter debate currents issues in agriculture using Robert’s Rules of Order. The team rotates through five rounds, acting as chairman of the meeting in one of these rounds. This may seem like an unnecessary skill to know. However, it teaches students how to properly conduct a meeting, giving every member equal chance to be heard, and it is the system used by our United States Congress. 

Throughout the day, there were other speaking competitions taking place. In the prepared speech category, students write and memorize a speech months before the contest and have a chance to give it to the judges, then answer a series of questions about that topic. 

In extemporaneous speaking, the members are given a list of topics about modern agriculture months before the contest to research. On the day of the contest, they draw at random one of these topics, and then are given 30 minutes to prepare a speech on it, followed by questions. Creed speakers are generally younger FFA members who memorize “The FFA Creed” by E.M. Tiffany and perform it, also followed by questions. 

In the job interview portion, participants must create a cover letter and resume for the judges to review as well as fill out a job application and then be interviewed by a panel of professionals. 

The 11 FFA chapters from the Eastern Oregon FFA District — Cove, Wallowa, Enterprise, Baker, La Grande, Elgin, Joseph, Pine Eagle, Union, Imbler and North Powder — brought students to compete and each had their own successes. 

The results are as follows.

Creed Speaking: 1st-Whitney Wilbur, Imbler. 2nd-Karley Witten, Cove. 3rd-Maddison Falk, Enterprise. 4th-Amanda Feik, Imbler and Hailee Patterson, Imbler. 5th-Cassidee Calhoun, Cove.

Beginning Public Speaking: 1st-Harris Lackey, Union. 2nd-Reagan Carreiro, Cove. 3rd-Madalyn Moore, Imbler. 4th-Veronica Teem, Imbler. 5th-Kyndal Murchison, Cove and Bern Anderes, Union. 

Sophomore Public Speaking: 1st-Nikolai Christoffersen, Enterprise. 2nd-Kellie Nostrant, Cove. 3rd-Anna Reinhart, Joseph. 4th-Hannah Haefer, Imbler. 5th- Stephanie Phillips, Imbler.

Advanced Public Speaking: 1st-Molly Del Curto, Cove. 2nd-Jacey Teeter, Imbler. 3rd-Jake Harris, Cove. 4th-Kellie Freels, Baker. 5th-Emma Bowers, Imbler. 

Extemporaneous Speaking: 1st-Remmington Troyer, Imbler. 2nd-Josey Koehn, Cove. 3rd-Conner Logosz, Cove. 4th-Angela Stafford, Imbler. 5th Daniel Kohlhepp, Enterprise. 

Beginning Parliamentary Procedure: 1st, Cove. 2nd-Union. 3rd-Joseph. 4th-Imbler. 5th- Baker. 

Advanced Parliamentary Procedure: 1st-Cove. 2nd-Enterprise. 3rd-Baker. 4th-Imbler. 

Job Interview: 1st-Callahan Anderes, La Grande. 2nd-Angela Stafford, Imbler. 3rd- Amy Edison, Enterprise. 4th-Luke Coomer, Baker. 

The top three finalists of Creed Speaking, and the top two in every other category will be competing for at sectionals at EOU. If they place in the top two there, they will be competing for state titles at the Oregon FFA State Convention, beginning on March 22 at Oregon State University in Corvallis. 

Although we had a shaky start, it did not seem to waver the members of the Cove FFA Chapter and we are proud to be sending a member to sectionals in every category and would like to congratulate all other members who worked so hard to compete.