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Local, national FFA members explore agriculture in Costa Rica


To kick off 2023, 75 current and former state FFA Officers visited Costa Rica to learn about the various types of agriculture in the country.

State officers traveled the country experiencing CATIE, the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center; the Tibas Farmers Market; La Paz Waterfall Gardens; a palmito plantation; pineapple plantation; wildlife reserve center; Arenal Volcano; the rainforest; an organic farm and much more.

The experience, International Leadership Seminar for State Officers, ILSSO, was thanks to support from FFA corporate donors John Deere and Bunge.

FFA members who participated in the experience include:

Reese Mitchell and William Blankenship from Arkansas; Tyson Schneider from Colorado; Robert Eselby from Connecticut; Trinity Ranshaw from Delaware; Austin Holcomb, Carleigh Newsom, Tyler Laib, Addie Ferguson, Abby Kruse, Anelise Bullard, Laken Troup of Florida; Katelyn Schaefer and Annie Bower of Iowa; Mackenzie Malson and Elizabeth Shaw of Idaho; Kirsten Kyger, Karlie Albright, Cali Newdigger, Aidan Yoho and Emma Kepley of Kansas; Emma Sherman of Kentucky; Lauren Poole, Annie Heard of Louisiana; Teagan Flaherty, Kendall Abruzzese and Hannah Haines of Maryland; Patricia Hebenstreit and Olivia Coffey of Michigan; Emily Matejka of Minnesota; Riley Larson of Montana; Madeline Kluttz and Elizabeth Espino of North Carolina; Dustin Andreasen, Faith Miller, Emelia Rourke, and Elizabeth Wilkins of Nebraska; Roland Norris of Nevada; Aubrey Schwartz, Luke Jennings, Aly Murphy, Graham Carson, Kennedy Short, Dalton Mullins, Katherine Oestreich and Hannah Saum of Ohio; Kinsley Kemble, Brekkan Richardson, Grant Hills, Maddie Dollarhide, Jessie Samarin, Uriel Aguilar Torres of Oregon; Trinity Peterson, Tessa Erdmann and Hadley Stiefvater of South Dakota; Taylor Cantrell of Tennessee; Savannah Goodwin, Jordan Petrie, Makenna Garrett, Emily Jenkins, Elizabeth Bates, Jill Reiter, Carly Thomas, Gabriella Martin and Katherine Powell of Virginia; Esther Grosz, Pedro Mendoza Zamora, Madison Weber and Lillian McGregor of Washington; Garrett Ammons, Rylee Brown, Creed Ammons and Caroline Greenleaf of West Virginia and Bree Coxbill of Wyoming.

(Editor’s note: Nearly all of the Ohio participants are from this area. Aly Murphy, State Reporter, is a McClain High School graduate. State President Aubrey Schwartz, State Secretary Graham Carson State Vice President at Large Dalton Mullins are all from Miami Trace/Great Oaks. Kennedy Short, State Sentinel, is from Fayetteville. State Vice President at Large Luke Jennings is from Felicity-Franklin, and State Vice President Hannah Saum is from Amanda-Clearcreek. Katherine Oestreich is from Eastwood.)

The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 850,000 student members as part of 8,995 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Source: Highland County Press