You’d recognize those blue corduroy jackets with their gold medallions embroidered on the back anywhere. And the number of young people sporting the handsome garb is on the rise in Cheyenne this week as the Wyoming FFA Association State Convention comes to town.
At the three day convention junior high and high school students from across Wyoming enjoy opportunities to sharpen their skills in everything from judging livestock and horses to developing business, sales and marketing plans to competing in parliamentary procedure and public speaking.
Students and coaches say the convention builds camaraderie among FFA students and cements marketable skills that students can use in their careers, whether they stay in agriculture or pursue a different field altogether.
“They become very confident because they learn how to speak well in front of people,” Laramie County Community College Equine Studies Instructor and Equestrian Team Coach Lanae Koons McDonald explained. “The students learn how to defend what they see.”
Cowboy State Daily videographer Mike McCrimmon caught up with FFA students – including Evanston High School FFA President Bailey Barker – to learn more about the competition as well as the personal and professional development FFA provides.
Barker told Cowboy State Daily, “We have a cattle ranch back home. You learn even more [at state convention] than you do there. You just continue your learning and your progress and your growth.”
The convention runs through Friday at various sites around Cheyenne.