9 Harlingen students among 11,000 at state FFA gathering

HARLINGEN — What a crowd. What a crowd.

It was a crowd, alright. The 88th Texas FFA State Convention in Dallas last week attracted about 11,000 people, including nine officers from the Harlingen FFA.

“I received my Lone Star Degree,” said Kennedy Boykin, 17, a senior at Harlingen High School. The Lone Star is awarded to FFA members who have turned in three years of record books. Those books record finances and other details related to their FFA projects.

Todd Cash, ag science teacher at HHS and an FFA advisor, said the purpose of the convention was to recognize students for their accomplishments in FFA. Students were awarded scholarships. Elections were held for state officers.

The convention also held leadership workshops, a speech competition and an agricultural science fair, among other events.

The students still seemed rather jazzed by the experience. Trevor Gilbert, 16, described the whole event as an “awesome experience.”

“We got to meet people from new places,” said Trevor, a sentinel in the Harlingen FFA.

“It was a good experience,” Trevor said. “After the incident that happened in Dallas, we were pretty shaken.”

As it turns out, the Dallas police shootings had occurred shortly before they arrived.

He gestured toward Kennedy, who raised her arm to show a bracelet which read, “TXFFADPD” – Texas FFA Dallas Police Department. Followed by, “Allinittogether.”

Kennedy, student advisor for the Harlingen FFA, said donations were being taken for the bracelets.

“They were accepting any amount of money,” she said. “All the proceeds went to the families of the police officers that died.”

She later learned $13,000 was raised for the families.

They spoke excitedly about exploring the exhibit hall and then attending a dance with live music by Randy Rodgers.

Do you like country music?

“Yes,” they answered at once.

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