FFA goes to national convention

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The West Liberty FFA program was well represented at the annual 2013 National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 30 - Nov. 2.

Kathy Kaalberg, former student at WL high school and first-year student at Iowa State University, came in eighth place for the national job interview competition. She represented the State of Iowa.

Agricultural Education Instructor and FFA Advisor Zachary Morris led a group of 18 students from the high school to the convention, where they developed working experience, toured agriculture businesses and networked with other students.

"I think it was an extremely beneficial convention, there were a lot of freshmen that went," Morris said. "I try to take freshmen because they get a really good idea of how valuable and important FFA can be for their future endeavors."

It was a learning experience for the students, using agriculture as a tool to teach leadership and business skills in the modern world.

On the way students toured the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Ill., and Rader Family Farms, allowing the them to see how a business is managed.

The convention hosted over 50,000 students from all over the United States.

West Liberty attended sessions that included special speakers such as Louisville Cardinals Coach Rick Pitino.

West Liberty also achieved a three star national chapter award for the second year in a row. This is the highest honor a chapter can receive, based on student achievement and community development.

"All of the kids openly are ready to take what they learned from the convention and bring it back to their community and make an impact," said Morris, "Kathy is an example that with hard work they can compete nationally as well."

Kathy Kaalberg is the first student from West Liberty to compete on a national level for the job interview competition. After a superb performance at the FFA State Convention last April when she was a senior, Kaalberg was chosen as one of eight national finalists in the competition.

She came in eighth place in the United States after a grueling few days of filling out online applications, phone interviews and more. More on her success will be in The Index next week.
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