The largest Future Farmers of America event in the state is taking place at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds this weekend. Thousands of students from across the state are convening right here in Central Oregon.
Students compete in a variety of different categories from art shows to scientific research.
“Today we presented our agri-science projects. We learned about different types of agriculture and we created a board over the past few months,” 8th grade contestant Kaidyn Kretschmer said.
There’s even a talent show competition.
“That is definitely the most people I’ve ever sang in front of,” high school senior Wyatt Bunch said.
Bunch and his guitarist Ben Smith have been working on their performance for two months.
“I do a lot of singing and playing guitar,” Smith said. “I wanted to do this on my own originally, but then Bunch came up and was like ‘Hey man, wanna do this together?’ and I thought that was the best thing I’ve ever heard.”
For Bunch, this performance was a way of conquering social anxiety.
“About two months ago, I hadn’t even sang in front of my closest friends,” Bunch said. “It was only in the truck behind the music. I have social anxiety and I didn’t know if I sounded good or not.”
It was the support of friendship and the FFA community that got Bunch on that stage.
“With my best friend winning it last year, just thinking a lot about that and how he was nervous before and how he overcame that. Also support from ag teachers, everyone around me from FFA has really helped me,” Bunch said.
The convention will continue through the weekend.