Syracuse Eighth Graders Win FFA National Championship

SYRACUSE – Two Syracuse eighth graders are national champions.

Jenna Knake and Bailey Boitnott won the social science competition of the ag science division at the National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Ind.

Their project explored farmers’ perspectives on farm safety. Knake said they asked farmers if farm safety is their priority and whether they read owner manuals.

Knake: “We were just hoping to gain more information on farmers’ views to make the farm a safer place to live and work.”

Boitnott said they talked to farmers at a local implement dealer KanEquip and cattlemen’s meetings about livestock, chemicals and machinery.

She said 55 percent of farmers said they were aware of farm safety education and said most learn about safety measures from experience and reading manuals.

Knake said there were 69,000 attendees at the final session, where the girls won their award. She called it a life-changing experience.

Knake: “I would’ve been just happy winning state in general and going to nationals, but to actually win nationals, that’s an amazing feeling and an awesome experience.”

The girls credited their success to the help of FFA adviser Tim Arkfeldt.