What an incredible nine days Gustine FFA spent in Indianapolis, Indiana and Washington DC. Gustine FFA had 16 current members and three Gustine FFA alumni attended the 93rd FFA National Convention and Exhibition in Indianapolis. Students who received the trip participated in numerous Gustine FFA events as well as events and competitions at the section, region and state levels during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. . Students who attended included Daniel Gomes, Christina Moitozo, Kaitlin Dores, Grant Hazan, Garret Gomes, Emma Woods, Austin Bell, Blake Codorniz, Mikayla Silveira, Lalanie Brace, Jacob Salsa, Savanna Barcellos, Tyler Borba, Ashlyn Alamo, Janai Navarro, Kailyn Medeiros, Darian Nunes, Joseph Lopes and John Toste.
The students arrived in Indianapolis on October 26. On October 27, the students woke up early and boarded a bus bound for Louisville, Kentucky. We had the opportunity to visit and watch the bats being made at the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory. We then proceeded to Churchill Downs Racecourse where we were able to watch a 3D video of the racehorses and tour the famous racetrack. After a busy day touring Louisville, Kentucky, we returned to the hotel and got ready for the Brett Young concert we were attending later that night. The students took the opportunity to meet new people and rock out some of their favorite songs from Young.
“I really enjoyed going to the National Convention. It gave me the opportunity to meet new people and attend workshops where I learned tools on how to be a better leader, which I am able to bring back to my chapter ”, a commented Kaitlin Dores.
The convention was launched for Gustine FFA students on October 28. The first session of the 93rd FFA National Convention and Exhibition was definitely one for books. The excitement as thousands of FFA students filled the Lucas Oil Stadium was incredible. During the remainder of the week, Gustine FFA students attended leadership workshops, heard various keynote speakers, attended the University and Trade Fair, shopped at the FFA Mall, and listened to retirement speeches from the outgoing national officers of the FFA.
The students attended the U.S. graduation ceremony hosted by the national officers on October 30. John Toste was nationally recognized by the FFA and received his American degree. The FFA American Farmer’s Diploma is the highest qualification an FFA member can receive within the FFA organization. The American Farmer FFA Diploma symbolizes the recipient’s dedication to their chapter and to the organization. This year, Gustine FFA has four well-deserving winners, Camille Alamo, Gianna Azevedo, Darren Borba and John Toste. Congratulations on this great achievement and thank you for continuing to make Gustine FFA proud!
Later in the day, members attended the final session, where they were able to listen to the retirement speech of the FFA National President and meet the 2021-2022 FFA National Officer Team. After the official adjournment of the convention, Gustine FFA traveled to the airport where six students returned home while 11 students traveled to Washington DC, where they could spend four days in the nation’s capital.
Members visited and toured the Spy Museum, Holocaust Museum, Air Force Memorial, and Mount Vernon. Due to Halloween, later in the day, the students took part in a ghost tour in downtown Alexandria, Virginia.
The next morning, the students traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where the students had the opportunity to learn about the Civil War and the weapons and strategies used. We were also able to participate in different simulations, allowing us to experience and learn more about our American history. Later that day, the members took an evening tour of the White House and its surroundings.
On the last full day in Washington, we headed to the capital and met Congressman Jim Costa in the morning. Gustine FFA members asked questions on a variety of agricultural topics. We then visited the Washington Monument and had the opportunity to visit the top of the tower. After lunch, the students toured the National Archives and proceeded to Arlington National Cemetery.
This year, students from the Gustine FFA Chapter were able to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington. Christina Moitozo, Mikayla Silveira, Daniel Gomes and Garret Gomes were the students chosen to represent Gustine FFA by laying the crown offered by Gustine FFA. It was the honor and the experience of a lifetime and an incredible event in which all Gustine FFA students participated.
Christina Moitozo shared her experience: “Being part of a once in a lifetime experience at Arlington National Cemetery is an experience I will never forget. The placing of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was a touching moment in my life. I feel honored and proud to be an American and to be able to show respect to the men and women who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy today. Hearing that there are thousands of unidentified soldiers who are honored by this tradition truly humbled everyone who witnessed and participated in the ceremony.
To end our trip, the students toured and toured a variety of landmarks on the National Mall. The monuments included the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Albert Einstein Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. Visiting monuments and memorials has helped us all learn more about the people and events that helped shape our great nation.
The nine days spent at the FFA National Convention and in Washington DC were absolutely amazing! We would like to thank the National FFA Organization for hosting such an amazing convention, the Gustine Unified School District for allowing us to attend, the Gustine FFA advisors for planning a great trip and our Gustine Ag Boosters for helping pay. so that the students have that. opportunity.