Nebraska students shine at National FFA Convention | TheFencePost.com

Nebraska students shine at National FFA Convention

Robyn Scherer, M.Agr.
Staff Reporter

Photo courtesy of Cody SimmsCody Ray Simms of the Kimball FFA chapter in Kimball, Neb., receives his American FFA Degree.

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 Nebraska FFA chapters, however, this was their chance to showcase their best students.

“I think the best part is the convention lets them see the scope of the industry. It lets them see what they can be apart of that is bigger than themselves. In Nebraska, one in three jobs is related to agriculture. The students can see the impact young people can have on the industry, and the impact the industry has on young people. They come back energized,” said Matt Kreifels, the state director of agriculture education for the Nebraska FFA organization.

For students from Norris FFA in Firth, Neb., the national convention was a chance for them to compete against students from across the country. Teams from this chapter placed eighth in horse evaluation (silver), ninth in farm business management, 14th in agricultural communications, and 15th in dairy cattle evaluation, where Blake Preston received a gold in individual performance.

Gretchen Kroese placed fourth in the agricultural interview contest. The farm business management team consisted of Cory Peters, Ian Schuster, Kody Pritschau and Grace Woepple, with Schuster placing ninth overall individually.

Doug Malone, the FFA adviser for Norris High School who is in his 28th year, is used to students doing well at national convention. “I learned a long time ago that to be good, we have to have outside help. We are all committed to doing the extra work to do well at the national contests,” he said.

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The Norris FFA chapter utilizes many volunteers, many of whom are past students. “We all love helping the kids. We are focused on making Norris FFA the best it can be,” said Malone.

Malone is one of two FFA advisers for Norris FFA, and works with Kristyn Harms to teach the students. The two advisers have 100 students in their program.

Other chapters also found success at the convention. Diller-Odell FFA received a silver in ag mechanics, Imperial FFA had a gold in ag sales and a silver in parliamentary procedure, Schuyler FFA had a silver in agricultural issues, Twin River had a silver in agronomy and a bronze in floriculture, and Jacob Sebade, from Pender FFA, had a bronze in creed speaking.

Members from West Holt FFA received a silver in environmental and natural resources and a silver in nursery and landscape, Morgan Rezac from Central FFA had a silver in extemporaneous speaking, Superior FFA had a bronze in both food science and technology and forestry, and Scottsbluff FFA had a silver in livestock evaluation.

Alliance FFA had a bronze in marketing plan, West Point FFA had a silver in meats evaluation and technology, Laurel-Concord had a silver in poultry evaluation, and Lane Swedberg from Wallace FFA received a bronze in prepared public speaking.

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.

Cody Ray Simms of the Kimball FFA chapter in Kimball, Neb., received his American FFA Degree this year along with 3,241 other students from across the country, and 136 other students from Nebraska. Less than one half of one percent of all member receive this degree.

Simms supervised agricultural experience (SAE) consisted of showing pigs, and working at several different placement sites (jobs). He was also very active with horses. “It was really an honor to go to get my American FFA Degree,” Simms said.

Simms is currently in his last semester at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he is studying equine training. He is waiting to hear back on an internship in Australia, where he would travel to when he graduates. If he is accepted, he will start colts on a ranch that runs 10,000 cows.

“Cody is like a sponge. He just soaked everything up that we gave him. Any bit of tips or info he would try for himself and try to make them better. He was extremely shy his freshman year, but by his senior year he was an officer and on the parliamentary procedure team,” said Simms’ FFA adviser, Alan Held.

Other awards that are given at the convention are the proficiency awards. Anders Lee Olson, from the Tekaman-Herman FFA chapter received a proficiency award in agricultural sales.

Olson’s family owns a machinery auction house, and Olson writes sale bills, clerk sales and creates web and radio advertisements for his family’s operation. Olson’s FFA adviser is Don Wallace.

Other proficiency award finalists included: Andrew Largen, from the Creighton FFA chapter in agricultural mechanics repair and maintenance-placement and Luke Zeisler, from the West Boyd FFA chapter was a finalist in dairy production-entrepreneurship. Austin Mann from the Crofton FFA chapter was a finalist in diversified agricultural production, and Eric Miller, from the Lyons-Decatur Northeast FFA chapter was a finalist in the grain production-entrepreneurship category.

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.”

Nebraska FFA has over 6,600 members, spread across 143 programs. “FFA is a great motivator for students. The leadership qualities that they develop are vital to agriculture in Nebraska. It’s exciting to see more people in agriculture. Ag is cool in the students eyes again,” said Kreifels.

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 Nebraska FFA chapters, however, this was their chance to showcase their best students.

“I think the best part is the convention lets them see the scope of the industry. It lets them see what they can be apart of that is bigger than themselves. In Nebraska, one in three jobs is related to agriculture. The students can see the impact young people can have on the industry, and the impact the industry has on young people. They come back energized,” said Matt Kreifels, the state director of agriculture education for the Nebraska FFA organization.

For students from Norris FFA in Firth, Neb., the national convention was a chance for them to compete against students from across the country. Teams from this chapter placed eighth in horse evaluation (silver), ninth in farm business management, 14th in agricultural communications, and 15th in dairy cattle evaluation, where Blake Preston received a gold in individual performance.

Gretchen Kroese placed fourth in the agricultural interview contest. The farm business management team consisted of Cory Peters, Ian Schuster, Kody Pritschau and Grace Woepple, with Schuster placing ninth overall individually.

Doug Malone, the FFA adviser for Norris High School who is in his 28th year, is used to students doing well at national convention. “I learned a long time ago that to be good, we have to have outside help. We are all committed to doing the extra work to do well at the national contests,” he said.

The Norris FFA chapter utilizes many volunteers, many of whom are past students. “We all love helping the kids. We are focused on making Norris FFA the best it can be,” said Malone.

Malone is one of two FFA advisers for Norris FFA, and works with Kristyn Harms to teach the students. The two advisers have 100 students in their program.

Other chapters also found success at the convention. Diller-Odell FFA received a silver in ag mechanics, Imperial FFA had a gold in ag sales and a silver in parliamentary procedure, Schuyler FFA had a silver in agricultural issues, Twin River had a silver in agronomy and a bronze in floriculture, and Jacob Sebade, from Pender FFA, had a bronze in creed speaking.

Members from West Holt FFA received a silver in environmental and natural resources and a silver in nursery and landscape, Morgan Rezac from Central FFA had a silver in extemporaneous speaking, Superior FFA had a bronze in both food science and technology and forestry, and Scottsbluff FFA had a silver in livestock evaluation.

Alliance FFA had a bronze in marketing plan, West Point FFA had a silver in meats evaluation and technology, Laurel-Concord had a silver in poultry evaluation, and Lane Swedberg from Wallace FFA received a bronze in prepared public speaking.

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.

Cody Ray Simms of the Kimball FFA chapter in Kimball, Neb., received his American FFA Degree this year along with 3,241 other students from across the country, and 136 other students from Nebraska. Less than one half of one percent of all member receive this degree.

Simms supervised agricultural experience (SAE) consisted of showing pigs, and working at several different placement sites (jobs). He was also very active with horses. “It was really an honor to go to get my American FFA Degree,” Simms said.

Simms is currently in his last semester at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he is studying equine training. He is waiting to hear back on an internship in Australia, where he would travel to when he graduates. If he is accepted, he will start colts on a ranch that runs 10,000 cows.

“Cody is like a sponge. He just soaked everything up that we gave him. Any bit of tips or info he would try for himself and try to make them better. He was extremely shy his freshman year, but by his senior year he was an officer and on the parliamentary procedure team,” said Simms’ FFA adviser, Alan Held.

Other awards that are given at the convention are the proficiency awards. Anders Lee Olson, from the Tekaman-Herman FFA chapter received a proficiency award in agricultural sales.

Olson’s family owns a machinery auction house, and Olson writes sale bills, clerk sales and creates web and radio advertisements for his family’s operation. Olson’s FFA adviser is Don Wallace.

Other proficiency award finalists included: Andrew Largen, from the Creighton FFA chapter in agricultural mechanics repair and maintenance-placement and Luke Zeisler, from the West Boyd FFA chapter was a finalist in dairy production-entrepreneurship. Austin Mann from the Crofton FFA chapter was a finalist in diversified agricultural production, and Eric Miller, from the Lyons-Decatur Northeast FFA chapter was a finalist in the grain production-entrepreneurship category.

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.”

Nebraska FFA has over 6,600 members, spread across 143 programs. “FFA is a great motivator for students. The leadership qualities that they develop are vital to agriculture in Nebraska. It’s exciting to see more people in agriculture. Ag is cool in the students eyes again,” said Kreifels.

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 Nebraska FFA chapters, however, this was their chance to showcase their best students.

“I think the best part is the convention lets them see the scope of the industry. It lets them see what they can be apart of that is bigger than themselves. In Nebraska, one in three jobs is related to agriculture. The students can see the impact young people can have on the industry, and the impact the industry has on young people. They come back energized,” said Matt Kreifels, the state director of agriculture education for the Nebraska FFA organization.

For students from Norris FFA in Firth, Neb., the national convention was a chance for them to compete against students from across the country. Teams from this chapter placed eighth in horse evaluation (silver), ninth in farm business management, 14th in agricultural communications, and 15th in dairy cattle evaluation, where Blake Preston received a gold in individual performance.

Gretchen Kroese placed fourth in the agricultural interview contest. The farm business management team consisted of Cory Peters, Ian Schuster, Kody Pritschau and Grace Woepple, with Schuster placing ninth overall individually.

Doug Malone, the FFA adviser for Norris High School who is in his 28th year, is used to students doing well at national convention. “I learned a long time ago that to be good, we have to have outside help. We are all committed to doing the extra work to do well at the national contests,” he said.

The Norris FFA chapter utilizes many volunteers, many of whom are past students. “We all love helping the kids. We are focused on making Norris FFA the best it can be,” said Malone.

Malone is one of two FFA advisers for Norris FFA, and works with Kristyn Harms to teach the students. The two advisers have 100 students in their program.

Other chapters also found success at the convention. Diller-Odell FFA received a silver in ag mechanics, Imperial FFA had a gold in ag sales and a silver in parliamentary procedure, Schuyler FFA had a silver in agricultural issues, Twin River had a silver in agronomy and a bronze in floriculture, and Jacob Sebade, from Pender FFA, had a bronze in creed speaking.

Members from West Holt FFA received a silver in environmental and natural resources and a silver in nursery and landscape, Morgan Rezac from Central FFA had a silver in extemporaneous speaking, Superior FFA had a bronze in both food science and technology and forestry, and Scottsbluff FFA had a silver in livestock evaluation.

Alliance FFA had a bronze in marketing plan, West Point FFA had a silver in meats evaluation and technology, Laurel-Concord had a silver in poultry evaluation, and Lane Swedberg from Wallace FFA received a bronze in prepared public speaking.

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.

Cody Ray Simms of the Kimball FFA chapter in Kimball, Neb., received his American FFA Degree this year along with 3,241 other students from across the country, and 136 other students from Nebraska. Less than one half of one percent of all member receive this degree.

Simms supervised agricultural experience (SAE) consisted of showing pigs, and working at several different placement sites (jobs). He was also very active with horses. “It was really an honor to go to get my American FFA Degree,” Simms said.

Simms is currently in his last semester at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he is studying equine training. He is waiting to hear back on an internship in Australia, where he would travel to when he graduates. If he is accepted, he will start colts on a ranch that runs 10,000 cows.

“Cody is like a sponge. He just soaked everything up that we gave him. Any bit of tips or info he would try for himself and try to make them better. He was extremely shy his freshman year, but by his senior year he was an officer and on the parliamentary procedure team,” said Simms’ FFA adviser, Alan Held.

Other awards that are given at the convention are the proficiency awards. Anders Lee Olson, from the Tekaman-Herman FFA chapter received a proficiency award in agricultural sales.

Olson’s family owns a machinery auction house, and Olson writes sale bills, clerk sales and creates web and radio advertisements for his family’s operation. Olson’s FFA adviser is Don Wallace.

Other proficiency award finalists included: Andrew Largen, from the Creighton FFA chapter in agricultural mechanics repair and maintenance-placement and Luke Zeisler, from the West Boyd FFA chapter was a finalist in dairy production-entrepreneurship. Austin Mann from the Crofton FFA chapter was a finalist in diversified agricultural production, and Eric Miller, from the Lyons-Decatur Northeast FFA chapter was a finalist in the grain production-entrepreneurship category.

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.”

Nebraska FFA has over 6,600 members, spread across 143 programs. “FFA is a great motivator for students. The leadership qualities that they develop are vital to agriculture in Nebraska. It’s exciting to see more people in agriculture. Ag is cool in the students eyes again,” said Kreifels.

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 Nebraska FFA chapters, however, this was their chance to showcase their best students.

“I think the best part is the convention lets them see the scope of the industry. It lets them see what they can be apart of that is bigger than themselves. In Nebraska, one in three jobs is related to agriculture. The students can see the impact young people can have on the industry, and the impact the industry has on young people. They come back energized,” said Matt Kreifels, the state director of agriculture education for the Nebraska FFA organization.

For students from Norris FFA in Firth, Neb., the national convention was a chance for them to compete against students from across the country. Teams from this chapter placed eighth in horse evaluation (silver), ninth in farm business management, 14th in agricultural communications, and 15th in dairy cattle evaluation, where Blake Preston received a gold in individual performance.

Gretchen Kroese placed fourth in the agricultural interview contest. The farm business management team consisted of Cory Peters, Ian Schuster, Kody Pritschau and Grace Woepple, with Schuster placing ninth overall individually.

Doug Malone, the FFA adviser for Norris High School who is in his 28th year, is used to students doing well at national convention. “I learned a long time ago that to be good, we have to have outside help. We are all committed to doing the extra work to do well at the national contests,” he said.

The Norris FFA chapter utilizes many volunteers, many of whom are past students. “We all love helping the kids. We are focused on making Norris FFA the best it can be,” said Malone.

Malone is one of two FFA advisers for Norris FFA, and works with Kristyn Harms to teach the students. The two advisers have 100 students in their program.

Other chapters also found success at the convention. Diller-Odell FFA received a silver in ag mechanics, Imperial FFA had a gold in ag sales and a silver in parliamentary procedure, Schuyler FFA had a silver in agricultural issues, Twin River had a silver in agronomy and a bronze in floriculture, and Jacob Sebade, from Pender FFA, had a bronze in creed speaking.

Members from West Holt FFA received a silver in environmental and natural resources and a silver in nursery and landscape, Morgan Rezac from Central FFA had a silver in extemporaneous speaking, Superior FFA had a bronze in both food science and technology and forestry, and Scottsbluff FFA had a silver in livestock evaluation.

Alliance FFA had a bronze in marketing plan, West Point FFA had a silver in meats evaluation and technology, Laurel-Concord had a silver in poultry evaluation, and Lane Swedberg from Wallace FFA received a bronze in prepared public speaking.

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.

Cody Ray Simms of the Kimball FFA chapter in Kimball, Neb., received his American FFA Degree this year along with 3,241 other students from across the country, and 136 other students from Nebraska. Less than one half of one percent of all member receive this degree.

Simms supervised agricultural experience (SAE) consisted of showing pigs, and working at several different placement sites (jobs). He was also very active with horses. “It was really an honor to go to get my American FFA Degree,” Simms said.

Simms is currently in his last semester at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he is studying equine training. He is waiting to hear back on an internship in Australia, where he would travel to when he graduates. If he is accepted, he will start colts on a ranch that runs 10,000 cows.

“Cody is like a sponge. He just soaked everything up that we gave him. Any bit of tips or info he would try for himself and try to make them better. He was extremely shy his freshman year, but by his senior year he was an officer and on the parliamentary procedure team,” said Simms’ FFA adviser, Alan Held.

Other awards that are given at the convention are the proficiency awards. Anders Lee Olson, from the Tekaman-Herman FFA chapter received a proficiency award in agricultural sales.

Olson’s family owns a machinery auction house, and Olson writes sale bills, clerk sales and creates web and radio advertisements for his family’s operation. Olson’s FFA adviser is Don Wallace.

Other proficiency award finalists included: Andrew Largen, from the Creighton FFA chapter in agricultural mechanics repair and maintenance-placement and Luke Zeisler, from the West Boyd FFA chapter was a finalist in dairy production-entrepreneurship. Austin Mann from the Crofton FFA chapter was a finalist in diversified agricultural production, and Eric Miller, from the Lyons-Decatur Northeast FFA chapter was a finalist in the grain production-entrepreneurship category.

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.”

Nebraska FFA has over 6,600 members, spread across 143 programs. “FFA is a great motivator for students. The leadership qualities that they develop are vital to agriculture in Nebraska. It’s exciting to see more people in agriculture. Ag is cool in the students eyes again,” said Kreifels.