More than 150 community leaders, parents, members and FFA supporters filled Forest Lake High School on March 14th for the chapter’s 77th annual banquet and awards program. The event was dedicated to recognizing members for their outstanding efforts during the year.
FFA members elected the following individuals to honorary chapter membership: Mr. & Mrs. Craig and Kris Anderson, Agriculture Advisory Board members and parents of 2012 Minnesota FFA Degree recipient Rachael Anderson; Dan Kieger, Forest Lake school board member and Agriculture Advisory Board member; Joel Olson, Forest Lake High School activities director; and Jeff and Donna Winberg, parents of 2012 Minnesota FFA Degree recipient Holly Winberg.
FFA members also received recognition for their outstanding achievements. The Senior Accomplishment Award went to Rachael Anderson, Chapter Star in Placement to Mariah Daninger, Chapter Star in Agribusiness to Ben Plautz, Chapter Star Greenhand to Amanda Stafford, Leadership to Joe Ramstad, Community Service to Rachel Huset, Most Improved Member to Ben Plautz, Cooperation to Sarah Neeck, Spirit of FFA to Josephine Huboda, Washington Leadership Conference Scholarship to Ben Plautz, Outstanding Fundraiser to Luke Niemczyk, High School Letter to Laura Lutz.
Excellence in Communication Awards were given to Megan Palmer, Rachael Anderson, Mariah Daninger, Amber McCarthy, Mikayla Lee and Sadie Gadberry.
Scholarship awards went to Megan Palmer (8th grade), Amanda Stafford (freshman), Joe Ramstad (sophomore), Rachel Huset (junior), and Rachael Anderson (senior).
Chapter proficiencies were presented to the following students: Luke Niemczyk (Greenhouse Production Placement), Rachael Anderson (Diversified Livestock Production Placement), Joe Ramstad (Agricultural Education), Zach Christenson (Agricultural Education), Ben Plautz (Nursery/Landscape Entrepreneurship), Laura Lutz (Agricultural Processing Placement) and Amber McCarthy (Equine Production Placement).
As they began their FFA experience, these eighth-grade members earned their Discovery Degrees: Madison Anderson, Andrew Espinosa, Nathan Original, Megan Palmer, Zach Scholl, Crystal Stafford, Olivia Taylor and Kyra Quillen.
Members with outstanding Supervised Agricultural Experience programs and exceptional participation in leadership activities were awarded Greenhand Degree pins. They were Alyshea Casey, Garrett Ellertson, Sadie Gadberry, Cole Emly, Alyssa King, Kasey Murphy, Nic Norem, Nick Novak, Katie Schwartz, Luke Shaw, Madelyn Smith, Amanda Stafford, Jenny Thill and Emily Thompson.
Chapter degrees were presented to Mikayla Lee, Joe Ramstad, Emily Scherer, and Katie Wilke.
Members who are advancing to state competition in Career Development Events (CDE) were also recognized. CDEs allow students to demonstrate relevant connections between classroom instruction and real-life scenarios. The events are designed to help prepare students for careers in agriculture and demonstrate technical skills and knowledge in a competitive setting. The chapter is pleased to have state qualifiers in 11 events with additional competitions being held later in the month.
The officer team for the 2013-2014 chapter officer team was installed. The team consists of President Mariah Daninger, Vice President Ben Plautz, Secretary Rachel Huset, Treasurer Sarah Neeck, Reporter Josephine Hudoba, Sentinel Laura Lutz, Parliamentarian Joe Ramstad and Officer at Large Luke Niemczyk.