Ag Ed Society wins parliamentary pro contest
November 13, 2008
A selected group of Agriculture Science Education Organization students experienced a successful trip to the Collegiate Future Farmers of America convention held in Indianapolis, Ind.
The Collegiate FFA convention was a small section of the National Conclave, which is in conjunction with the 81st National FFA Convention held from Oct. 22 to 25.
“The FFA Convention motivates a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education,” according to the National FFA Organization Web site.
“It is a real challenging contest,” James Graham, agriculture professor, chair of Agricultural Education Society, advisor for Alpha Gamma Rho and faculty advisor who assisted the students in Indianapolis, said.
The National Convention invites over 50,000 FFA members, advisors and supporters across the country. The Collegiate FFA convention awards teams based on four contests: essay, pop quiz, debate and parliamentary procedure, as well as the best overall team.
At the 2006 and 2007 Collegiate FFA Convention, UW-River Falls did well, but there was room for improvement.
“Our team took second place last year, so we were really shooting to get first this year,” Lindsey Neby, junior and member of the UWRF Collegiate FFA team, said.
Before any students from UWRF could make the 11-hour drive to Indianapolis, the team had to be selected. Any Agriculture Science Society student interested in participating in the parliamentary procedure contest submitted an application and took a 75-question test put together by Graham.
The students with the five highest scores made up the parliamentary procedure team that represented UWRF.
UWRF participated in the debate contest, the parliamentary procedure and the quiz bowl, but did not take part in the essay contest, for good reasons.
“River Falls did not have an essay entry because we won last year. So we hosted the event this year,” Kim Schadrie, sophomore and a member of the UWRF Collegiate FFA team, said.
The UWRF team did not place in the quiz bowl or the debate contest, but took first place in the parliamentary procedure contest. The contest consists of seven teams and is made up of an individual written test and a team demonstration.
“Parliamentary procedure basically is a contest about the proper way to run a business meeting,” Schadrie said. “A team is graded on the quality, how specific you are, if you give each person the chance to talk and how much sense you make.”
The parliamentary procedure team consisted of Rachel Rahmlow, Michael Rahmlow, Nathan Kringle, Lindsey Neby, Kim Schadrie and Bobbi Christenson.
Along with a team victory in the overall parliamentary procedure contest, UWRF also won the written portion, with Michael Rahmlow scoring the highest individual score on the written test.
With each victory, the parliamentary procedure team received a symbol of their accomplishments.
“The parliamentary procedure team won a plaque and a check for $100,” Neby said.
With the leading results of the parliamentary procedure this year, Graham has even bigger hopes next year.
“There are two other awards given in parliamentary procedure. There is first place chairman and first place secretary. It would be nice to win those as well,” Graham said.
During the National FFA competition, other than the Collegiate FFA contests, the National Conclave also hosts different events and speakers to further the knowledge in agriculture business.
“The group got to attend career and business shows. The students had to represent a booth for River Falls and the national FFA had workshops for the students,” Graham said.
Even though the team left Indianapolis, Agriculture Society students still use their parliamentary procedure skills in the River Falls area.
“The Agriculture Society and students work with FFA parliamentary procedure workshops. Students also judge high school competitions in the spring,” Graham said.
Enduring the experience of the convention, the workshops and the success of the parliamentary procedure contest, Schadrie expressed her satisfaction towards the experience.
“It was a great experience. We had a lot of fun. We went down there thinking we were going to do our best,” Schadrie said. “The competitions were a lot of fun and meeting people from other schools was awesome.”