Parsons, Kansas —
Members of the Labette County FFA Chapter in Kansas were one of 39 teams participating in the National FFA Agricultural Sales Career Development Event (CDE). The event was held in conjunction with the 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. The team, led by advisor Dustin Wiley, was recognized as the fifth place team in the nation and was awarded a gold emblem. Members also competed for individual awards with 156 other participants. Taylore Kusel earned silver honors and her teammates, Rhianne Taylor, Holleigh Sorrell, and Halli Wigger all earned gold honors. Holleigh Sorrell was the 11th place individual overall. All of these accomplishments were well earned, however, as Kusel, Taylor, and Sorrell all attend Labette County High School, but Wigger moved to Troy, Kan., at the end of last summer. As a result, all of the team members sacrificed a great deal of personal time to travel for practice in both Altamont and Troy as well as tour the Equine Unit at the Purina Headquarters in Gray Summit, Mo., to learn from Equine Specialist, Mike Jerina. All of the individual and team sales activities for each team revolved around three Purina horse feeds and two Purina cattle feeds.
The top ten individuals and the national winning team members received cash awards to recognize their success in the event. Both the cash awards and the agricultural sales event are sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. As a company based in agriculture, Monsanto is proud to support the agricultural sales CDE because it is a premier opportunity for youth to learn and fine tune communication skills that they will take beyond high school and use as they launch their careers.
The National FFA Agricultural Sales CDE is a competitive event that allows students to apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations. The event includes actual sales presentations, a written exam, team sales situation, an individual practical situation focusing on customer relations, customer service, or prospecting for customers. Each team competed at local and state levels for the privilege of representing their state at the National FFA Convention & Expo.
The event, held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown Hotel in Indianapolis, Ind., is one of many educational activities at the National FFA Convention & Expo in which FFA members practice the lessons taught in agricultural education classes.
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members as part of 7,498 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. 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 www.ffa.org, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog. £