Moenning earns high National FFA award
Triton High School graduate Martha Moenning capped her FFA career last week by taking first place in the Prepared Public Speaking Leadership Development Event at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis.
Moenning, the daughter of Mark and Donna Moenning, earned the right to compete in this year’s national convention during her senior year at Triton.
“It doesn’t seem real yet,” Moenning said, after returning to her college classes in Kansas following the convention.
For her prepared speech, which had to be between six and eight minutes, Moenning said she expanded on her state contest topic of alternative protein sources, including both plant and lab-based. At the state event, she said, she had concentrated on the lab-based alternatives.
Following the speech, she said, the judges had five minutes in which they could ask questions.
“I really enjoyed the questions,” Moenning said, adding it gave her an opportunity to expand on the things she had researched and learned.
After the state contest last year, she said, she submitted the basics of her speech to the national FFA and has spent the time since then practicing her speech and continuing to do research to improve her knowledge of the subject.
Moenning was active in FFA throughout her years at Triton and said this will be her last activity with FFA unless she decides to apply for the American Degree. “I hope to at least apply for it,” she said.
During this year’s convention, she said she and a friend from another school were getting “kind of sad” because this was the end of their FFA experience. But then, she said, they realized how FFA had prepared them for their futures.
Since she is now attending college in Kansas, she said, it was fun to get together with some of the Triton FFA members, Triton Advisor Robert Ickler and other FFA students from other chapters she has met through the years.
“It is such an honor to represent Triton and the state FFA,” she said.
The convention also proved to be a family reunion of sorts as her mother attended as a chaperone for the Triton group and also received an honorary American Degree for her support of FFA. Her sister, Mary, also a former Triton FFA Chapter member, came to the convention to cheer her sister on.
Moenning was active in FFA during her school years at Triton. She was an officer of the Triton chapter, part of the livestock judging team and competed at the state and national levels. In addition to her FFA activities she was involved with Triton Business Professionals (BPA), Concert Choir, Students Against Destructive Decisions and Knowledge Bowl.
She is currently attending Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., where she is pursuing an associate degree in agriculture science and is a member of the freshman livestock judging team. After receiving her associate degree she plans to transfer to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas to study meat science and agriculture communications.
“Martha has been fortunate enough to qualify to compete at the national level all four years of high school,” said Triton FFA Advisor and agriculture teacher Robert Ickler.
“All of those experiences have been tremendous learning opportunities for her to utilize in her education, work experience and overall life experiences. She is a driven young lady that always seized an opportunity and gained the most from it.
“I am so proud of her accomplishment,” Ickler said.
For her efforts she also will receive a cash award. Both the cash awards and the public speaking event were sponsored by Mansanto.
The public speaking event is designed to recognize outstanding FFA members for their ability to prepare and present a factual speech on a specific agricultural issue in a well thought-out and logical manner in a competitive setting.
The Triton FFA officers attended the convention and expo along with Ickler, chaperones and Moenning.