Waupaca FFA members came back from the FFA National Convention, held Oct. 19-22 in Indianapolis, Ind., with several national awards.
Devon Feldt was named the national winner in the Wildlife Production and Management. This proficiency award recognizes achievement in agricultural entrepreneurship.
Feldt joined the American Wilderness Leadership School in Wyoming and studied porcupines. He learned how to trap, scan and process the animals. He also helped collect information on their movements, actions and interactions with the environment.
Proficiency award finalists received $500 and a plaque. The National winners receive an additional $500 during the ceremony at the convention.
Other proficiency national finalists were Brandon Fay in Agricultural Processing and Jakke Batten in Specialty Animal Production.
Fay’s experience featured tapping over 95 trees for maple syrup harvesting.
Batten took on a role in his grandparents’ fox and ferret farm when his grandfather became ill. He selects genetically superior animals and ensures feed ratios are mixed properly.
Stephanie Johnson, chapter president, and Morgan Eilers, chapter treasurer, represented Waupaca FFA as Three-Star National Chapter recipients. Waupaca was recognized as being one of the elite chapters in the U.S.
Waupaca FFA members planned and organized the Wisconsin booth in the FFA Hall of States. They distributed 300 pounds of cheese and 50 pounds of craisins. The booth represented the Wisconsin agricultural industry. Ocean Spray, Churny Cheese, DuPont, Grande, Bleu Cheese House, Richard Wagner, Presto Products, and Farmers State Bank donated to the Hall of States booth.
Students toured Sprecher Brewery in the Milwaukee. They learned about the brewery’s history, how beer and soda are made, how their famous root beer came about, and other facts about the company. All attendees then enjoyed samples of Sprechers soda.
Students toured the Albanese Candy Factory, located in Merrillville, Ind.. The factory is known for its technical expertise in the use of vitamins and pharmaceutical nutrients in combination with confections.
FFA students participated in the Ozark Fish Farm tour and the Carly Elk Farm tour.
The Ozark Fish Farm took the members and advisors through out their main buildings, explaining the process of raising, breeding, and marketing ornamental fish. They can raise up to 80 million fish at one time, featuring varieties like Goldfish, Calico Goldfish, Koi, and Butterfly Koi.
Students met a 3-year-old bull elk, Sam, which was raised as a calf. The farm had multiple pens filled with elk and whitetail deer.