Four area FFA teams finish in nation’s Top 10
WORTHINGTON — FFA members from across the region brought home numerous honors and a national FFA officer title this weekend following the 86th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky.
Four area teams, including Worthington’s Meats team, earned Top 10 finishes in their respective contests, with several individuals also garnering Top 10 finishes for additional scholarship awards.
Results are as follows:
The Windom FFA Chapter’s Floriculture team placed second of 44 teams in the national contest. Spencer Wolter placed fourth individually, followed by Abby Resch in seventh place. They, along with Natalie Resch (37th), each earned gold emblems, while Gabby Jensen (60th) earned silver.
In the floriculture contest, participants must complete a general knowledge exam on the floriculture industry, identify plant materials and demonstrate problem-solving and decision-making skills, employment and customer service skills, technical floral skills and the ability to work as a team.
- Mountain Lake FFA’s Farm Business Management team placed third of 43 teams, with team member Daniel Harder placing sixth individually and Caleb Rempel placing eighth. Each received a $400 scholarship and gold emblems, while teammates Hamlet Tanyavong (16th individual) and Eric Niss (47th individual) each received a gold emblem as well.
The contest is designed to test the ability of students to apply economic principles and concepts in analyzing farm and ranch business management decisions.
- Jackson County Central’s (JCC) Agriculture Technology and Mechanical Systems team earned fourth of 44 teams, with Nate Guggisberg earning fifth place individually and a $600 scholarship. He, along with teammates Jordon Ellefson and Andrew Holmberg, each earned gold emblems individually, while Kilen Warmka earned a silver emblem.
The contest includes a written exam, team event, demonstration of problem solving skills and hands-on performance activities in environmental and natural resource systems, machinery and equipment systems, structural systems, energy systems and electrical systems.
- From the Worthington FFA Chapter, the Meats Evaluation team of Turner Hagen, Carson Hagen and Trevor Wietzema garnered 10th place of 43 teams in the contest. Individually, Carson Hagen was 27th, Turner Hagen 35th and Wietzema 46th. All three team members earned gold emblems individually, as well as garnering gold for the team.
Coached by Randy Jacobs, team members completed a general knowledge exam, did a beef carcass evaluation, identified wholesale and retail cuts of beef, lamb and pork, did yield grading of beef carcasses, completed a team meat merchandising event and solved a meat formulation problem.
- The JCC Livestock Evaluation team placed 15th of 46 teams for a gold ranking. Cole Lusk placed 39th individually, Paige Anderson placed 43rd and Maggie Post garnered 58th — all for individual gold emblems — while Gavin Mulder earned a silver emblem.
The team completed eight evaluation classes of beef, sheep, swine and goats, did oral placement reasons on four classes, took a written exam on livestock production and participated in a team activity.
- The Agricultural Sales team from JCC placed 17th of 39 teams for a silver ranking. Team member Bailey Schneekloth led the contingent with a 16th-place finish and Shelby Benson garnered 38th, both earning a gold emblem. Brady Place and Austin Olson each earned silver emblems.
The contest included sales presentations, a written exam, a team sales situation and an individual practical situation focusing on customer relations, customer service or prospecting for customers.
- The Food Science and Technology team from JCC placed 25th of 33 teams in the contest for a bronze finish. Adriane Rentschler placed second individually in the contest, earning a $900 scholarship and a gold emblem. Teammate Jenna Petersen earned a silver emblem, while Haley Harnett and Grace Rossow each earned a bronze.
The contest includes a timed team product development project, written exam and practicums involving food sensory evaluation, food safety and sanitation.
Three graduates of the Sibley-Ocheyedan High School FFA program earned their American FFA Degree during the National FFA convention, including Kevin Berkland, Steven Brockshus and Joshua Earll. Joining them from area chapters in Minnesota were Dylan Oeltjenbruns, Mountain Lake FFA, Erica Olsem and Sara Olsem of Fulda FFA, and Brett Simpson of Murray County Central FFA.
Britton Pankratz, a Mountain Lake FFA member and winner of the Minnesota FFA Talent Contest in April, was one of 70 acts invited to participate at the National FFA Talent Competition. Of those 70 acts, 15 were selected to perform on the main stage on Thursday during the National FFA Talent Revue. Following the show, Pankratz was one of three finalists invited to perform again Friday evening. His talent is mastery of the yo-yo.
Caitlin Oeltjenbruns of the Mountain Lake FFA was selected to participate in the National FFA Band. During her time at convention, she practiced for 28 hours while also performing during sessions as well as the National FFA Band and Choir concert.