By Sydney Patterson

   The St. Ansgar FFA chapter’s annual parent-member banquet was held on Tuesday, March 12 at 6:30 pm at the St. Ansgar Middle School gym.  There were approximately 176 members, parents and guests present.  Following a delicious meal, the evening program included the presentation of the program of activities by Sarah Phelps, Sam Hemann and Sydney Patterson, the FFA Creed presentation by Carina Blake, and the recognition of FFA members and supporters with awards, certificates and pins. 

       There were thirteen members that received the Chapter FFA degree including  Cade Duckert, Alex Hansen, Jaden Hutchinson, Preston Isler, Steven Kisley, Tori Kulow, Julia May, Noah Michels, Maximus McLaughlin, Brody Patterson, Derek Peterson, Josh Staley, Collin Ubben  

Carina Blake presenting the FFA Creed

Twenty- nine members received their FFA Greenhand degree including Carina Blake, Nathan Brumm, Chloe Bistline, Trystan Bistline, Tori Eckard, Bradley Hackenmiller, Mathew Hall, Blair Hansen, Ruby Haugebak, Abby Hemann, Emma Hicken, Whitney Huisman, Mallory Klaes, Adri Kruse, Austin Patterson, Dylan Patterson, Haley Peterson, Alexia Retterath, Logan Rysavy, Emma Soltau, Emmalee Van Sabben, Tianna Charleson, Megan Gooder, Taylor Hanna, Blayne Koster, Robert Macejak, Elijah Soltero, Josh Hobkirk, Halle Kennedy. 

          Sydney Patterson, Chloe Levan, and Madison Soltau were recognized for being selected as 2019 Iowa FFA Degree recipients.  They received a degree pin chain and a 50-dollar scholarship award sponsored by Grain Millers.

The chapter’s top fruit salespersons were recognised and included: 10th – Sarah Phelps, 9th – Emma Hicken, 8th – Madi and Emma Soltau, 7th – Dylan Patterson, 6th – Sawyer Smith, 5th – Madi Blake, 4th – Blair Hansen, 3rd – Sam and Abby Hemann, 2nd – Carina and Carissa Blake, and top salesperson – Brecken Huisman

       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 2018, included Brody Patterson in the Greenhand Quiz competition with a silver rating and Leah Bergerson, Grace Heimer and Sydney Patterson received bronze in the program of activities event. 

Leadership event participants at the Sub-District level held in Sheffield in February of 2019 included Sam Hemann, Sarah Phelps and Sydney Patterson competing in Program of Activities with a silver rating and advancing to districts; and Carissa Blake competing in Ag Broadcasting with a gold rating, advancing to districts. Carina Blake competed in creed speaking and received a silver rating. Chloe Levan competed in Extemporaneous speaking and received a bronze rating. The conduct of meetings team consisted of Tori Eckard, Alexia Retterath, Matthew Hall, Whitney Huisman, Emmalee VanSabben, Derek Peterson, and Noah Michels. They received a silver rating. Sawyer Smith competed in the Job Interview event and received a silver rating.

Leadership event participants at the District level held in Belmond in March of 2019 included Sam Hemann, Sarah Phelps and Sydney Patterson competing in Program of Activities with a silver rating; and Sydney Patterson competing in Reporters’ Scrapbook competition with a silver rating and named alternate for advancing to state competition. Carissa Blake competed in the Ag Broadcasting event and received a silver rating. 

      2018 State level Ag Skills event participants included Mark Bless, and Chloe Levan who participated in the Agronomy event; Mark Bless, Devan Hackenmiller, Noah Michels and Nathan Brumms who placed 11th in the of Dairy Cattle Judging event and received a silver rating;  Mark Bless, Sarah Phelps, Brody Patterson, and Brecken Huisman 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: Sarah Phelps, Sam Hemann and Chloe Levan

The Kenneth Williamson Scholarship award was given to Sarah Phelps, Chloe Levan, Madi Soltau and Sydney Patterson based on their SAE record keeping skills.  

Proficiency Awards are given to students that show a strong desire, commitment to a specific agricultural area of emphasis. Sydney Patterson earned the Ag Communications Award. The recipient of the Ag Mechanics Design and Fabrication Award was John May. Agricultural Services winner is Madison Soltau. Brecken Huisman and Sydney Patterson received Beef Production Awards. The Creed Speaking Award went to Carina Blake. The recipient of the  Equine Science Award is Julia May. Collin Ubben earned the Forage Production Award. Brecken Huisman was awarded the Landscape Management Award. Tianna Charlson will be awarded the Poultry Production Award. Sarah Phelps earned the Sheep Production Award. The recipient of the Small Animal Production and Care placement Award is Julia May. Carissa Blake earned the Swine Production Award. Mark Bless also earned the Swine Production Award. Chloe Levan was the recipient of the Vegetable Production Award. The Veterinary Science Award winner was Tori Kulow. 

Thank you to Klapperich Farm Systems, Hemann Construction, and NAPA for sponsoring the proficiency awards.

       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 – Emma Hicken, Hayley Peterson, 10th grade – Derek Peterson, 11th grade – Erik Gerdts, 12th grade – Chloe Levan. 

       Leadership Awards are given to one student per grade that has shown outstanding leadership in FFA activities and included freshman – Carina Blake, sophomore – Brody  Patterson, junior – Carissa Blake, and senior – Sydney Patterson.  

The Star Greenhand award sponsored by Pinicon Farms and Absolute Energy was presented to Logan Rysvay, Alexia Retterath and Tori Eckard. 

The recipient of the DeKalb Outstanding Senior award, sponsored by Farmer’s Feed & Grain was Sarah Phelps. The recipient of the Star Ag Buisiness Award was presented to Chloe Levan and sponsored by Golden Harvest. The Star Production Award was presented to Sydney Patterson and was sponsored by KFS. The Star Placement Award was awarded to Madison Soltau and was sponsored by Absolute Energy. 

 The Honorary Chapter FFA Degree was awarded to Jon Koster who has assisted the St. Ansgar FFA chapter by assisting with the harvesting of the test plot and sponsored the seed for the test plot. He also mentored and helped those students that  are interested in the similar fields as his. 

The new 2019-2020 St. Ansgar FFA Chapter officers were announced and installed. They included  Reporter – Sawyer Smith; Sentinel – Brecken Huisman;  Secretary – Eva Klaes;  Treasurer – Carissa Blake;  Vice-President – John May;  and President – Erik Gerdts.


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