Moriarty Future Farmers of America struck gold at the recent national convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“It was quite a trip, very successful for the chapter, for the program,” said Terry Henson, Ag teacher and FFA advisor. “Moriarty FFA is really deep in its legacy of having success at the district state and national levels.”
But never anything quite like this.
Wylie Schwebach was crowned the national champion in Supervised Agricultural Experience: Diversified Crop Production. This was a first for the chapter and set the stage for an historic performance.
Schwebach along with Aiden Schwebach and McKenzie Satterfield each earned Farm Business Management Gold Emblems, and eighth grader Madison Satterfield grabbed a silver emblem.
And Elia Encinias earned a bronze for Prepared Public Speaking.
“Moriarty has a very rich history and a rich culture,” said Henson, who grew up in Moriarty and participated in FFA events in the area for six years. “With all of the support that we got from the community, their parents and our alumni, this would not be possible. It was huge trip for nationals.”
To top off the individual honors, Adyson Murdock-Poff was named an American Degree Recipient, something that goes to just 1% of all FFA participants, he said.
It all added up to Moriarty earning a 13th-place finish as a unit among all entrants from across the country.
Henson, who is in his first semester as FAA instructor in Moriarty, said his predecessors Cole Handies and Kade Pittman did a wonderful job preparing the Moriarty students, leading to their success on the local, state, regional and, ultimately, the national level.
“They deserve the most credit for the individual’s success,” Henson said. “They were instrumental in their development and getting the team through the state competition and set up to go to nationals.”
But the real credit, he said, goes to the individuals willing to put in the time, energy and effort to pull off the accomplishment.
“They put in a lot of long hours preparing for their trip to nationals,” Henson said. “As their Ag advisor, I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work and dedication that they put into the competition.”
The work that the national participants have put in throughout the course of their journey sets the stage for their success later in life, he said.
“This shows that us as a program, that we’re not just going through the motions,” Henson said. “It shows we put in the time and the effort to accomplish whatever the goal may be and we do it the right way. It not only shows how our students and members get to compete in areas of their interest, but they got to take the experience and develop it for the long term and what they want to do in their careers. One of our primary goals is not to develop national champions, but it’s to develop young men and women to be productive in society. To go on and be better than their parents and those that came before them. To strive to be more successful.”