The Tradition

86TH NATIONAL FFA CONVENTION - Louisville, KY

submitted by: Tony Morales and Clayton Brown

After various informational and education tours along the way, the SHSU Agricultural Engineering Technology (AET) Club members arrived at Louisville, Kentucky to help judge the Career Development Event at the 86th National FFA Convention.  The AET Club was given the opportunity to work with many university students from all around the nation. While at the National FFA Convention, we interacted with other universities and learned about the many different Master’s degrees that are offered across this nation.  

At SHSU, the Agriculture department truly believes that the learning received through witness and hands on experience is just as valuable as within the classroom. Throughout our trip to Louisville, Kentucky the club had the privilege of taking several tours of manufacturing facilities and memorial museums.  The first day of travel, the club toured two memorialmuseums in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is dedicated to the victims of the bombing that occurred in Oklahoma City that occurred at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The memorial is a self-guided tour of the event that occurred on April 19, 1995 and honors the victims, rescuers, and victims of the event that occurred on that April morning.

The next stop was the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, which is also located in Oklahoma City. This museum is the largest western history, art, and culture institution in the United States. At the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum there is a substantial collection of western arts and artifacts that is followed with very dynamic educational information of all the collections within the museum. Throughout the tour, SHSU AET club members gained knowledge of the region and the history that took place during the era, giving a better understanding of the West.

Ditch Witch factory in Perry, Oklahoma is the world-renowned leader in the manufacturing of underground trenching equipment.  Ed Malzahn, the founder of Ditch Witch, greeted the group. Mr. Malzahn then gave a speech on how the factory works and how all the products are produced in the factory, which gives customers assurance that they will receive the best equipment on the market.  The tour helped make a connection between classroom subjects to everything we were experiencing from industry, to hydraulics to welding.  At the end of the tour, the tour guide mentioned that Ditch Witch offers paid internships, which gives students a better understanding of how the industry world works.

Finally, the group stopped by St Louis, Missouri and visited the Budweiser Brewery to explore the architecture and heritage of the largest brewery in the United States.  Within the brewery, we visited three historical landmarks; we saw brewing kettles, the wood aging cellars, and the high-speed packing lines. The tour concluded with the world famous Clydesdale horses and the historical stables, which were built in 1885.  This experience was very informative, and gave us an insight to the agricultural engineering industry.  Back


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