PAULDING — On Sept. 25, five students on the Paulding FFA officers team attended the Ohio Legislative Leadership Conference at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

The officers first started off the morning by being taught more about lobbying. They were then broken into groups, some acting as lobbyists trying to pass bills, and others as representatives. The lobbyists would present their bills to the group of representatives and then convince them why they should or should not vote to pass that bill. The representatives then had to take a vote deciding if they believe that voting for that bill would be right for their district. From this activity, students got more insight on the daily work of a representative and lobbyist, and learned a little more about how bills get passed.

Students then ate a catered lunch and were first greeted by Bethany Starlin, Ohio FFA vice president. Then they listened to a speech from Dorthy Pelanda, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Pelanda spoke of what it means to be an FFA member.

Students also heard from Noah Smith, Ohio FFA secretary, who recognized the many representatives and senators that were present that day. Senator Larry Obhof, president of the Ohio Senate for the 133rd General Assembly, also talked to all of the FFA members. The Ohio FFA president, Holly McClay, explained how she first started in FFA and how every FFA member has a different story of how they got started. Then members heard some final words from Mackenzie Hoog, Ohio FFA reporter, before leaving.

Paulding FFA officers also had the privilege of meeting of senator Rob McColley, who represents the First Senate District, which includes Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and Williams counties, as well as part of Auglaize, Fulton, and Logan counties. McColley showed the officers the senate chambers.

• Paulding FFA Equine Team Competes at National Competition

In mid-September, the Paulding FFA Equine Team, consisting of Lonna Saylor, Jennifer Stahl, Jordyn Merriman and Riley Noffsinger, traveled to Massachusetts to compete at the Big E in West Springfield.

Despite several plane delays and troubles, the team finally made it to Massachusetts late Thursday night. The following day the members took a tour of Boston and looked at the lake and historical sites throughout the city. The rest of the night was spent studying and preparing for the competition.

On Sept. 15, the team was ready to compete. The equine competition consisted of judging six horse conformation classes, which includes looking at four horses and ranking them from best to worst based on the muscle definition, bone structure, and overall soundness. There were two performance classes where horses are judged on how they change leads, their stride, and how they act when being ridden. They also had to identify different types of tack that is used on horses, as well as different breeds and markings on them. Then they gave oral reasonings why they placed the horses in the order that they did.

Later that night they shared a meal at the annual FFA Banquet with all of the students that had competed earlier that day. The banquet also served as an awards ceremony for all the students. The team placed eighth overall and represented Ohio and the Paulding FFA proudly.

The team would like to thank all the sponsors that helped with the trip, and the chapter is very proud of the team and all that they accomplished.

• Paulding FFA attends Farm Science Review

On Sept. 17, the Paulding FFA had 22 students attend the Farm Science Review in London, Ohio.

There were hundreds of booths for the students to visit so they could learn more about the many different businesses in agriculture. There were also field demonstrations for the students to watch, which included the newest technological advances in the farming industry.

While at Farm Science Review the students were given an assignment. They had to pick a booth and interview the booths’ occupants about their agriculture business or service and find out their history and what education is needed for this career field. The students also were able to meet with many different universities and colleges to learn more about different degrees available in the agriculture industry.

The students overall had a very fun day learning and are excited to attend again next year.

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