Blake Ochoa, a senior at Lake Travis High School, earned Silver Finalist designation for his fifth place finish at the 2018 National FFA Extemporaneous Public Speaking Leadership Development Event held October 24-27. The event was held in conjunction with the 91st National FFA Convention & Expo.
The public speaking event recognizes 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. Members select one topic from a choice of categories, have 30 minutes to prepare a 4- to 6-minute speech, and respond to 5 minutes of questions following delivery. Ochoa, president of Lake Travis FFA, won the Texas FFA Extemporaneous Speaking Contest in July at the 90th Texas FFA Convention in Fort Worth. As a result, he was the sole FFA member representing Texas at the national leadership development event in Indianapolis.
Kelly White, Perry White and Taylor Eurich are advisors for the Lake Travis High School agriculture program.
“Blake is the first-ever participant in the history of our program to compete at nationals, so I know it’s a tremendous honor for him as well as for Lake Travis FFA,” said Mr. Kelly White. “An interesting fact about Blake is that he has never raised an animal in his life. He’s an amazing public speaker who has proven that FFA is much more than sows and cows. We are very proud of him.”
Approximately 300 students are enrolled in the Lake Travis High School Agriculture program due in large part to FFA. Founded in 1928 as Future Farmers of America, the organization was renamed in 1988 to the National FFA Organization, now commonly referred to as FFA. In addition to production agriculture, FFA is a Career and Technical Education organization which recognizes individuals with diverse interests in the food, fiber, and natural resource industries, encompassing science, technology and business. Approximately 150 agriculture students are members of the Lake Travis FFA chapter.