Nearly 160 students, parents, alumni and high school staff attened Waupaca FFA’s 85th annual awards banquet Friday, May 1.
Middle school students Tyler Mertz, Paige Swanson, Alex Orr, Macy Tebeest, Evy Riley and Rose Thielke were awarded FFA Discovery Degree pins.
The Greenhand Degree is the first degree that a high school FFA member can earn.
This year, 26 members earned their bronze Greenhand degree: Dani Arnold, Cole Beaver, Cole Bergsbaken, Myra Buelow, McKenzie Butzin, Sydney Ciera, Josh Crisman, David Gall, Jacob Haehnlein, Cameron Hamm, Chloe Hamm, Tanner Johnson, Desiree Kicherer, Kara Kohutek, Khiah Larson, Maddi Moericke, Judson Nickel, Austin Nollenberg, Cole Pankratz, Josh Peglow, Neil Perket, Katlyn Petrovs, Lexi Schuelke, Dylan Shaw, Heidi Solchenberger and Rany Zills received this award.
The Star Greenhand award is presented to a first-year member who most exemplifies the leadership encouraged among that FFA members. Chloe Hamm and Josh Peglow received this awrd.
The Chapter FFA Degree is the highest degree an FFA member can earn on the chapter level. Members must develop a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program and complete 180 hours of agricultural education, to be considered for the degree. The chapter bestowed Noah Bartel, Dakota Brehmer, Stephanie Cleaves, Gabby Collins, Taylor Eilers, Makenna Evans, Kya Hooker Moericke, Larkin Hooker Moericke, Austin Hovarter, Cal Hruska, Grace Koch, Brett Koski, Erin Montgomery, Bailey Nickel, Blake Orr, Jenna Marie Pagel, Seth Piencikowski, Leah Piotter, Elisha Riley, Olivia Schuelke, Natasha Schultz, Jared Sota, Violet Thielke, Jensen Trinrud, Christina Van Buskirk, and Mason Winters with the Chapter FFA Degree. Recipients received silver FFA emblem pins.
To earn a State FFA Degree, a member must have been in the FFA for at least three years, completed 360 hours of instruction in agricultural education, earned at least $1,500, or worked at least 1,000 hours. The 2015 State Degree recipient was Morgan Eilers. She was honored at the chapter banquet with a gold chain to attach the Gold State Degree charm.
The Waupaca FFA Chapter has six American Degree recipients: Jessica Allen, Melissa Nelson, Ellyssa Grant, Morgan Orr, Mikayla Martin, and Morgan Platta. The American Degree is the highest level of achievement recognized by the national FFA organization. These candidates will receive the American Degree at the National FFA Convention in October.
This year the chapter awarded Most Improved Member to Cole Pankratz. The officer team nominated Pankratz because of his involvement in numerous activities. He didn’t join FFA until his senior year.
Members who have excelled in their SAE programs are recognized through the proficiency awards program. Chapter members who wished to earn state proficiency consideration for their SAE needed to complete an eight-page application, resume, six action pictures with captions along with recommendations, and a personal page which were all due by Feb. 20.
Proficiency Award Winners
• Brett Koski – Ag Mechanics Repair and Maintenance – Second Gold and Sectional Winner
• Morgan Orr – Agricultural Sales Placement – Silver
• Morgan Eilers – Agricultural Sales Placement – Second Gold and Sectional Winner
• Violet Thielke – Beef Production – 10th Gold
• Blake Orr – Beef Production – Sixth Gold and Sectional Winner
• Taylor Eilers – Beef Production Entrepreneurship – Third Gold and Sectional Winner
• Chloe Hamm – Dairy Production – Silver
• Ethan Riley – Dairy Production Entrepreneurship – Silver
• Elisha Riley – Dairy Production Entrepreneurship – 14th Gold
• Jessica Allen – Dairy Production Placement – 20th Gold
•Jensen Trinrud – Dairy Production Placement – 18th Gold
•Kimberly Zills – Dairy Production Placement – 19th Gold
• Caleb Hamm – Diversified Livestock – Sixth Gold
• Taylor Eilers – Diversified Livestock – Third Gold
• Morgan Eilers – Diversified Livestock – Second Gold and Sectional Winner
• Erin Montgomery – Equine Science Entrepreneurship – Sixth Gold
• Mikayla Martin – Equine Science Entrepreneurship – Fourth Gold and Sectional Winner
• Kimberly Zills – Organic Agriculture – State Winner, First Gold and Sectional Winner
• Leah Piotter – Poultry Production – Bronze
• Josh Peglow – Poultry Production – Second Gold
• Violet Thielke – Poultry Production – Fifth Gold
• Cameron Hamm – Sheep Production – Silver
• Taylor Eilers – Sheep Production – Fifth Gold
• Ellyssa Grant – Sheep Production – Second Gold
• Morgan Eilers – Sheep Production – State Winner, First Gold, and Sectional Winner
• Austin Hovarter – Swine Production Entrepreneurship – Eighth Gold
• Tanner Johnson – Swine Production Placement – Sixth Gold and Sectional Winner
• Elisha Riley – Small Animal Production and Care – Fourth Gold
• Seth Pienchikowski – Wildlife Production & Management – Third Gold
• Natasha Hales – Wildlife Production & Management – State Winner, First Gold and Sectional Winner.
All members who earn a gold rating will be recognized at the State FFA Convention on June 16. Members who received a first gold rating will make a booth to display at the State FFA Convention.
Speaking contestants were recognized at the banquet. Chloe Hamm and Kara Kahutek both recited the FFA creed and answered questions pertaining to the creed. Hamm received eighth and Kara received seventh place.
Brett Koski and Caleb Hamm participated in the job interview contest. Koski placed fourth at district. Hamm placed first at district and sectionals and will compete at state.
Ashley Mertz and Elisha Riley were participants in the discussion contest. Ashley placed second at districts. Riley also participated in discussion at district level but did not advance. Cole Pankratz and Ryan Esch competed in the extemporaneous contest. Pankratz placed first at districts and sectionals then advanced to state. Esch placed third at districts.
Erin Montgomery, McKenzie Butzin, Jared Borntrager, Taylor Eilers, Jenna Marie Pagel, Leah Piotter, and Cole Pankratz competed in Parliamentary Procedure. The team competed at district, where they placed second.
The Waupaca FFA chapter assembled teams that participated in the Fox Valley Technical College Career Development Event (CDE) Contest. Equine Science team members included Christina Van Buskirk, Larkin Hooker – Moericke, and Maddi Moericke. The team placed 18th out of 32 teams at FVTC.
Leah Piotter, Josh Peglow and Neil Perkett competed in the poultry category where they judged poultry with other FFA members and placed 13th out of 32 teams at the FVTC and advanced to state.
The Waupaca FFA had a livestock judging team that consisted of Greg Schmidt, Cameron Hamm, Austin Hovarter and Tanner Johnson. The team placed 32nd at FVTC.
Cole Pankratz, Chloe Hamm, Ethan Riley, and Caleb Hamm, competed in the Dairy Products CDE. Pankratz placed 10th individual.
Natasha Hales, Mason Winters, Dakota Brehmer and Seth Pienchikowski competed in the Wildlife CDE where they placed first out of 32 teams at FVTC. Seth placed sixth individual, Mason placed fourth individual, and Dakota placed eighth individual.
Taylor Eilers, Elisha Riley, Jensen Trinrud, and Kimberly Zills competed in Vet Science and placed 10th out of 32 teams. Taylor placed 10th individual. The team also moved on to state where they placed 15th.
Brett Koski, Judson Nickel, and Blake Orr competed in Ag Mechanics and placed 6th out of 27 teams at FVTC and advanced to state. Brett Koski placed 4th individual.
Jenna Marie Pagel was choosen to participate in the State Honers Band again this year.
Members of PALS and Joining Hands with the Elderly were honored.
Concession stand helpers Tom and Kari Riley, Pete Jungers, Sandy Much, Jim and Jenny Peglow, Brian and Amber Koski, and Heidi Hanson were recognized for all the work they did this year.
Garret Orr earned the FFA Alumni Scholarship.
This year the Waupaca FFA Alumni invested $2,000 into supervised agricultural experience programs or (SAEs). Nine members turned in grant applications. All nine members received grant money from $150-$250. Those students were Cameron Hamm, Austin Hovarter, Erin Montgomery, Caleb Hamm, Taylor Eilers, Brett Koski, Josh Peglow, Elisha Riley and Leah Piotter.
The Waupaca FFA recognized several community residents for their dedication and support to the chapter. Jennipher Pagel earned the Appreciation Award. The Distinguished Service Award was awarded to Bobbie Jo Montgomery. Dean and Connie Zanilla received the Blue and Gold Award. Jeff Neuville was the Waupaca Chapter Honorary award recipient. The Safety Award went to Annalisha Shaw. The Service Above Self award was awarded to Tom Ferg. The Community Service Award was awarded to Heidi Hanson. Zeth Engel was recognized for being the agricultural education student teacher.