Newly elected state reporter Sundee Speelmon, second from right, joins with the other newly elected state FFA officers. (Submitted photo)
ADRIAN – After being accepted to her self-described “dream college,” Adrian senior Sundee Speelmon is taking a detour.
Speelmon is delaying college for a year after being elected state reporter at the recent Oregon State FFA convention.
Rather than attending BYU-Hawaii next fall, Speelmon will be touring the state, making presentations at schools, touring agricultural facilities and representing Oregon agricultural youth.
The job starts immediately with training.
Speelmon will be the first state office holder from Adrian in 20 years.
The journey to spending a year as a state officer started in seventh grade for Speelmon. It almost ended at the state convention.
“I got nervous and almost dropped out,” she said. “I then decided to just go for it and be the most me I could be.”
Speelmon has been training for the opportunity since fall, but the idea took root in her sophomore year.
For three days at the state convention, Speelmon competed against 24 candidates in a series of interviews dealing with agriculture knowledge and a look at her past experience.
That included serving as Adrian FFA president and Snake River district vice president, community service teaching dance and basketball, and involvement in youth groups. Then came the moment Speelmon heard her name called.
“I am delaying college for a year,” she said. “The opportunity is too great to give up.”
After only a day home back from the state convention, Speelmon was on the road to Corvallis for training.
Until graduation, she will be away most weekends and then gone for the summer.
The state officers met and decided on the goal of “see the one, be the one.”
“We want to be the role models for younger members, encourage members to be the one to approach people and inspire others in FFA,” she said.
The requirements of the office means Speelmon won’t be spending much time home in Adrian.
As reporter, Speelmon will be telling the FFA story with the release of news and information to radio, television, newspaper and service clubs around the state. She will publish a scrapbook and newsletter while also sending local stories to area and district reporters.
Speelmon will also be sending articles and photographs to the national FFA publications.
As for giving up studying in Hawaii in exchange for driving the backroads of Oregon in a January snowstorm, Speelmon said the experience would be worth the one-year wait.
The following local students recently participated in the FFA state conference.
Adrian High School
Lauren Bond: First, talent competition, first, photography: people.
Tristan Bertalotto: Fifth, talent competition.
Andy Walker, Grace Morton, Lauren Bond, Kirkland Obendorf, Roby Young: FFA State Degree.
Kirkland Obendorf: Fourth, photography: machines and equipment.
Roby Young: Silver award, secretary’s book.
Mary Gordon: Silver award, treasurer’s book.
Shyanne Allaire: Silver award, technology scrapbook, second, agricultural services proficiency.
Harper High School
Marie Rictor: FFA State Degree.
Ernan De Santiago: Elected district assistant officer, first district office to be held by Harper student.
Kylee Jager, Kassie Jordan: Participated in agriscience fair with a plant science project.
Jordan Valley High School
Don Youren, Blaise Warn, Skyler Fosythe: Served on proficiency interview committee.
Nyssa High School
Lily Bybee, Anita Benjamin, Cameron Elguezabal, Joshua Dorathy, Levi Wagstaff: FFA State Degree.
Garrett Stoneman: Sixth, extemporaneous public speaking.
Sailor Hartley: Competed in grain production proficiency.
Savanna Kesler: Competed in specialty crop production proficiency.
Nathan Cooper: Top ten state office candidate finalist.
Mickenna Ausman: Competed in proficiency dairy cattle placement.
Kelsee Tucker: Competed in proficiency dairy cattle entrepeneurship.
Jacob Ashby: Competed in proficiency vegetable production.
Qyonee Mitchell: Competed in proficiency agricultural education.
Oliva Williams: Competed in proficiency vet science.
Sara Stephen: Competed in proficiency fruit production.
Ontario High School
Capri Benzoa, Katie Tensen, Valerie Rodriguez, Aidan Kimball: FFA State Degree.
Katie Tensen: Member of state nomination committee, elected district president.
Valerie Rodriguez: First, proficiency award in agricultural processing, received Snake Rivers state placement and state finalist for SAE project at Partners Produce.
Aidan Kimball: State finalist specialty animal proficiency award, fifth, agriculture cooperatives.
Kiyotada Teramura: Seventh, state agriculture cooperatives.
Haylynne Miller: State finalist in diversified crop production proficiency award.
Kiera Dwyer: Delegate for Oregon FFA state office elections, elected district recorder.
Adriana Farias, Joshua Mathew, Natalie Wyborne, William Turner, David Turner: Served on committee to interview proficiency applicants.
Natalie Davis: Competed in state agriscience fair with project in plant sciences.
William Turner: Competed in state art and photography competition.
David Turner: Competed in state art and photography competition.
Kyla Larson: Third, state talent competition for fiddle playing.
Easton Hartley: Sixth, state talent competition for singing, competed in state art and photography competition.
Vale High School
Izzy Sigrah: Participated in goat entrepreneurship competition.
Lexi Schaffeld: Competed in forage production placement and natural resources placement.
Heather Dearing: Competed in sheep placement.
Jackie Bodily, Izzy Sigrah, Lexi Schaffeld, Heather Dearing, Kyla Wright, Sydnee Thomas: FFA State Degree.
Kyla Wright: Competed in state farmer competition, competed in beef entrepreneurship.
Dylan Marshall: First, manufactured art competition, participated in swine entrepreneurship competition.
Tessa McFetridge: Top honors in equine placement proficiency.
Katie Friend, Hannah Lamb: Competed in state talent contest.