>Members who know risky business travel to Washington D.C.

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Risk Managment Essay Contest Award Trip

Last Wednesday, May 5, the ten Risk Management Essay Contest winners ventured to Washington D.C. for an action packed award trip. How did each FFA member win this all-expense paid trip for themselves and their advisor? By writing an essay addressing how address risk in their supervised agricultural experience program (SAE). Check out the top essays on the National FFA Risk Management Essay Contest page.

After the journey from Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas to D.C., everyone was ready for dinner. Ten students and 13 chaperones, one national FFA officer, guests from Risk Management Agency (RMA) and a few national FFA staff sat down to meet, greet and eat. After introductions and pizza, the night was topped off with a walk across the Francis Scott Key Bridge to Georgetown Cupcake for a delicious dessert.

Bright and early Thursday morning, the group headed to Pennsylvania Avenue for a tour of the White House and then it was off to the Ronald Reagan Building for a quick lunch followed by a Metro ride to Capitol Hill. After talking to staff members from the House Committee on Agriculture, the group parted ways to visit with individual congress members and discuss FFA, the essay contest and their interest in agriculture. Up next, an interactive dinner! Alex Henry, the National FFA Eastern Region Vice President, helped them bust some myths about agriculture (issues like “Farming is easy” and “FFA is just a high school activity”) and then scoured DC for a photo scavenger hunt. Check out her blog, The Adventures of Alex, for all the busted myths and photos.

A night of taking photos around D.C. helped prepare the students for their photo session at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Friday morning. After meeting more of the RMA staff, the group proceeded to the essay contest recognition ceremony and picked up Dr. Larry Case along the way. Michael T. Scuse, USDA Deputy Under Secretary was just one of the USDA officials to congratulate and pass on words of wisdom to the members. The ten winners listed below each received a certificate, gold medal, embroidered blanket and trip to Washington D.C.!

• Amanda Aycock, Elm City, NC; member of Hunt FFA
• Katelyn Brown, Grapeland, TX; member of Grapeland FFA
• Emily Fanning, May, OK; member of Laverne FFA
• Colton Hansen, Syracuse, NE; member of Syracuse- Dunbar- Avoca FFA
• Jordan Hieber, Ubly, MI; member of Ubly FFA
• Denton Lowe, Amber, OK; member of Amber Pocasset FFA
• Keith Mentnech, Swansboro, NC; member of Croaton FFA
• Abbey Nickel, Mount Vernon, OH; member of Mount Vernon FFA
• David Walden, Plant City, FL; member of Durant Sr. FFA
• Zachary Weichel, Cordell, OK; member of Cordell FFA

After the ceremony, a delicious lunch in the Secretary’s Dining Room wrapped up the day at USDA. Friday night the group strolled to Georgetown for dinner and had the evening to explore the area. Saturday morning brought sunshine and a quick Metro ride to the Arlington National Cemetery. After witnessing the changing of the guards, the students and chaperones split to scour the city and investigate all the sights, scenes, monuments and museums that D.C. has to offer. Sunday ended the award trip, which wouldn’t have been possible without the Risk Management Agency of USDA, as the students and chaperones made the journey back to Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.

Wish YOU could have been one of the ten members who traveled to D.C., interacted with USDA officials, busted ag myths, and met fellow students from around the U.S.? Submit an essay for the 2011 contest for a chance to be part of the fun next year! Start thinking about how you manage risk in your SAE and visit the National FFA Risk Management Essay Contest for more information or e-mail jmantey@ffa.org.

Until next year,

Jill Mantey
National FFA Program Manager
Risk Management Essay Contest
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