Pella FFA enjoys National Convention

Back Row Left to right: Luke VanEssen, Josh McGhee, Ethan Klyn, Sydney Davis, Sierra VanderWeerdt, Bradley VanderWilt, Trett Langstraat, Jayden Jansen Front Row: Amber VanGorp, Kayla Beyer. (photo courtesy of Jacob Bowers)

Members of the Pella High School FFA Chapter recently traveled with students from PCM, East Marshall, Grinnell and Bondurant-Farrar to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. Along the way they visited Kinze Manufacturing.

Pella Chapter President Kayla Beyer made the trip for the second time. She said it was really fun and enjoyed going with her younger classmates.

Beyer is a senior, who plans to attend Des Moines Area Community College to study agriculture business with a goal of being a business manager. She grew up on a farm with cows, goats and crops.

The club took in a rodeo with four other Iowa chapters. Beyer enjoyed connecting with friends from outside of town.

Kayla Buyert had a different experience. She was chosen to play the flute in the convention’s instrumental ensemble. To be selected, she had to submit a YouTube video, playing scales and etudes. She learned she was selected for the band on Aug. 16.

Since then, she learned 13 concert pieces and eight pep band pieces to be part of the ensemble at the convention. She rehearsed a great deal and enjoyed meeting everyone. In the little free time she had at the convention, she checked out the expo, career fair and explored collegiate options. Buyert is hopeful to return to the band and convention next year.

Junior Sierra VanderWeerdt went to the convention for the first time. Another lifelong farmer, VanderWeerdt enjoyed learning about the future of agriculture and being around others with the same interests. She went to a session involving national officers, whom she had been following on social media. It was nice to meet them in person.

“I’d definitely again,” VanderWeerdt said.

Chapter Sponsor Jacob Bowers said many students also enjoyed seeing the technology that was coming soon to farms. Technology and marketing will continue to play significant roles in the future of agriculture. Though the chapter only plans to attend every two years, Pella has been blessed with national champions in various competitions that have kept the chapter going to the convention every year. Alumnus Chandler Jahner, State President of FFA, was also active at the convention.