By Samantha Bonifas
The Silver Lake FFA Chapter traveled to Lincoln for the 94th annual state FFA convention on Wednesday, April 6. The theme of the 2022 convention was “Empower.” Silver Lake FFA members were empowered throughout the three days of learning, competing, and growing. State qualifiers and officers attended the convention. Silver Lake FFA members present included juniors Samantha Bonifas and Kassi Jones, sophomores Savanna Junek, Madison Karr, Ashley Bonifas, Sydney Bartels, and Keaton Karr, freshmen Lane Conway, Casey Conway, Clay Plambeck, and Jeremy Sharp, and 8th graders Beau Bonifas and Makenna Karr. The convention started with the agriscience fair competition. In the Food Products and Processing Systems category, Junek placed second in division 3, Makenna Karr placed first in division 1, a team of Ashley Bonifas and Bartels placed first in division 4, and Samantha Bonifas placed first in division 5. The projects of MaKenna Karr, Ashley Bonifas and Bartels, and Beau Bonifas will advance to the preliminary round of the National FFA Agriscience Fair. In the Power, Structural, and Technical Systems category, Beau Bonifas and Sharp both received second in divisions 1 and 3 respectively.
While the agriscience fair participants competed at Pinnacle Bank Arena, other FFA members attended a leadership workshop at the Hyatt Place. Jones said the workshop was beneficial to her leadership skills. “We learned that everyone is connected in some way and about the importance of connections in the agriculture industry.” On Wednesday afternoon, Ashley Bonifas and Samantha Bonifas competed in their Leadership Development Event competitions. Ashley Bonifas placed in the bronze level of Natural Resource Speaking. Samantha Bonifas placed in the gold level and received third place in Employment Skills. The first day of convention ended with FFA members attending the opening session while the Farm Business Management team consisting of Samantha Bonifas, Ashley Bonifas, Casey Conway, and Plambeck competed at UNL East Campus. The Farm Business Management team took a 100 question test. Plambeck received a blue ribbon, Samantha Bonifas received a red ribbon, and Ashley Bonifas received a white ribbon.
Silver Lake FFA competed in a scavenger hunt in the expo throughout the day on Thursday. The expo was set up in Pinnacle Bank Arena and consisted of booths of many colleges, businesses, and organizations. The hunt was conducted through an app. Each task required members to find a certain booth to ask a question and take a picture with. Silver Lake also attended the third general session. The evening ended with a chapter supper at Lazlo’s. Friday morning started early with the livestock judging competition on East Campus. Plambeck, Junek, Keaton Karr, and Lane Conway competed. Plambeck received a red ribbon. Silver Lake spent the rest of Friday at sessions where members were acknowledged on stage for their achievements. Silver Lake FFA advisor Andrea Curlo was very happy about the successful state convention. “It was rewarding to be back in Lincoln. Our accomplishments throughout the year were able to be celebrated. It felt so good to actually be there and compete in person.”