On Monday, May 1, 2017, the Fairbury FFA Chapter hosted its FFA End-of-the-year banquet. The banquet started off with the opening ceremonies which were completed by the 2016-2017 Fairbury FFA officers. It was a short and sweet ceremony which preceded the dinner. The freshmen and sophomores were responsible in bringing a side dish while the juniors and seniors were responsible for bringing a dessert. Carmen Ragland was very generous and provided pulled pork for the main dish. Once everyone had finished their meal, we moved everyone into the Burkley Fine Arts Center (BFAC) and began to watch the Year-In-Review video. The Fairbury FFA has had a lot of success in the past year, and the video really showed.
There were many awards given that night. Overall, 27 FFA members were awarded the Greenhand Degree, which is the first degree you can earn as an FFA member. The next highest degree you can earn as an FFA member would be the Chapter Degree. The Fairbury FFA chapter had 15 members earn their chapter degree. In order to earn a degree, you have to take an agriculture class, which is also a requirement to be in FFA. The students who were selected also had to have some sort of knowledge about the FFA chapter and procedures itself. The Fairbury FFA chapter had four seniors earn their State Degree at the State FFA convention back in April. Those seniors include Althea Esteller, Blake Bauer, Patrick Ondrak, and Carson Bohlmeyer. They have been very dedicated throughout their four years serving as leaders in FFA. To earn the State Degree, you have to have earned or productively invested a minimum of $3,000 or worked at least 1,500 hours on their SAE’s (Supervised Agricultural Experiences) outside of class time. That just shows how dedicated all of those seniors were.
At this memorable State FFA convention, we had several teams and individuals place. The Agricultural Biotechnology team were named the State Champions. The team consisted of Jared Engelman, Ashley Griffee, Jordan Ruhnke, and Taylor Runge. Ashley Griffee placed first overall as an individual and earned a purple ribbon, while Jordan Ruhnke, who placed 6th, and Taylor Runge, who placed 5th, also received purple ribbons. Jared Engelman earned a blue ribbon as well. Michaela Buchli received a Gold Award for competing in her Leadership Skills Event, Junior Public Speaking.
The keynote speaker of the night was Mike Flood, who works as a broadcaster and attorney for the state of Nebraska. We were fortunate enough to have him as a keynote speaker because he taught us what leadership and dedication were really about.
Continuing throughout the night, the Fairbury FFA officers of 2016-2017 awarded people with multiple awards. The leadership award went to those FFA members who showed extreme amounts of leadership throughout the year, no matter what was asked of them. There were two freshmen, one sophomore, one junior, and one senior that earned the award. The freshmen were Kennedy and Cora DeBoer, sophomore Michaela Buchli, junior Sarah McCown, and senior Madi Black. Next, the scholarship award was awarded to the people in each grade who maintained one of the highest grades throughout their agriculture courses and showed an appreciation for the industry of agriculture. Freshman Sara Huss, sophomore Michaela Buchli, junior Ashley Griffee, and seniors Carson Bohlmeyer and Patrick Ondrak received the Scholarship Award.
Throughout the month of November, the FFA members have a chance to improve their leadership skills by going out and selling fruit, meat and cheese, pancake mix, and popcorn. At the FFA banquet, the FFA chapter awards the top three sellers. The third place seller was Kane Hasselbring, who sold $840 worth. Second place was Sara Huss who sold $910 worth of fruit/meat and cheese. The top seller sold over $3,000, which was Carson Bohlmeyer.
Next, the DEKALB award was given. The award is given to a senior who has demonstrated excellence in agricultural education through leadership, academics, and the Supervised Agricultural Experience Program. The senior who has demonstrated excellence was Althea Esteller. She has been a huge part of the Fairbury FFA chapter and has made a huge impact on the chapter’s future.
The last event of the night was the installation of the 2017-2018 Fairbury FFA officers. The 2017-2018 officer consists of Sara Huss who is the parliamentarian, Brock Barton who was voted in as sentinel, Jordan Ruhnke who is now the reporter, Delaney Miller who is treasurer, the secretary who is Sarah McCown, vice president who is Paige Livingston, and the Fairbury FFA’s new president is Michaela Buchli. The Fairbury FFA chapter has a bright future and we cannot wait to see what this next year brings.