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GC FFA honors members at annual awards banquet

GLENWOOD CITY – The Glenwood City Future Farmers of America (FFA) held its 76th annual chapter awards banquet in the high school commons on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.

Glenwood City’s very own, Kaitlin Konder, the 2015-16 Section 2 State FFA vice president served as the ceremony’s guest speaker. Konder’s term as state vice president will end in June at the annual state FFA convention.

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.

Degree Awards

Seven first-year FFA agricultural students earned Greenhand Degrees and the corresponding bronze pins for the 2015-16 year. They are Jake Wittmer, Biridiana Leandro-Mendez, Isaac Voeltz, Ashlee Peterson, Aubrey Curvello, Alexys Curvello and Morgan Lee. 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. Demonstrate knowledge of the Creed of the FFA, code of ethics, motto, salute emblem, official dress and important dates; 4. Have satisfactory plans for a Supervised Agricultural Experience Program (SAEP). 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 four members. Receiving the award were Austin Curvello, Joe Obermueller, Megan Speiser and Kim Spaeth. The Chapter Degree is the highest award a local FFA chapter can bestow upon its members. 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.

MS Members Recognized

Discovery Degrees were awarded to three eighth grade students. They are Mae Buttles, Titus Lightburn and Izzy Arbuckle. To receive the Discovery Degree and FFA member must: 1. Be enrolled in an agricultural class for at least a portion of the school year while in grades seven and eight; 2. Have become a dues-paying member of FFA at local, state and national levels; 3. Participate in a least one local chapter activity outside of scheduled class time; 4. Have knowledge of agriculturally related career, ownership and entrepreneurial opportunities; and 5. Be familiar with the local FFA chapter’s activities.

All three of the middle school Discovery Degree recipients also competed for Glenwood City FFA in the middle school competition at the UW-River Falls Ag Technology Contest. The Agriscience Career Development team placed third out of 31 teams. Mae Buttles was third, Izzy Arbuckle took 32nd and Titus Lightburn finished 41st out of 105 competitors.

Sales Awards

This year’s recipients have helped the FFA raise a lot of money, over $18,000, 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, 2nd – Kim Spaeth and 3rd – Myiah Eliason.

Special Honors/ Recognition

Chapter advisor Sean VanderWaal and officers recognized and honored several members for their achievements  this past year.

Several members had the opportunity to attend the State FFA Convention in Madison last June. 2015 attendees included Joe Obermueller, Wesley Franklin, Jim Buttles, Kim Spaeth, Allison Curvello and Kaitlin Konder, who was elected as a state vice president.

Kim Spaeth and Abby Kahler spent a week in our nation’s capital last year attending the Washington Leadership Conference.

In addition, Spaeth and Kahler along with Wesley Franklin and Joe Obermueller attended the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

Several members exhibited at the 2015 St. Croix County Fair. The chapter beef members earned the Herdsmanship Award for the second straight year and the dairy team also won the Herdsmanship Award.

Members Joe Obermueller, Austin Curvello and Isaac Voeltz spent this past school year remodeling a WD tractor which will be on display at this year’s State FFA Convention.

Wesley Franklin, Jim Buttles and Kim Spaeth competed in three different speaking contest this year. All three placed and Wesley will be advancing to the state competition this June.

Jim Buttles earned a silver rating for his swine proficiency at the state level.

The Glenwood City Chapter hosted the sectional leadership workshop and speaking contest.

Advisor VanderWaal also announced that Kaitlin Konder and Jim Buttles had each been chosen to receive a 2016 FFA Foundation Scholarship to further their education.

PALS Team Recognition

The Glenwood City FFA has been promoting agricultural literacy the past few years at the elementary school level through the Partners in Active Learning Support (PALS) Program.

The PALS program led by Abby Kahler, Morgan Lee and Ashlee Peterson met monthly with fourth graders and mentored young students about the sciences and business of agriculture.

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: Isaac Voeltz, Jake Wittmer, Joe Obermueller, Jake Obermueller, Austin Curvello and Allison Curvello.

Retiring Officers

The 2015-16 retiring FFA officers were also recognized. Outgoing officers were: Wesley Franklin, president; Abby Kahler, vice president; Kim Spaeth, treasurer; Allison Curvello, secretary; Joe Obermueller, 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 2016-17 officers are: Kim Spaeth, Joe Obermueller, Megan Speiser, Ashlee Peterson, Biridiana Leandro-Mendez and Alexys Curvello. Exact positions are to be determined at a later date.