The Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter held the annual banquet and awards program on Sunday, May 5. It was an opportunity to honor the members and chapter leaders as well as the major supporters for the chapter throughout the year.
Successes this year for the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter includes: 40 Discovery Degrees, (7th & 8th Grade Members) 34 Greenhand Degrees, 29 Chapter Degrees, and 16 State Degrees.
There were 75 individuals who competed in Career Development Events and 110 members participated in making 557 crop samples for the Crops Show and fairs. The Sleepy Eye FFA was also named the sixth top Chapter in the State of Minnesota for the National Chapter Award and a top ten chapter in the Land of Service and Ag. Literacy Challenges.
This year the FFA Chapter has continued with their service theme and conducted several different programs and activities. They include the Adopt-a-Senior Program where 57 members participated in making cards for the Care Center and Countryside Living Residents each month; the Wee Deliver Program where 74 members participated in writing letters to third grade students each month; the FFA Kiddy Barn where 45 members participated in helping youth with holding chicks, monitoring the Kiddy Barn Area, and conducting the Safety Carnival; the Safety/Ag. in the Classroom program where 61 members participated in this program for kindergarten through sixth grade students at the public school and fifth and sixth grade students from St. Mary’s; Farm Fest where 32 members participated in doing farm safety demonstrations for youth; Corn Days where 32 members conducted free safety and ag. games in the park; Party in the Park and Harvestland Plot Days where 26 members conducted free safety for attendees of these events.
The Sleepy Eye FFA members who participated in these programs were named Star Members or Star Leaders. The 27 Star Leaders were presented with trophies.
The Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter presented four Diamond Awards to supporters of the Chapter and its members. The Diamond Award went to Bruggeman Company Incorporated, Christensen Farms, Miller Sellner, River Region Cooperative, and Harvestland/Ag. Quest.
These businesses supported FFA members for the State and National FFA Convention, Leadership Conferences, new FFA Jackets for 12 members, sponsored Chapter and Crop Show Awards, Region Banquet, and much more.
Each year, top scholar awards are presented to one active FFA member in each grade who has the highest GPA in their respective class. These members received a plaque and a scholarship pin. Top scholar awards were presented to Jacob Rossbach, Sabrina Portner, Miranda McMullen, and Brandon Roiger.
The Honorary Chapter Degree award is presented to individuals who support the Sleepy Eye FFA in exceptional ways during the year. This year’s Honorary Chapter Degree was presented to Gloria Nachreiner. There were three community members who were presented with Appreciation Awards for 2013. They include Jacob, David, and James Kotten.
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Ag and FFA instructor Mary Hoffmann commented that their support for the FFA field for the past four years was definitely appreciated.
The fruit sale was a successful fundraiser for our FFA Chapter this year. A great deal gratitude goes to the two top sellers who sold over $5,750 of products for the fruit sales this past year. The top fruit seller was Joe Kramer and the second Place seller was Bethany Seifert.
This year 13 members completed 14 proficiency awards at the region and state level.
“They proved that quality is what’s important by having all 14 applications in the Top 3 at regions and 10 in the Top 3 at state, and 4 members earning the State Winning Proficiency Title.” Hoffmann added.
This year 75 members participate in 17 different CDE or Career Development Teams this year, including 11 of those who qualified for State Competition. The Poultry and Soils Teams placed first at State along with Josie Schieffert placing first in Creed Contest.
Leadership awards are presented to FFA members from each class who displayed tremendous amounts of leadership skills throughout the year and who participated in numerous FFA events. Freshmen winners were Jeni Kotten and David Jasson. Sophomore winners were Ashley Johnson and Sabrina Portner. Junior winners were Miranda McMullen and Stephanie Hammerschmidt. The Senior Leadership Award Winners include Emily Kjelshus, Sam Krebsbach, Jenna Soukup, Katelyn Johnson, and Tiffany Ludewig.
The Phoenix Awards are presented each year for Students who are upcoming leaders. The three individuals who received the award were involved, got others involved, and showed true enthusiasm for the FFA. This year’s Phoenix Award Winners include Kolten Nienhaus, Kacie Goblirsch, and Ashley Helget.
The Star Greenhand Award goes to the most outstanding Freshmen Greenhand degree participant for the year. This award is presented to a first year member who is active in the chapter, who has demonstrated leadership, and has a strong Supervised Agricultural Experience or SAE program in place. This year’s Star Greenhand was Josie Schieffert.
The Sophomore Achievement Award states, "Overall Success is Achieved through Hard Work and Dedication." The Sophomore Achievement Award Winner for 2013 was Bethany Seifert.
Jamie Fischer received the Outstanding Junior Award, called the Blue and Gold Award. This award acknowledges someone for overall achievement in the FFA.
The Star in Agribusiness Award is presented to a member who has an outstanding SAE program at a business and who is involved in all areas of the chapter’s activities. This year’s winner of Chapter Star Agribusiness Award was Tia Cselovszki.
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The Star in Ag. Placement Award is presented to a member who has an outstanding placement SAE program and who is involved in all areas of the chapter’s activities. A placement SAE program means that you have a project where you work for someone in production agriculture. This year’s winner of Chapter Star in Ag. Placement was Matthew Schroepfer.
The Star Farmer Award is presented to a member who has an outstanding production SAE program and who is involved in all areas of the chapter’s activities. This year’s winner of Chapter Star Farmer was Jake Trebesch.
The Outstanding Senior Award is for the most outstanding agricultural student for the year. The purpose of this award is to recognize student achievement in three areas: scholarship, leadership, and supervised agricultural experience programs. This year’s winner of the Outstanding Senior Award is Chapter President Brandon Roiger.
The 2012-13 Retiring FFA Officer Team was recognized for their exceptional efforts in leading the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter for the year. The banquet ended with the installation with the 2013-14 FFA Officer Team.
Hoffmann commented on the year saying, “I want to give a special thank you to the team coaches and assistants: Jill Nelson, Ben Seifert, Alisa Mangen, Kelsey Brandt, and Larry Baumgardt,” she said. “With members competing in 17 events this year, there is no way I could do it all myself and I truly appreciate all of their time and effort with these teams. Every year, I think, how can the Sleepy Eye FFA get any better and then the members come along and continue to do these amazing things. They have great ideas and a willingness to work hard and follow through with what they have started. These characteristics and their work ethic will take them far as they go to work or go off to college. I am really proud to be a part of shaping these young people into incredible leaders. The Sleepy Eye FFA is about students developing leadership skills, experiencing personal growth, and serving the Sleepy Eye Community!”