Members of the Decatur FFA Chapter earned national recognition at the 86th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., last week.
Brooke Millican was named national winner of the Home and/or Community Development-Entrepreneurship/Placement Proficiency award. Proficiency awards recognize FFA members who excelled as agricultural entrepreneurs, employees or volunteers while they gained hands-on career experience. The Home and/or Community Development-Entrepreneurship/Placement is one of 49 FFA proficiency award categories offered at the local, state and national levels.
Millican built a pocket park in downtown Decatur behind the Visitors Center. Not only did she lead coordination of the park, but she also took on the fundraising efforts to make her dream a reality.
Millican is a 2012 graduate of DHS.
Millican’s classmate, Cruz Niblett, received his American Farmer Degree at the convention. This degree is given to less than 1 percent of all FFA members in the United States, and it represents activities, projects, hours and money invested while being an FFA member.
Decatur ag teacher Jim Allsup said the Chapter Quiz Team, made up of current students, placed fifth overall in the National FFA Quiz Contest, which is a general knowledge test over the National FFA Handbook. Team member Michaela Cross was second high individual of the entire contest. Other team members included Caylla Cotten, Shelby Drews and Michael Hicks.
Allsup said the entire Decatur FFA Chapter was recognized as a one-star program. National FFA rates chapters in three categories – community development, student development and chapter development. Only 2 percent of U.S. chapters are rated. Officers on hand to receive the award included President Chance Walther, Secretary Michaela Cross, Treasurer Michael Hicks, Reporter Kelsey Blase, Sentinel Caylla Cotten and Student Adviser Shelby Drews.
“I remember when they were freshmen and would come in not wanting to talk or anything, and now they’re eating this stuff up,” Allsup said. “Watching them grow and become young adults … that’s my ultimate.”
Daniel McCurdy, a Boyd FFA member, also competed at the national convention. He was one of only four national finalists in the Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Entrepreneurship Proficiency award, but he did not place in Louisville.