Tunstall FFA

Tunstall FFA
Posted on 08/03/2020
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The 94th Virginia FFA Association held its first ever virtual state convention Monday, June 15 – Thursday, June 18. The virtual convention was based out of Turner Ashby High School in Rockingham County. This year’s convention featured workshops for members at Noon, 2PM and 4PM daily.

Workshops were presented by the 2019-2020 Virginia FFA State Officers, in addition to, Minnesota FFA Association State Officers, Britton Fuglseth and Nic Pothoff; National FFA Eastern Region Vice President, Tess Seibel; and the Farm Credit Knowledge Center.

Workshops included:
  • A Hero’s Call
  • Advocacy in Agriculture
  • Breaking Down Boundaries
  • Building an SAE
  • Clocking In and Out
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Awesome
  • Get it Done
  • Moments that Connect Us
  • Staying Positive
  • Stronger Together
  • Successful Measures and
  • Use Your Voice.
One-hour convention sessions were held at 7PM each evening. Convention sessions were free and open to the public. Sessions aired on Virginia FFA’s new website – www.vaffa.org and on the Virginia FFA Facebook page. The convention themed, “Envision,” featured four general sessions full of award presentations, motivational speakers, and state officer retiring addresses.

The Convention kickoff speaker was Dr. Oskar Scheikl, Rockingham County Public Schools Division Superintendent. Scheikl spoke about how he has spent his entire public education career in Rockingham County Schools.

He began his service in 1995 as a high school social studies teacher and soccer coach at Broadway High. Scheikl received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from James Madison University and doctorate in education from the University of Virginia.

Previous to these degrees, he studied six years at the University of Salzburg, Austria, in the fields of History and Law. “We have to find opportunities when we see obstacles. Do not let the limitations that others believe you have become your own. Believe in yourself. Trust you can do it and you can,” Scheikl stated to convention session attendees.

Other speakers on the Convention docket included Bettina Ring, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, National FFA Eastern Region Vice President, Tess Seibel, Matt Lohr, Chief of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Dr. James Woodard, National FFA Advisor. In addition to convention speakers, the convention featured state officer candidate interviews, degree ceremonies, and award sessions.

Tunstall High FFA was recognized during the first general session on Monday, June 15 for being a 100% Membership chapter. Additionally, the National FFA Organization relies on chapters to promote their activities and accomplishments in order to provide awareness about the FFA on the local, state and national levels.

The public relations program recognizes those chapters that have promoted the understanding of FFA through newspaper articles, radio and television programs, the FFA calendar program, and participation in three of our most important National Chapter awards programs.

Tunstall High FFA was named a Gold rated chapter for excelling in the area of public relations. Too, the National Chapter award program is designed to award chapters that actively implement the mission, vision and strategies of the organization.

The Virginia FFA Association recognized Tunstall High FFA as a Superior Chapter for completing at least one activity related to each of the five quality standards within three divisions: Growing Leaders, Building Communities and Strengthening Agriculture. The National Chapter award is one of the highest honors a chapter can receive. In order to qualify for the National Chapter award, a chapter must complete at least fifteen activities with at least one activity related to each of the five quality standards within the three divisions of Growing Leaders, Building Communities and Strengthening Agriculture.

The qualified chapters are then given a ranking of bronze, silver or gold. During the second general session, on Tuesday, June 16 Tunstall High FFA received a Superior Chapter Gold Rating from the Virginia FFA Association. Further, the FFA strives to help each member reach their maximum potential while enhancing their life skills.

Chapters who help students reach this level of achievement are awarded the Growing Leaders award. Tunstall High FFA was recognized during the second general session as the South Ridge Area winner of the Virginia FFA Association Growing Leaders award. The Building Communities chapter award focuses on encouraging the development of FFA partnerships to better the community while encouraging members to live a life of service.

Tunstall High FFA was recognized during the second general session as the South Ridge Area winner of the Virginia FFA Association Building Communities award. The Strengthening Agriculture chapter award is presented to chapters that promoted member participation, financial responsibility, interaction with support groups, and a superior program of activities.

Tunstall High FFA was recognized during the second general session as the South Ridge Area winner of the Virginia FFA Association Strengthening Agriculture award. Too, the Virginia FFA Association recognizes it is important to recognize chapters that have an advanced record of achievement.

The Star Chapter award is presented to chapters that excel in the area of chapter, student and community development while consistently following excellent programs of activities and budget. Tunstall High FFA was recognized during the second general session as the South Ridge Area winner of the Virginia FFA Association Star Chapter award. The chapter is ranked as one of the Top 5 chapters in the Commonwealth and advances to national competition. During the third general session on Wednesday, July 17, the Virginia FFA Association recognized those individuals who received National FFA, Virginia FFA, and State Fair of Virginia scholarships. These students are considered to be the top FFA members in our state as well as the nation based on their record of achievement.

Megan Pollok was awarded the Virginia Farm Bureau scholarship for $750. Jacob Bowden, Malik Thornton, Casey Toney, Megan Pollok, Allison Snead, Amber Jones, Davin Keller, and Kristen Moss of the Tunstall High FFA Chapter were awarded the State FFA Degree by the Virginia FFA Association on July 17, 2020. The award was given during a ceremony held as part of the 94th Virginia FFA State Virtual Convention.

The Virginia State FFA Officer Team congratulated the nearly 200 Virginia state degree recipients. In order to receive this degree, the student must meet stringent requirements. The student must first have obtained the Greenhand and Chapter FFA Degrees. They must have completed two years of high school study in agricultural education and maintained membership in the FFA organization during that time. The student must have a supervised agricultural experience project in place and must have earned and productively invested at least $1,000, or worked at least 300 hours in excess of scheduled class time.

In addition to these requirements, the student must have also demonstrated their leadership ability by performing 10 parliamentary abilities, giving a six-minute speech on a topic related to agriculture or the FFA, serving as an officer, committee chairperson, or a participating member of a chapter committee and must have participated in at least five different FFA activities above the chapter level.

Too, during the fourth and final session of the Virginia FFA State Convention, Dr. Jessica M. Jones, Tunstall High FFA Advisor introduced the 2020 Virginia FFA Association national officer candidate, Ryan Gobble. Jones serves as chairman of the National Officer Candidate Selection committee. The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 700,170 student members as part of 8,612 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Virginia FFA Association is composed of nearly 9,000 FFA members from 202 active chapters. The organization is supported by 544,985 alumni members in 2,557 local FFA Alumni chapters throughout the U.S. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.