REDMOND, Ore. — The 95th annual Oregon FFA State Convention wrapped up Sunday, March 19th in an exciting fashion, as delegates from around the state gathered to elect new leadership for the coming year. The four-day convention, held March 16-19 at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond, drew about 3,000 students from across Oregon to network and compete in Career Development Events and attend Agriculture and leadership-building workshops.
The election process combines formal voting with a grueling multi-day interview process. After candidates give two-minute formal speeches to the voting delegates, members are nominated and voted on by the delegation. When a selection is made, the lights go dark, and the Chicago Bulls theme song plays loud. After the anxiety levels decreased from the heart-pumping music, six officers were chosen from a pool of 24 candidates to lead Oregon FFA for 2023-24.
Elected individuals include President Jael Cruikshank, of Bend; Vice President Kylie Temple, of Hermiston; Secretary Ryan Mizee, of Tillamook; Treasurer Camille Peters, of Elkton; Reporter Alicia Venegas, of Lost River; and Sentinel Mary Thiel, of Joseph.
For the next year, the officers will travel thousands of miles, driving corporate-branded sponsored pickups, visiting with all 15,000-plus FFA members and more than 110 chapters across the state.
Selected from Tillamook High School’s FFA Chapter, Ryan Mizee will be a 2023 graduate of THS. Mizee described himself as a person driven by his passions. He said he wants to help his fellow members find their own purpose in life. “You should take every opportunity that comes your way,” he said. “FFA is an amazing place to fail, because when you do fail, it’s OK.”
Brooklyn and Hayden Bush, Tillamook FFA Advisors and agriculture teachers at Tillamook High School, underscored the true magnitude of this achievement. “This honor is truly one of the most prestigious things that could have happened to a THS student in recent memory,” said Mr. Bush. “We got to watch a young man grow and share his story over 4 days of interviews, speaking experiences, and more. We can’t wait to see how he impacts Oregon FFA Members over the next year,” explains Mrs. Bush.