FFA members receive awards at annual banquet

Forest Lake FFA members gathered for the 78th annual chapter banquet and awards program on March 20. The local chapter, with more than 100 members, competes in career development events, participates in community service activities and conducts experiential learning projects.  FFA members pictured, from left to right, are Ciera Kost (senior), Jenni Pollard (senior), Rachel Huset (senior) and Abby Huset (eighth grade).  (Photo submitted)

Forest Lake FFA members gathered for the 78th annual chapter banquet and awards program on March 20. The local chapter, with more than 100 members, competes in career development events, participates in community service activities and conducts experiential learning projects. FFA members pictured, from left to right, are Ciera Kost (senior), Jenni Pollard (senior), Rachel Huset (senior) and Abby Huset (eighth grade). (Photo submitted)

More than 180 community leaders, parents, members and FFA supporters filled Forest Lake High School on Thursday, March 20 for the chapter’s 78th annual banquet and awards program to recognize members for their outstanding efforts during the year. 

The FFA members elected to honorary chapter membership Eric and Sara Christenson, parents of 2013 Minnesota FFA degree recipient Zach Christenson; Terry and Mona McCarthy, parents of 2013 Minnesota FFA degree recipient Amber McCarthy; and Bill Ramberg, operator of Woodloch Stable.

FFA members also received recognition for outstanding achievement:

- Senior Accomplishment Award:  Mariah Daninger,  Ben Plautz

- Chapter Star in Placement:  Mariah Daninger

- Chapter Stars in Agribusiness:  Ben Plautz, Luke Niemczyk

- Chapter Star Greenhand:  Megan Palmer

- Leadership:  Rachel Huset

- Community Service:  Jessica Haines

- Most Improved Member:  Karlee Lawrence

- Cooperation:  Amanda Stafford

- Spirit of FFA:  Jenny Thill & Kyra Quillen

- Washington Leadership Conference Scholarship:  Joe Ramstad

- Outstanding Fundraiser:  Luke Niemczyk

- Forest Lake High School letters:  Karlee Lawrence, Josephine Hudoba, Ben Plautz, Joe Ramstad

- Excellence in Communication Awards:  Megan Palmer, Mariah Daninger, Joe Ramstad, Rachel Huset

- Scholarship:  Megan Palmer (freshman), Jessica Haines (sophomore), Laura Lutz (junior), Rachel Huset (senior)

Chapter proficiencies were presented to Jessica Haines (AgriScience), Luke Niemczyk (Diversified Horticulture), Laura Lutz (Diversified Agriculture Production-Placement), Ben Plautz (Nursery Landscape), Mariah Daninger (Dairy Production-Placement), Jenny Thill (Equine Production-Placement) and Joe Ramstad (Agricultural Education).

Eighth-grade members earn Discovery Degrees as they begin their FFA experience. Pins were awarded to Ben Hanson, Madison Headly, Abby Huset, Ben Niemczyk, Noah Praught and Lucas Runquist.

Members with outstanding Supervised Agricultural Experience programs and exceptional participation in leadership activities were awarded Greenhand Degree pins. These members were Andrew Espinosa, Megan Palmer, Kyra Quillen, Danielle Stace, Crystal Stafford, Cameron Strand and Rachel Trapp.

Chapter degrees were presented to Jessica Haines, Josephine Hudoba, Rachel Huset, Laura Lutz, Madelyn Smith, Amanda Stafford, Jenny Thill and Emily Thompson.

Members advancing to state competition in Career Development Events were also recognized. So far this year the chapter has state qualifiers in 11 events, with additional competitions being held later in the month.

Officers for 2014-2015 will be president, Joe Ramstad; vice president, Laura Lutz; secretary, Amanda Stafford; treasurer, Josephine Hudoba; reporter, Jenny Thill; sentinel, Megan Palmer; parliamentarian, Cameron Strand and officer at large, Kyra Quillen.

The Forest Lake agriculture department offers courses and internship opportunities in the agriculture, food and natural resources career pathways.  Students are also members of the Forest Lake FFA.

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