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FFA reaching new heights and recognition

Pat Hansen
Avon, Mont.

The FFA open house at the Ag Ed center in Deer Lodge recently drew FFA dignitaries from Colorado, Indiana and throughout Montana. The keynote speaker, national FFA vice president Jamie Cecil, represents the central region. The vivacious and energetic young woman lives on a fourth generation family farm on the eastern plains of Colorado where they raise commercial Black Angus, corn and winter wheat. She is a sophomore studying agriculture communication at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo.

This was Jamie’s first visit to Montana. “I’ve had some wonderful times visiting schools and FFA chapters throughout the state,” she said. During her tenure as National vice president, she expects to travel 300 days and more than 100,000 miles to fulfill her duties.

“People enrich our lives, and if we hesitate to meet someone different from ourselves, we miss out,” Jamie told nearly 100 in attendance.

She noted the world population is 6.8 billion with 147 people being born every second. “None are the same in looks, interests or strengths. Be willing and open. Make a conscious decision to get to know others. See the good things in everyone,” she said. As she described her experiences during a trip to Europe, Cecil admitted to having an initial anxiety about being in countries where she did not speak the language. “That was overcome by interactions with people,” she said. “It was the people I met that made all the difference on my trip.”

You can start with your family, fellow students or workers and consider the good things about each one, Jamie told the audience. “Once you learn about others and the good things about them, they will learn something from you. Each individual is one in a million. There is always something to learn. School, community and the world are our classrooms.”

Other dignitaries present were: FFA regional representative Mike Honeycutt of Indianapolis, Montana FFA Advisor Bill Jimmerson and Montana FFA Foundation director Raylee St. Onge of Bozeman, and Montana FFA officers Jessica Kirschten of Baker, Sara Schledewitz of Bainville, Jonathan Sheehy of Big Sandy, and William Grundhauser of Wilsall.

Deer Lodge FFA Awards

The open house was held at the Ag Ed center where students prepared a supper of French toast, sausages and fruit for attendees.

A power-point presentation during the evening highlighted some of the fun and activities the FFA members have participated in this year.

Students who met the qualifications were recognized with the presentation of Greenhand and Chapter awards.

Greenhand Degree recipients were Rikki Yount, Adam Hegglund, David Dutton and Joe Lombardi. Lombardi received a plaque for being the Star Greenhand and Dutton was recognized as the Star Creed Speaker.

The Greenhands were reminded by FFA Advisor Bill Lombardi, “You have done well and merit this recognition, but there are heights yet to be attained. Your future is before you. Through hard work and wise decisions, you can achieve the highest place in our organization.”

The Chapter Degree is the highest honor a local FFA chapter can bestow on its members. It recognizes their participation and leadership role in the organization, as well as their scholastics.

Receiving the Chapter Degree were: Keesha Tate, Daniel Lombardi, Aryel Meeds, Beth Reistad, Melaney Marker, Samantha Dyer, and Erin Ryan. Recognized for excellence, Dyer and Ryan were named the Star Chapter members.

FFA Advisor Lombardi praised the students saying, “You have studied and learned in order to earn these degrees, yet every worthwhile recognition carries with it additional responsibilities. Your increased leadership ability should be reflected by your further involvement in the activities of our chapter.”


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