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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on November 20th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 37 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 37

Nipomo FFA students learn about community leadership in Louisville


Members of the Nipomo FFA chapter recently attended the organization’s national convention in Louisville, Ky., where there also got to tour such locations as the Kentucky Horse Park.

More than a dozen Nipomo FFA members recently traveled to Louisville, Ky. to attend the National FFA Convention—the largest youth convention in the United States. This year’s theme, “Ignite,” aimed to spark students’ passion to positively impact their schools and communities.

The Nipomo students participated in an agricultural career expo featuring more than 450 agricultural companies and colleges.

“The career expo was a great opportunity to discover new job opportunities and colleges. I found a college I hope to attend that I would have never discovered had it not been for attending the expo,” junior Holly Gaalswyk said in a press release.

Attendees also listened to several keynote speakers, including Louisville Cardinals coach Rick Pitino, who encouraged the students to set a one-day contract with themselves every day to ensure they spend the limited time they have as an FFA member wisely and they value those who are most important to them in their lives.

Joe Torillo—a retired NYFD firefighter who was buried twice while rescuing people in the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001—also spoke at the conference. Nipomo FFA reporter Ashley Lauinger said in a press release that Torillo encouraged the teens to “never give up, no matter what the challenge,” and to be his or her own hero.

Outside of the convention, the students got some time to go sightseeing at such famous locations as the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, the Kentucky Horse Park, and the Churchill Downs Racetrack in Kentucky.

“Ultimately we are privileged as FFA members to be able to travel the country and interact with leaders in agriculture. This opportunity has given me the chance to learn valuable skills, which will develop me into a better leader in and out of the FFA,” Lauinger said in the press release. “Nipomo FFA is appreciative of all the individuals and businesses in our community that made this trip possible with their financial support.”

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