FFA receives national recognition at Indianapolis convention

Among the Forest Lake FFA delegates attending the 85th National FFA Convention were Shelby Sandstrom (junior), Joe Ramstad (sophomore), Rachel Huset (junior), Sarah Neeck (sophomore), Rachael Anderson (senior), Advisor Mike Miron, Erin Daninger (2010 graduate), Nathan Daninger (2012 graduate) and Ben Plautz (junior).

The Forest Lake FFA was chosen from a national pool of more than 660 applications as a Three Star winner in the chapter award program at the 85th national FFA convention and expo in Indianapolis Oct. 24 to 27.

Eight chapter members and an advisor attended the event, sponsored by John Deere.

The award program recognizes FFA chapters for developing and conducting a detailed program of activities, each providing opportunities for members to excel in student, chapter, or community development.

The Three Star rating is the highest level of accomplishment an FFA chapter can achieve.

Erin Daninger, a 2010 Forest Lake High School graduate, received the American FFA Degree, which recognizes members for years of academic and professional excellence.

To be eligible, members must have earned and productively invested $7,500 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agriculture enterprise and serve 50 community service hours.

Daninger was also Minnesota’s National FFA Officer candidate, where she represented the state’s 9,000 members and vied for one of six positions.

Erin’s brother Nathan Daninger (2012 graduate), the current Minnesota FFA State Treasurer, was one of Minnesota’s nine student member delegates and served on committees to help shape the organization’s future.

Forest Lake members also competed in collegiate FFA activities at the national convention and represented the University of Minnesota. Katie Miron (2009 graduate) participated in debate, and Andrew Miron (2011 graduate) was part of the parliamentary procedure team. Students are members of the FFA until the age of 21.

Teacher Mike Miron was invited by the National Association of Agriculture Educators to address delegates during the fifth general session about the importance of the agricultural education profession.

Rachael Anderson (senior) addressed a group of corporate executives about the importance of FFA in her life and how it has contributed to her personal development.

“FFA has been such an important part of my life,” Anderson said when asked about the experience. “I hope that my personal story served as just one example of how the FFA organization positively impacts the personal development of students.”

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to students in grades 7 through 12 throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. For more information visit www.forestlakeffa.org.