Ileana Wall of Yelm Secures 2023 State Championship at FFA Convention


The Washington Future Farmers of America (FFA) Association held its 93rd convention and expo at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick recently to hand out accolades to FFA members from chapters throughout the state and to choose state representatives.

Ileana Wall, of the Yelm FFA chapter, was awarded the 2023 state championship for extemporaneous speaker for demonstrating her ability to deliver impromptu public speeches. Yelm FFA chapter adviser Nik Grimm said contestants vying to win extemporaneous speaker did not get their speech topic prompts until 30 minutes before they presented.

The speech had to be between four to six minutes in length and the student had to answer questions from the judges. Wall’s prompt was, “Who should be making decisions on legislation related to food and fiber regulations?”

Grimm said Wall’s speech touched on current and past agriculture law, food and fiber production data and how both are used by legislators to enact agricultural subsidies to create the argument that people can’t always expect legislators to have an agricultural background.

“Instead, as agriculturalists, we need to advocate for ourselves and build relationships with the policy-makers who make those legislative decisions,” Grimm stated in an email. “She also referenced the current United States Secretary of Agriculture (Tom Vilsack) as a great example of how when we do have a legislator from an agricultural background, we can leverage their experience to magnify our voice.”