Colorado students shine at National FFA Convention | TheFencePost.com

Colorado students shine at National FFA Convention

Robyn Scherer, M.Agr.
Staff Reporter

Ty Walter from the Platte Valley FFA chapter receives his beef production proficiency award from Landan Schaffert, National FFA Secretary, who is from Otis, Colo. Walter runs 70 head of cattle in Hudson, Colo.

For over 50,000 FFA students, the National FFA Convention is the highlight of the year. The 84th annual convention, held from Oct. 19-22, 2011, was held in Indianapolis, Ind., and is one of the largest student conventions in the country.

Students attended general sessions and educational tours, competed in events, and attended the career show and expo. For several Colorado FFA chapters, however, this was their chance to showcase their best students.

For students from New Raymer FFA., the national convention was a chance for them to compete against students from across the country in livestock evaluation. The team was awarded gold, with individuals Clay Carlson receiving a gold emblem, Lance Gilbert a gold, Ross Stump a silver and Bryce Funk a bronze. The team’s adviser is Casseday Lohr.

Carlson’s 10th place overall finish out of the 166 contestants is no surprise, because he has been livestock judging since he was eight. Even though this was his first year competing at the National FFA convention, he has competed at national 4-H contests in Denver, Kansas City, Louisville and Scotland.

Carlson is now a freshman at Conner State in Warner, Okla., where he is studying animal science with a pre-vet emphasis. He received a scholarship to judge at the junior college, and is enjoying the new experiences he is having.

“It’s been a pretty good transition. It’s a small campus, kind of like the high school I went to. As far as livestock judging, we are well located. There is a lot of purebred breeders down here. It’s been fun doing all these contests and making new connections in a different part of the country. It’s a new experience for me,” he said.

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Carlson’s family also raises show pigs, and it is a family operation. They also have 100 commercial cows. “Clay handled and worked with the cattle every day. He showed cattle at pigs at the Weld County Fair, and was the premier swine exhibitor this year, as well as winning the round-robin competition,” said his mother, Stephanie Carlson.

Carlson’s parents, Stephanie and Glenn, were livestock judgers in the past at Northeastern Junior College (Glenn), and CSU (both). “The livestock judging program has been a vital part of Clay growing up. He will hopefully carry that into college,” said Stephanie Carlson.

Even though the competitions are a large part of the National FFA Convention, there are also many awards that are given to students. The American FFA Degree, the highest degree FFA members can receive, is one of those awards.

According to the National FFA, “The American FFA degree is awarded to FFA members who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs).”

To qualify for the award, FFA members are required to maintain detailed SAE records, have earned and productively invested at least $7,500, or have earned and productively invested at least $1,500 and worked 2,250 hours beyond scheduled school hours through their SAEs. They also must have a record of outstanding leadership skills, at least a C grade average or better, and have a record of community service activities.

Jessica Milstein of the Hotchkiss FFA chapter in Hotchkiss, Colo., received her American FFA Degree this year along with 3,241 other students from across the country, and 48 other students from Colorado. Less than one half of one percent of all member receive this degree.

Milstein’s supervised agricultural experience (SAE) consisted beef breeding, market swine and placement at Bucker Manufacturing, a leather and canvas manufacturing business that her family owns.

“It’s about closure for me. When I do something, I want to do it to the full extent. Getting my American degree is fulfilling for me, and a sense of accomplishment. I was able to do everything I wanted to do, and I was able to complete it,” she said.

Milstein is currently a sophomore at Colorado State University, where she is studying agricultural education. “The fact that I am becoming a teacher gives me motivation to help my students be involved. You don’t have to be a state officer or a place of power to do something great. You can do this (in reference to the degree). It makes me proud,” Milstein said.

Other awards that are given at the convention are the proficiency awards. Tyler Walter, from the Platte Valley FFA chapter received a proficiency award in beef production, entrepreneurship.

Walter has been raising beef cattle his entire life, and runs 70 head of his own. He started at the age of two, when his parents gave him a heifer. His cows run as part of a larger herd, which his family runs, called Walter Angus.

The family runs 350 leased cows, 200 commercial cows, 200 registered cows, and 1,500 backgrounders. Walter is a 4th generation cattle rancher.

“It was a great feeling to win this award, to see all of that hard work that I put into raising my cows pay off. I have been really blessed with everything. I owe a lot of it to the people around me. It is a great accomplishment for me,” Walter said.

Walter had to interview in front of a panel of judges, and talk about his project and then answer 15 minutes of questions. “It was nerve racking going into the interview. I know everything about my cowherd, so there was nothing I was worried about that I thought I couldn’t answer. However, I’m not the greatest public speaker, so that’s part of the reason I was worried,” Walter said.

Walter’s mother, Becky Walter, incredibly proud of her son, said “It’s real exciting. FFA is an awesome program. We are really proud of him and excited for him.”

In addition to receiving the proficiency award, Walter also won a trip to Costa Rica. “All of the proficiency area winners have an opportunity to apply for a Costa Rica trip. After the main interview, they go back through, and they interview for the trip. It is an eight day all-expense paid trip with the other proficiency winners. They will visit agriculture over there,” said Becky Walter.

Walter is currently a freshman at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyo. He is on the rodeo team, and team ropes. He is studying agricultural business, and plans to transfer to the University of Wyoming after two years and receive his bachelor’s of science in agricultural business and a minor in animal science.

“My long term goal is to be a big time seedstock guy in the angus industry. I want to be a true leader in the angus breed,” he said.

According to the National FFA, “The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 523,309 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture – as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education.”

For over 50,000 FFA students, the National FFA Convention is the highlight of the year. The 84th annual convention, held from Oct. 19-22, 2011, was held in Indianapolis, Ind., and is one of the largest student conventions in the country.

Students attended general sessions and educational tours, competed in events, and attended the career show and expo. For several Colorado FFA chapters, however, this was their chance to showcase their best students.

For students from New Raymer FFA., the national convention was a chance for them to compete against students from across the country in livestock evaluation. The team was awarded gold, with individuals Clay Carlson receiving a gold emblem, Lance Gilbert a gold, Ross Stump a silver and Bryce Funk a bronze. The team’s adviser is Casseday Lohr.

Carlson’s 10th place overall finish out of the 166 contestants is no surprise, because he has been livestock judging since he was eight. Even though this was his first year competing at the National FFA convention, he has competed at national 4-H contests in Denver, Kansas City, Louisville and Scotland.

Carlson is now a freshman at Conner State in Warner, Okla., where he is studying animal science with a pre-vet emphasis. He received a scholarship to judge at the junior college, and is enjoying the new experiences he is having.

“It’s been a pretty good transition. It’s a small campus, kind of like the high school I went to. As far as livestock judging, we are well located. There is a lot of purebred breeders down here. It’s been fun doing all these contests and making new connections in a different part of the country. It’s a new experience for me,” he said.

Carlson’s family also raises show pigs, and it is a family operation. They also have 100 commercial cows. “Clay handled and worked with the cattle every day. He showed cattle at pigs at the Weld County Fair, and was the premier swine exhibitor this year, as well as winning the round-robin competition,” said his mother, Stephanie Carlson.

Carlson’s parents, Stephanie and Glenn, were livestock judgers in the past at Northeastern Junior College (Glenn), and CSU (both). “The livestock judging program has been a vital part of Clay growing up. He will hopefully carry that into college,” said Stephanie Carlson.

Even though the competitions are a large part of the National FFA Convention, there are also many awards that are given to students. The American FFA Degree, the highest degree FFA members can receive, is one of those awards.

According to the National FFA, “The American FFA degree is awarded to FFA members who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs).”

To qualify for the award, FFA members are required to maintain detailed SAE records, have earned and productively invested at least $7,500, or have earned and productively invested at least $1,500 and worked 2,250 hours beyond scheduled school hours through their SAEs. They also must have a record of outstanding leadership skills, at least a C grade average or better, and have a record of community service activities.

Jessica Milstein of the Hotchkiss FFA chapter in Hotchkiss, Colo., received her American FFA Degree this year along with 3,241 other students from across the country, and 48 other students from Colorado. Less than one half of one percent of all member receive this degree.

Milstein’s supervised agricultural experience (SAE) consisted beef breeding, market swine and placement at Bucker Manufacturing, a leather and canvas manufacturing business that her family owns.

“It’s about closure for me. When I do something, I want to do it to the full extent. Getting my American degree is fulfilling for me, and a sense of accomplishment. I was able to do everything I wanted to do, and I was able to complete it,” she said.

Milstein is currently a sophomore at Colorado State University, where she is studying agricultural education. “The fact that I am becoming a teacher gives me motivation to help my students be involved. You don’t have to be a state officer or a place of power to do something great. You can do this (in reference to the degree). It makes me proud,” Milstein said.

Other awards that are given at the convention are the proficiency awards. Tyler Walter, from the Platte Valley FFA chapter received a proficiency award in beef production, entrepreneurship.

Walter has been raising beef cattle his entire life, and runs 70 head of his own. He started at the age of two, when his parents gave him a heifer. His cows run as part of a larger herd, which his family runs, called Walter Angus.

The family runs 350 leased cows, 200 commercial cows, 200 registered cows, and 1,500 backgrounders. Walter is a 4th generation cattle rancher.

“It was a great feeling to win this award, to see all of that hard work that I put into raising my cows pay off. I have been really blessed with everything. I owe a lot of it to the people around me. It is a great accomplishment for me,” Walter said.

Walter had to interview in front of a panel of judges, and talk about his project and then answer 15 minutes of questions. “It was nerve racking going into the interview. I know everything about my cowherd, so there was nothing I was worried about that I thought I couldn’t answer. However, I’m not the greatest public speaker, so that’s part of the reason I was worried,” Walter said.

Walter’s mother, Becky Walter, incredibly proud of her son, said “It’s real exciting. FFA is an awesome program. We are really proud of him and excited for him.”

In addition to receiving the proficiency award, Walter also won a trip to Costa Rica. “All of the proficiency area winners have an opportunity to apply for a Costa Rica trip. After the main interview, they go back through, and they interview for the trip. It is an eight day all-expense paid trip with the other proficiency winners. They will visit agriculture over there,” said Becky Walter.

Walter is currently a freshman at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyo. He is on the rodeo team, and team ropes. He is studying agricultural business, and plans to transfer to the University of Wyoming after two years and receive his bachelor’s of science in agricultural business and a minor in animal science.

“My long term goal is to be a big time seedstock guy in the angus industry. I want to be a true leader in the angus breed,” he said.

According to the National FFA, “The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 523,309 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture – as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education.”

For over 50,000 FFA students, the National FFA Convention is the highlight of the year. The 84th annual convention, held from Oct. 19-22, 2011, was held in Indianapolis, Ind., and is one of the largest student conventions in the country.

Students attended general sessions and educational tours, competed in events, and attended the career show and expo. For several Colorado FFA chapters, however, this was their chance to showcase their best students.

For students from New Raymer FFA., the national convention was a chance for them to compete against students from across the country in livestock evaluation. The team was awarded gold, with individuals Clay Carlson receiving a gold emblem, Lance Gilbert a gold, Ross Stump a silver and Bryce Funk a bronze. The team’s adviser is Casseday Lohr.

Carlson’s 10th place overall finish out of the 166 contestants is no surprise, because he has been livestock judging since he was eight. Even though this was his first year competing at the National FFA convention, he has competed at national 4-H contests in Denver, Kansas City, Louisville and Scotland.

Carlson is now a freshman at Conner State in Warner, Okla., where he is studying animal science with a pre-vet emphasis. He received a scholarship to judge at the junior college, and is enjoying the new experiences he is having.

“It’s been a pretty good transition. It’s a small campus, kind of like the high school I went to. As far as livestock judging, we are well located. There is a lot of purebred breeders down here. It’s been fun doing all these contests and making new connections in a different part of the country. It’s a new experience for me,” he said.

Carlson’s family also raises show pigs, and it is a family operation. They also have 100 commercial cows. “Clay handled and worked with the cattle every day. He showed cattle at pigs at the Weld County Fair, and was the premier swine exhibitor this year, as well as winning the round-robin competition,” said his mother, Stephanie Carlson.

Carlson’s parents, Stephanie and Glenn, were livestock judgers in the past at Northeastern Junior College (Glenn), and CSU (both). “The livestock judging program has been a vital part of Clay growing up. He will hopefully carry that into college,” said Stephanie Carlson.

Even though the competitions are a large part of the National FFA Convention, there are also many awards that are given to students. The American FFA Degree, the highest degree FFA members can receive, is one of those awards.

According to the National FFA, “The American FFA degree is awarded to FFA members who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs).”

To qualify for the award, FFA members are required to maintain detailed SAE records, have earned and productively invested at least $7,500, or have earned and productively invested at least $1,500 and worked 2,250 hours beyond scheduled school hours through their SAEs. They also must have a record of outstanding leadership skills, at least a C grade average or better, and have a record of community service activities.

Jessica Milstein of the Hotchkiss FFA chapter in Hotchkiss, Colo., received her American FFA Degree this year along with 3,241 other students from across the country, and 48 other students from Colorado. Less than one half of one percent of all member receive this degree.

Milstein’s supervised agricultural experience (SAE) consisted beef breeding, market swine and placement at Bucker Manufacturing, a leather and canvas manufacturing business that her family owns.

“It’s about closure for me. When I do something, I want to do it to the full extent. Getting my American degree is fulfilling for me, and a sense of accomplishment. I was able to do everything I wanted to do, and I was able to complete it,” she said.

Milstein is currently a sophomore at Colorado State University, where she is studying agricultural education. “The fact that I am becoming a teacher gives me motivation to help my students be involved. You don’t have to be a state officer or a place of power to do something great. You can do this (in reference to the degree). It makes me proud,” Milstein said.

Other awards that are given at the convention are the proficiency awards. Tyler Walter, from the Platte Valley FFA chapter received a proficiency award in beef production, entrepreneurship.

Walter has been raising beef cattle his entire life, and runs 70 head of his own. He started at the age of two, when his parents gave him a heifer. His cows run as part of a larger herd, which his family runs, called Walter Angus.

The family runs 350 leased cows, 200 commercial cows, 200 registered cows, and 1,500 backgrounders. Walter is a 4th generation cattle rancher.

“It was a great feeling to win this award, to see all of that hard work that I put into raising my cows pay off. I have been really blessed with everything. I owe a lot of it to the people around me. It is a great accomplishment for me,” Walter said.

Walter had to interview in front of a panel of judges, and talk about his project and then answer 15 minutes of questions. “It was nerve racking going into the interview. I know everything about my cowherd, so there was nothing I was worried about that I thought I couldn’t answer. However, I’m not the greatest public speaker, so that’s part of the reason I was worried,” Walter said.

Walter’s mother, Becky Walter, incredibly proud of her son, said “It’s real exciting. FFA is an awesome program. We are really proud of him and excited for him.”

In addition to receiving the proficiency award, Walter also won a trip to Costa Rica. “All of the proficiency area winners have an opportunity to apply for a Costa Rica trip. After the main interview, they go back through, and they interview for the trip. It is an eight day all-expense paid trip with the other proficiency winners. They will visit agriculture over there,” said Becky Walter.

Walter is currently a freshman at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyo. He is on the rodeo team, and team ropes. He is studying agricultural business, and plans to transfer to the University of Wyoming after two years and receive his bachelor’s of science in agricultural business and a minor in animal science.

“My long term goal is to be a big time seedstock guy in the angus industry. I want to be a true leader in the angus breed,” he said.

According to the National FFA, “The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 523,309 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture – as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education.”