Canby FFA Nabs Honors in Return to State Convention

After a two-year hiatus for the Oregon FFA State Convention due to Covid-19, over 2,500 people — including a contingent from Canby High School — converged on Redmond last week to attend the 94th annual event in person.

Jessie Samarin.
Sixteen members from the Canby FFA chapter attended this year and earned numerous accolades, including the team walking away with a gold award and first place in the state for their National Chapter application and senior Jessie Samarin being elected to the position of Oregon State FFA reporter.

Samarin will spend the next year traveling the state representing the Oregon FFA.

“I am excited to travel the state and be a part of many district leadership camps, lead workshops and classroom visits, she said. “I have personally experienced the positive impact state officers have on the lives of students and having the opportunity to have the same impact on the 14,066 FFA members in our state is the best feeling in the world!

Being elected to serve as a state officer in 2022-23 is a “huge honor,” Samarin said.

From left, Katie Ayres, Katie Anderson, Brook Jonas, Jillian Schaffner, Jacob Palacios, Keegan Welander, Jessie Samarin and Kate Williams.

“The team that I will be able to work alongside with makes everything even more exciting,” she said. “They are an outstanding group of people from all parts of the state and have different backgrounds in agriculture, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to learn from them and grow with them as we begin our year of service!”

The Canby chapter also received a superior rating award for its strong showing in the National Chapter Award Program, which is designed to recognize FFA chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization.

These chapters improve chapter operations using the National Quality Chapter Standards and a Program of Activities that emphasize growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership.

Eight Canby FFA members earned the Oregon State FFA Degree — the highest award a state FFA association can bestow: Katie Anderson, Katie Ayres, Brooke Jonas, Jacob Palacios, Jessie Samarin, Jillian Schaffner, Keegan Welander and Kate Williams.

Each student has worked hard over the past three years either on an agriculturally related job or raising an animal.

“It was amazing to go back to state convention after not being there for two years,” said senior Keegan Welander. “I really missed the excitement that everyone had with all the dancing, the amazing keynote speaker, Kate Garnes, and the interesting educational workshops.”

Four members participated in the Oregon State Agriscience Fair, which recognizes students who gain real-world, hands-on experiences in agricultural enterprises. Students use scientific principles and emerging technologies to solve complex problems related to agriculture, food, and natural resources.

Freshman Joshua Artino, junior Lauralee Doman and senior Brooke Jonas all placed first and will be competing in the national contest this summer. Sophomores Cheyenna Banta and Paiton Welander placed second with their project.

Additionally, four Canby students nabbed first place in the proficiency competition: Keegan Welander for agricultural processing, Brooke Jonas for agricultural research with a focus on integrated systems, Kate Williams for agricultural sales, and Jacob Palacios for diversified livestock production.

“I wish more people knew that FFA is something anyone can do,” said Lauralee Doman. “FFA has impacted my life by helping me understand what it is that I want to study in college and work on for the rest of my life.”

Photo courtesy Patty Abell.

Brooke Jonas is no stranger to winning agriscience awards, as this marks her fourth consecutive year at placing first in her division for an agriscience project.

“It feels amazing to win this year,” said Jonas. “I have put in a lot of time and work trying to do well and it paid off!”

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