COLUMBUS, Ohio — Eight Ohio FFA officers recently traveled to Costa Rica for the International Leadership Seminar for State Officers (ILSSO). ILSSO, a National FFA Organization program, develops an awareness of global agriculture and enhances the cultural competency of travelers. In total, 75 FFA members attended the trip.
Ohio’s representatives were Graham Carson, Miami Trace Great Oaks; Luke Jennings, Felicity-Franklin; Dalton Mullins, Miami Trace Great Oaks; Aly Murphy, McClain; Katie Oestreich, Eastwood; Hannah Saum, Amanda-Clearcreek; Aubrey Schwartz, Miami Trace Great Oaks; and Kennedy Short, Fayetteville.
“ILSSO was an incredible experience that I will never forget. My favorite part was meeting officers from other states and creating close bonds and friendships,” said Katie Oestreich, state treasurer. “Not only did I learn about agriculture abroad, but also how to exemplify leadership in ways I didn’t even think were possible. Thank you to everyone who supported me and made this trip a reality.”
During the almost two-week trip, the eight Ohio FFA officers traveled the country experiencing CATIE, the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center; the Tibas Farmers Market; La Paz Waterfall Gardens; a palmito plantation; pineapple plantation; wildlife reserve center; Arenal Volcano; the rainforest; an organic farm and much more.
“Traveling abroad to Costa Rica gave me countless memories with new friends, new knowledge of a culture different from my own, and a newfound passion for global agriculture. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity made me a better person because of the things I learned and experienced. I am grateful for FFA for giving me the chance to go,” said Aly Murphy, state reporter.
Thank you to all who helped fund these students’ once-in-a-lifetime international experiences!
— Ohio FFA Foundation