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GC FFA honors members at annual awards banquet

GLENWOOD CITY – The Glenwood City Future Farmers of America (FFA) held its 75th annual chapter awards banquet in the high school commons on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

Maggie Larson, the 2014-15 Section 2 State FFA vice President and a member of the Osseo-Fairchild FFA, was the ceremony’s guest speaker.

FFA members, parents, and guests enjoyed a meal but the highlight of the evening was the numerous awards given to Glenwood City FFA members, alumni, and community members at the annual banquet.

Top Honors  

Four of the highest honors that any Glenwood City FFA member can earn are the Star Greenhand Degree Award (top first year member), Star Chapter FFA Degree Award (top second year member), Outstanding Third-Year Member Award, and the DeKalb Outstanding Senior Award.

The 2014-15 honors were presented to four deserving local members. Kim Spaeth was honored as this year’s Star Greenhand, Joe Obermueller received the Star Chapter Farmer Award, Wesley Franklin was chosen as the top third-year member, and Kaitlin Konder was chosen as the outstanding senior for her years of work in a variety of FFA activities including serving as this chapter’s president the past two years. Obermueller (Greenhand), Franklin (Chapter) and Konder (Third-Year) also won Star Awards last year.

Mr. Sean VanderWaal, Glenwood City’s first-year FFA chapter advisor, made the presentation of the top honors.

VanderWaal also announced that Franklin and Konder were both pursuing their State FFA Degrees.

Degree Awards

Nine first-year FFA agricultural students earned Greenhand Degrees and the corresponding bronze pins for the 2014-15 year. They are Kim Spaeth, Megan Speiser, Austin Curvello, Isaac Voeltz, Biridiana Leandro-Mendez, Connor Cook, Mark McNamara, Maklya O’Brien and Madison Kupper. To receive the Greenhand Degree, members must have met the following qualifications: 1.  Must be enrolled in an Agriculture Education class; 2. Must be familiar with the purpose of FFA; and 3. Recite the Creed of the FFA. The bronze pins presented to each successful candidate bears the FFA emblem and represents hardness and endurance, qualities it is hoped will carry each member far in the FFA organization.

Chapter FFA Degrees were also conferred upon five second-year members. Receiving the award were Joe Obermuller, Jamie Scanlon, AJ Blomber, Josie DeMar and Julie McNamara. Recipient requirements are: 1. Must have received the Greenhand Degree; 2. Completed at least two trimesters of Agriculture Education; 3. Must have an occupation experience program; 4. Earned $150.00 by their own efforts in the supervised agricultural experience program; 5. Have participated in at least three local FFA activities; and 6. Have a satisfactory scholastic record. Chapter FFA Degree winners each received silver pins and certificates.

Wesley Franklin received his third-year pin and Kaitlin Konder her fourth-year honor.

MS Members Recognized

Discovery Degrees will be awarded later this spring to four eighth grade students. They are Jake Obermueller, Alexys Curvello, Aubrey Curvello and Mathew Prinsen.

Sales Awards

This year’s recipients have helped the FFA raise a lot of money, over $17,000, which helped members attend many leadership activities throughout the year. Members sold fruit and worked at the football concessions stand. Certificates for the highest fruit sales this year went to: 1st – Abby Kahler ($3,700), 2nd – Kim Spaeth ($3,300), and 3rd – Kaitlin Konder ($1,200). Each received a certificate and a FFA water glass.

Career Development Teams

This year the Glenwood City FFA had four teams compete at the River Falls CDE Judging Contest. The chapter also had ten members participate in the FFA Speaking contests and quiz bowl competitions.

Dairy Cattle Evaluation Team, comprised of Kaitlin Konder, Wesley Franklin, Allison Curvello and Kim Spaeth, placed sixth out of 32 teams. Individually, Konder placed third, Wesley was 17th, Kim was 82nd and Allison finished 100th.

The Livestock evaluation team of Kip Wallace, Jim Buttles, Austin Curvello and Joe Obermueller finished 13th out of 34 teams. Individually, Kip was 32nd, Joe took 47th, Jim placed 68th and Austin took 87th.

The Horse Evaluation team, comprised of Connor Cook, Madison Kupper and Biri Leandro-Mendez, took 21st out of 30 teams. Connor place 53rd, Biri was 57th and Madison placed 75th.

The middle school Agriscience team finished in ninth place with 32 team competing. Team members were: Mae Buttles (ninth place individually), Isabelle Arbuckle (30th), Alexys Curvello (100th) and Aubrey Curvello (113th).

Kaitlin Konder participated in the Extemporaneous Speaking Contest and placed second at district and came in fourth at sectionals.

Wesley Franklin took third at district in Prepared Speaking.

Kim Spaeth won the district Job Interview competition but was unable to compete at sectional due to a schedule conflict.

Jim Buttles participated once again in the Discussion Meet Contest at this year’s District Speaking Contests and took the top award. He finished fourth at the sectional meet.

Glenwood City’s Parliamentary Procedure team this year includes Abby Kahler, Wesley Franklin, Kaitlin Konder, Jim Buttles and John Garland. The five-member team placed third at the district competition and fourth at sectionals.

The FFA high school quiz bowl team of Kaitlin Konder, Wesley Franklin, Jim Buttles and Allison Curvello qualified for the state competition which will be held June 15.

Meanwhile, the middle school quiz bowl team, consisting of Mae Buttles, Isabelle Arbuckle and Nicole Blomber, placed first at district and took third in the sectional competition.

County Fair Exhibitors

Six members of the FFA showed at the 2014 St. Croix County Fair. They were Allison Curvello, Kim Spaeth, Jordan Frederick, Karyssa Lieffring, Joe Obermueller and Jake Obermueller.

PALS Team Recognition

The Glenwood City FFA has been promoting agricultural literacy the past few years at the elementary school level through the PALS Program.

FFA members interested in PALS filled out an application and were expected to come to bimonthly training meetings and lessons. Throughout the year, the PALS team taught the fourth grade classes about cranberries, Maple syrup production, crops, animals, and much more. PALS Team members recognized included Joe Obermueller, Kaitlin Konder, Wesley Franklin, John Garland, Noah Cline, Abby Kahler, Jim Buttles, and Allison Curvello.

Sappers Recognized

The Glenwood City FFA collects Maple sap to make and market its Maple syrup locally each spring.

This past season several members helped to collect the sap including: Kip Wallace, Casey Lavender, Kaitlin Konder, Joe Obermueller, Jake Obermueller, Jim Buttles, Abby Kahler, Allison Curvello, Austin Curvello and Wesley Franklin.

Volunteerism Awards

The local chapter recognized nine volunteers that helped work and chaperone many different chapter events. Recipients of this year’s Volunteerism Awards are: Brenda Franklin, Eric Klatt, Kevin Bonte and Tim Buttles.

Retiring Officers

The 2014-15 retiring FFA officers were also recognized. Outgoing officers were: Kaitlin Konder, president; Kip Wallace, vice president;  Wesley Franklin, treasurer; Abby Kahler, secretary; Allison Curvello, reporter; Jim Buttles, sentinel; and John Garland, student advisor. Mr. VanderWaal made the presentations.

New Officers

The installation of the new officers for the upcoming year was one of the last items of business at the annual banquet. The 2015-16 officers are: President – Wesley Franklin, Vice President – Abby Kahler, Secretary – Allison Curvello, Treasurer – Kim Spaeth, Reporter – Joe Obermueller, Sentinel – Jim Buttles, and Student Advisor – John Garland.