1. PAUL - FFA members from across southwest Minnesota represented the area well at the 90th Minnesota State FFA Convention Sunday through Tuesday in St. Paul.

Seven teams earned first place finishes in the convention’s Career Development Events. The region was particularly well-represented in the meats evaluation competition, as half of the top 10 finishers were from southwest Minnesota FFA chapters.

Of 38 teams competing, the Worthington meats team of Emmett Bickett, Kyle Mullaney, Sophie Wietzema and Kole Spartz took first place in the contest. Individually, Bickett placed first, Mullaney, second, and Wietzema 10th.

Other top 10 meats teams from the area include: Jackson County Central, third: Clay Cranston (eighth individual), Kie Anderson, Caleb Soleta and Jon Hall; Westbrook-Walnut Grove, fourth: Ben Olson (seventh individual), Andrew Quade, Jacob Kleven and Parker Freeburg; Pipestone Area Schools, fifth: Kendra Folkerts (fifth individual), Tyenna Muller, Nate Bobendrier and Emily Nelson; Edgerton, seventh: Carter Kracht, Braelyn Kracht, Chloe Kracht, Austin Roskamp and Shania Manderscheid.

Area teams placing in the Top 10 in other Career Development Events are listed below:

Agriculture Communications: Jackson County Central, third: Rudy Voss (third individual), Nathaniel Post (ninth), Sophia Lovell (10th) and Parker Benda.

Ag Mechanics (37 teams): Jackson County Central, eighth: Keenan Ambrose, Dan Stubbe, Zach Rasmussen and Isaac Somnis; Mountain Lake, ninth: Ethan Klassen (fourth individual), Ryan Blomgren, Dima Hanson and Cole Kleven.

Agricultural Sales (15 teams): Jackson County Central, first: Jordann Schneekloth (fourth individual), Reese Adkins (10th), Olivia Anderson and Carter Olson.

Best Informed Greenhand (73 teams): Mountain Lake, third: Kate Janzen (third individual), Mercedes Aaengosoth, Jessica Anders and Jasmine Davison.

Conduct of Chapter Meetings (18 teams): Jackson County Central, sixth: Kie Anderson, Olivia Anderson, Sadie Voss, Trace Michelson, Molly Turner, Maia Reed and Reese Adkins.  

Crops (39 teams): Jackson County Central, first: Alex Bretzman (first individual), Zach Neal (second), Mackenzie Henning (third), Dalton Henning and Erik Rose; Mountain Lake, fourth: Kade Wassman (fourth individual), Chad Suderman, Branden Hopper and Sam Stade.

Farm Management (38 teams): Jackson County Central, first: Andrew Tusa (third individual), Bailey Wessels (eighth), Lee Drahota, Matt Mohning and Luke Russell; Mountain Lake, second: Drake Harder (10th individual), David Larson, Braden Rempl and Regan Syverson.

Fish and Wildlife: Jackson County Central, third: Clayton Cavness (fifth individual), Kade Zishka, Trevon Zeman, Sam Johnson and Nathan Dose.

Floriculture: Westbrook-Walnut Grove, third: Talitha Horkey (seventh individual), Skyler Swenhaugen, Makayla Ewy and Elizabeth Wiggins.

Food Science: Pipestone Area Schools, first: Jenna Kerkaert (first individual), Rylee Gorter (third), Reid Homann and Sam Bobendrier; Heron Lake-Okabena, fourth: Anna Volk, Sam Freking, Becca Salentiny and Meakin Bang; Jackson County Central, eighth: Destiny Timmer, Macy Kolander, Reghan Hansen and Cailyn Kolander.

Forestry: Jackson County Central, seventh: Aba Turner, Faith Arndt, Carter Pigman and Caleb Rubitschung.

Horse: Murray County Central, first: Karlie Heezen (fourth individual), Madelyn Wendland, Kennedy Jackels and Macy Posthuma.

Livestock: Pipestone Area Schools, first: Isaac Berg (fifth individual), Colton Raatz (seventh), Hunter Staubin and Logan McGunegill.

Milk Quality (46 teams): Jackson County Central, fifth: Julia Bohl (10th individual), Cali Cranston, Alexis Crees, Karlee Rossow and Grace Benson; Westbrook-Walnut Grove, eighth: Erik Knudson, Kelsey DeSmith, Ivy Paplow and Kayla Freeburg.

Nursery Landscape (38 teams): Windom, fourth: Victori Schutz (ninth individual), Lindsay Muller, Megan Wiebe and Patrick Green; Mountain Lake, seventh: Anika Fast, Miriam Rete, Olivia Klassen and Chelsey LaPointe; Jackson County Central, ninth: Colby Ringeisen, William Pell, Taylor Post and Ella Mulder.

Shooting Sports Skeet: Jackson County Central, second: Caleb Cihak (second individual), Grant Voss (eighth), Andrew Tusa, Conner Snyder and Eli Edlin.

Small Animals/Vet Science (56 teams): Mountain Lake, first: Hanna Bergling (fifth individual), Delainey Janzen (ninth), Carly Osland (10th) and Sabrina Hanson.

Soils: Jackson County Central, third: Tanner Pigman (second individual), Eli Edlin, Georgie Wenzel, Molly Turner and Macy Kolander; Westbrook-Walnut Grove, eighth: Katherine Jorgenson, Camryn Bunting, Lexi Herding and Colton Carter.

All teams placing first have qualified for the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. Oct. 30-Nov. 2.

The state convention also included the presentation of numerous individual honors, from the state’s Star awards to FFA Proficiency awards presented to members for excellence in recordkeeping for their Supervised Agricultural Experience.

From southwest Minnesota, Wyatt Jensen of the Edgerton FFA Chapter was recognized as a state FFA Proficiency Award winner for his records in sheep production.

Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Talitha Horkey was also recognized as a state FFA Proficiency winner for her records in nursery operations. She also received her star for nursery operations.

Jackson County Central’s Andrew Tusa and Conner Snyder earned proficiency runner-up honors for their recordkeeping in beef production and ag sales, respectively.

There were several students from area FFA chapters who received their State FFA Degree - the highest honor earned at the state level - during this week’s convention. From this area, recipients included: Joni Vander Beek of Edgerton; Breanna Golda, Cory Renneke and Emma Wehking of Fulda; Leah Schmid of Heron Lake-Okabena; Julia Bohl, Cali Cranston, Alexis Crees, Nathan Dose, Mady Hamlett, Carter Olson, Nathaniel Post, Colby Ringeisen, Jordann Schneekloth, Conner Snyder and Andrew Tusa of Jackson County Central; Halle Hough of Luverne-Adrian; Ryan Blomgren, Madison Dahna, Drake Harder, Ethan Klassen, Thomas Regier, Braden Rempel, Regan Syverson and Emilee Xayanourom of Mountain Lake; Parker Freeburg, Talitha Horkey, Jacob Kleven, Benjamin Olson and Skyler Swenhaugen of Westbrook-Walnut Grove; Thomas Sell of Windom; and Preston Anderson, Thomas Bauman, Carl Dykstra, Tucker Madison, Ryan Newman, David Pine, Benjamin Rogers and Nicholas Weg of Worthington.

Also during the convention, Olivia Klassen of Mountain Lake earned third place in recital of the FFA Creed; and Jackson County Central’s Hailey Handevidt placed third in employment skills.