Kendall Brooks (left) getting ready to perform at a FFA session. (Right) Members of Payson's FFA, including Camryn Faust (center) at the American Degree Ceremony.

A group of students from the Payson Future Farmers of America chapter traveled to Indiana to attend the National FFA Convention from Oct. 30-Nov. 2. 

Students flew into Chicago Oct. 28 and the next day toured the Olthoff family farm and Sunrise Farms and Nursery. They then traveled to Indianapolis to get some rest for the convention the next day. On the first day of the convention, students attended general sessions, where Payson’s Kendall Brooks performed in the National FFA Band with her flute. Brooks had to audition months before and they chose only a select number of students from across the country. The band met only four days before the convention where they practiced for the first time. The band had their songs perfected in time for the opening session, and they only got better as the convention progressed. Payson FFA is very proud of Brooks.

The group toured the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and later went to see Old Dominion in a concert. While waiting to get inside, a crew member gave the group backstage passes to meet Brandon Lay, who opened for Old Dominion. On Thursday, FFA traveled to the Cummins Tech Center for a tour, and then to Louisville to tour the Louisville Slugger and Churchill Downs. They watched three races while at Churchill Downs. They spent the next day at the convention center exploring the career expo and attending workshops and another general session. 

Thanks to Arizona FFA State Officers for allowing Brian Olthoff and Kayla Herbel to sit on the floor in the delegate seating area. The group later attended the World’s Toughest Rodeo and took pictures at the Indiana World War Memorial. 

On the final day, Payson’s Camryn Faust received her American FFA degree, the highest degree an FFA member can receive. This degree can only be received if the member meets all the requirements, which include having earned their state FFA degree, are an active member for three years, complete a secondary education course in agriculture and have an outstanding supervised agricultural experience. It is a huge honor to receive this award, congratulations Faust.

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