The Indiana FFA Convention returned to a live event in 2021 after a virtual convention in 2020. However, it was held in Indianapolis, not at Purdue University, because some COVID-19 restrictions remained in place. Sessions were held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, with most judging events at Hamilton Southeastern High School and some workshops and banquets held at Conner Prairie.
The convention produced a new team of state officers, and they’re excited for a year that appears to offer a return to more normal activities. The Indiana State Fair is going live, with Mondays and Tuesdays closed, and the Indiana FFA Building, designed and manned by the state officers with help from other members, is always a highlight of the fair. The 2021 Farm Progress Show will be live in Decatur, Ill., Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, and the Indiana FFA state officers typically have a presence at the show.
This year’s state officers include Kourtney Otte, Seymour FFA, president; Nicholas Neuman, Rushville FFA, secretary; Tyler Kilmer, Tri-County FFA, northern region vice president; Abby Stuckwisch, Brownstown Central FFA, southern region vice president; Jordyn Wickard, Eastern Hancock FFA, treasurer; Jeremiah Giese, Rushville FFA, reporter; and Madison Carns, Mount Vernon @ Fortville FFA, sentinel.
Others stand out
Numerous FFA members were recognized at the convention for excelling in leadership contests, judging events and proficiency categories. Proficiency awards are based on a member’s Supervised Agricultural Experience program while enrolled in agriculture classes and in FFA. This can be anything from beef production to forestry management.
One of the highlights each year is naming the Indiana FFA Star Farmer. The 2021 Star Farmer is Carson Kretzmeier, White County. She works with her parents on a grain operation, but also has developed a livestock enterprise, including building up her own Southdown sheep flock.
Her parents, John and Kristi Kretzmeier, were named Master Farmers in 2017.