St. Ansgar FFA caps National Ag with banquet

To celebrate National Ag week, some of the FFA kids participated in a “drive your tractor to school” day. Morgan Merten, front, said he wasn’t able to drive a real tractor to school. He didn’t miss out on the fun, however, and brought a pedal tractor along. EJ Photo/ Travis Charlson.

By Sarah Phelps

The St. Ansgar FFA chapter’s annual parent-member banquet was held on Tuesday, March 20 at 6:30 pm at the St. Ansgar Middle School gym.  There were approximately 150 members, parents and guests present.  Following a delicious meal, the evening program included the presentation of the program of activities by Grace Heimer, Leah Bergerson, and Sydney Patterson, the FFA Creed presentation by Brody Patterson, and the recognition of FFA members and supporters with awards, certificates and pins.

Fourteen members received their FFA Greenhand degree including Cade Duckert, Alex Hansen, Sage Hulshizer, Jaden Hutchinson, Preston Isler, Steven Kisley, Tori Kulow, Julia May, Noah Michels, Maximus McLaughlin, Brody Patterson, Derek Peterson, Josh Staley, and Collin Ubben.

There were 21 members that received the Chapter FFA degree including Carissa Blake, Madi Blake, Caleb Brumm, Brecken Buringrud, Abby Corbo, Nick Enger, Erik Gerdts, Nathan Hahn, Sam Juenger, Eva Klaes, Jayden Kruse, Abbie Kulow, Kayla Mattick, John May, Morgan Merten, Dakotah Patterson, Emma Retterath, Sawyer Smith, Lily Walk, Elsa Warrington, Adam Williams, and Tessa Woods

Sarah Phelps was recognized for being selected as a 2018 of the Iowa FFA Degree recipient.  She received a degree pin chain and a 50-dollar scholarship award sponsored by Klapperich Farm Systems.

The chapter’s top fruit salespersons were recognized and included: 10th – Dakotah Patterson, 9th – Jordan Hain, 8th – Noah Bishop, 7th – Devan Hackenmiller, 6th – Carissa Blake, 5th – Grace Heimer, 4th – Sawyer Smith, 3rd – Stevan Merten, 2nd – Brecken Buringrud, and top salesperson – Samantha Hemann.

FFA members were recognized for their accomplishments since last year’s annual FFA parent-member banquet.  Leadership event participants at the State FFA Leadership conference held in April of 2017, included Carissa Blake in the Greenhand Quiz competition with a silver rating and Eva Klase with a gold Greenhand Quiz competition.

Leadership event participants at the Sub-District level held in Nashua in February of 2018 included Grace Heimer and Sydney Patterson competing in Program of Activities with a silver rating and advancing to districts;  Joshua Staley competing in Ag Broadcasting with a silver rating and alternate to advance to districts.  Brody Patterson competing in Creed Speaking with a silver rating and alternate to advance to districts;  Madi Blake competing in Job Interview with a bronze rating;  and Sarah Phelps competing in Public Speaking with a bronze rating.

Leadership event participants at the District level held in Buffalo Center in March of 2018 included Grace Heimer, Leah Bergerson, and Sydney Patterson competing in Program of Activities with a gold rating and advancing to state competition;  and Leah Bergerson, Sarah Phelps, and Sydney Patterson competing in Reporters’ Scrapbook competition with a silver rating and named alternate for advancing to state competition.

2017 State level Ag Skills event participants included Aaron Gerdts (3rd place individual), Mark Bless, and Chloe Levan who placed 5th in the of Agronomy event and received a gold rating;   Mark Bless, Devan Hackenmiller, Carissa Blake, and Makayla Retterath who placed 10th in the of Dairy Cattle Judging event and received a gold rating;  Claire Groth, Daria Jorgensen, Aaron Gerdts, and Paige Smith who placed 4th place in the Farm Business Management event and received a gold rating;  Grace Heimer, Claire Groth, and Madi Soltau who competed in the Floriculture event and received a silver rating;  Mark Bless, Sarah Phelps, Sydney Patterson, and Chloe Levan who competed in the of Livestock Judging event and received a silver rating;  and Erik Gerdts, Sydney Patterson, Chloe Levan, and Sarah Phelps who placed 3rd place in the Poultry Judging event and received a gold rating.

The top three teams at the Regional Envirothon held at DMACC in West Des Moines in March 2018 were all from St. Ansgar and included the Blazing Stars – Grace Heimer, Erik Gerdts, Eva Klase, Collin Uben, and Sage Hulshizer;  the Rattlesnake Masters – Miricle Corbo, Noah Michels, Braden Powers, Brody Patterson, and Derek Peterson;  and the Big Blue Stems – Leah Bergerson, Carissa Blake, McKayla Retterath, Madi Soltou, and Katie Squier.

State FFA Academic Achievement Awards are awarded to FFA seniors who have a 3.5 GPA or higher.  The senior chapter members who received this award were: Dylan Bissen, Grace Heimer, and Abigail Hansen.

The Kenneth Williamson Scholarship award was given to Sarah Phelps based on her SAE record keeping skills.

Proficiency Awards are given to students that show a strong desire, commitment to a specific agricultural area of emphasis.  Sarah Phelps received the beef production proficiency award sponsored by Roger Hemann Construction & Electrical.  Brecken Huisman received the swine production entrepreneurship award sponsored by St. Ansgar NAPA and the sheep production award sponsored by Klapperich Farm Systems (Keith Heimer).  Grace Heimer also received the sheep production award sponsored by Klapperich Farm Systems.  The Creed Speaking award sponsored by Klapperich Farm Systems was awarded to Brody Patterson.  The poultry production award sponsored by Klapperich Farm Systems was given to Carissa Blake.  The diversified livestock award sponsored by Klapperich Farm Systems was awarded to Sarah Phelps.  The dairy placement award sponsored by Marilynn Schotanus was presented to Devan Hackenmiller and the dairy production entrepreneurship award sponsored by Klapperich Farm Systems was awarded to Emma Retterath.  The small animal production entrepreneurship award sponsored by St. Ansgar NAPA was also awarded to Emma Retterath.

One person in each grade was the winner of the chapter’s academic award.  This award goes to the FFA member that has the highest GPA in their class. The winners were, 9th grade – Derek Peterson,  10th grade – Erik Gerdts, 11th grade – Chloe Levan, 12th grade – Abby Hansen.

Leadership Awards are given to one student per grade that has shown outstanding leadership in FFA activities and included freshman – Noah Michels, sophomore – Erik Gerdts, junior – Sarah Phelps, and senior – Devan Hackenmiller.

Two students, Carissa Blake and Sarah Phelps, were selected to represent the chapter at the Washington FFA Leadership Conference that will be held in Washington D.C. in June.  Sponsors that are helping to assist with the cost for attending this conference include:  Absolute Energy, Grain Millers, Patterson Seed, and Pinicon Farms

The Star Greenhand award sponsored by Thome’s Ag repair was presented to Brody Patterson.  The recipient of the DeKalb Outstanding Senior award, sponsored by Farmer’s Feed & Grain and Pete & Beth Jahr was Grace Heimer.  The recipient of the Star Chapter scholarship Award in Agricultural Production, sponsored by Cedar River Ag Solutions and Andy Johnson, was presented to Stevan Merten.  Grace Heimer received the Star Chapter scholarship Award in Agricultural Business sponsored by St. Ansgar Mills.

The Honorary Chapter FFA Degree was awarded to Darrel Thome who has assisted the St. Ansgar FFA chapter by applying anhydrous for the Test plot and sponsoring the star greenhand award for many of years.

The new 2018-2019 St. Ansgar FFA Chapter officers were announced and installed. They included Historian – Carissa Blake;  Reporter – Sydney Patterson; Sentinel – Madi Blake;  Secretary – Madi Soltau;  Treasurers – Sam Hemann & Sarah Phelps;  Vice-President – Mark Bless;  and President – Chloe Levan.

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