Rugby FFA excels at nationals
The Rugby High School Future Farmers of America took a group of 20 students and advisers to the FFA national convention in Louisville, Kentucky, which ran from Oct. 27 through Nov. 3.
Rugby FFA president Keylee Odden and vice president Amber Jaeger excelled at the competition despite their parliamentary procedure team not advancing past the first round.
The duo earned national accreditation as parliamentarians because of their abilities to properly conduct a meeting and by proving their knowledge of Robert’s Rules of Order.
“It meant a lot and I think that’s what all of us were trying really hard for because it’s something that will help in the future, not just now,” Odden said, “and it proved that all the hard work paid off in the end.”
Faculty adviser Richard Vannett was pleased with how his group adapted to the rules at the national convention with just one week to prepare. North Dakota is one of the only states that doesn’t have judges immediately question the students following a presentation in district and state competitions.
“It’s a tremendous learning experience,” Vannett said. “We won the state championship in October and we had about five days to learn how to do the same contest with a totally different format. The other teams down there had been preparing for about 40 weeks and our kids had a week to prepare. It was a lot of pressure and a lot of hard work.”
Odden and other officers stayed busy throughout the week, but much of the group was able to attend a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. Other sightseeing included trips to the Louisville Slugger museum, the KFC Yum! Center and the Kentucky Downs horse racing track.
A school cannot compete twice in a row at the national convention, but the Rugby FFA is already looking forward to the state competition next summer.
“We definitely want to try this year, when we go to state in the summer time, to change the rules for parliamentary procedure so it’s like other states,” Odden said, “and I think that’ll make North Dakota a really strong competitor in future years.”
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