Story by Anissa Zagonel, master’s student
For Katelyn Bohnenblust, FFA has been an integral part of her life she took her first agricultural class in the eighth grade. Now, as she begins her sophomore year at Kansas State University in the agricultural education program, it is still a foundational part of her life but in a different way.
Recently, Bohnenblust was selected through a strenuous screening process to serve as a nominating committee member for the 90th National FFA Convention, which takes place at the end of October in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a nominating committee member, Bohnenblust, along with eight other committee members from across the nation, will interview 41 national officer candidates for six national officer positions over the course of 11 days.
Few have the honor to serve on this committee. Bohnenblust is just the third Kansan to ever be selected.
“This is a small group of people who are tasked with a tremendous and impactful job, indicating that they are as elite as the students they select to serve,” says Dr. Jon Ulmer, associate professor in agricultural education. “To be selected to serve on the Nominating Committee is an outstanding compliment to Katelyn.”
Bohnenblust, along with other committee members, have been preparing for their duties since September. To prepare for their positions, committee members will also go through two days of training before the interviews during National Convention.
“So far, my favorite part has been visiting with industry professionals, FFA representatives, and those involved in agriculture to see what role a National FFA Officer plays in the agricultural industry to them,” says Bohnenblust. “Those conversations have helped me understand my purpose during those 11 days.”
She credits her three agricultural education instructors, Brandie Disberger, Dr. Gaea (Wimmer) Hock (’03, ’07), and Dr. Ulmer for mentoring her and helping her earn this prestigious honor and duty.