LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -14 Lawton FFA members are preparing to head to nationals in Indianapolis next week.
They’ve qualified the last five years for food science and technology, but this is the first time FFA members have qualified in AG. Communications and for a national proficiency award.
Senior, Colby Gilpen has been in Lawton FFA for five years. He went to nationals last year with a food science and technology team. They were eighth in the nation.
“It is a lot of excitement going into nationals, but it’s also a lot of pressure because there is a lot weighing on our shoulders to represent out chapter, our selves, and our state as well. Oklahoma FFA has high standards in the nation," said Gilpen.
He said the road leading up to nationals is not easy, but well worth it.
“There’s a lot more than what people realize going into national a contest because it is one the highest levels that you can achieve and so they are going to make it hard, going to make it difficult and so you have to push yourself, push your team to stay dedicated no matter how hard it gets or how frustrating it can be," said Gilpen.
In order to make it to nationals they had to be state champions. FFA Advisor, Lindsey Hoerbert said being a part of FFA opens many doors.
“I believe that it gives them scholarship opportunities, leadership opportunities, public speaking knowledge and so many experiences, but on side of all of the things they can do FFA just the understanding of being a better consumer of agricultural product," said Hoerbert.
Hoerbert said this is an opportunity for the students to network with other FFA members and to make memories.
“I think the experience those students gain while they’re on the road and with their other FFA members is what we hope they will always remember," said Hoerbert.
“It’s very exciting because it is my senior year. This is kind of the last hoorah that we’re going so we’re gonna make it the best that we possibly can, but we’re going to give it everything that we can," said Gilpen.