The Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter Annual Banquet and Awards Program was held on Sunday, May 6.

The Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter Annual Banquet and Awards Program was held on Sunday, May 6. It was a great opportunity to honor the members and chapter leaders, as well as the major supporters of the chapter throughout the year.

Successes this year included: 48 Discovery Degrees to junior high members, 24 Greenhand Degrees, 36 Chapter Degrees, 15 State Degrees, and 7 American Degrees. Many awards were presented at the banquet to the active members and leaders of the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter.

This year, the FFA chapter continued with their service theme and conducted several different programs and activities, including:

Adopt-a-Senior—62 members participated in making cards for nursing homes and Countryside residents each month; Wee Deliver—62 members participated in writing letters to third grade students at Sleepy Eye Public and St. Mary’s each month; Faith Jam; Animal Carnival; Safety Programs—more than 70 members participated in teaching youth and conducting the Safety Carnival at Party in the Park, Christensen Farms Family Day, Farmward Customer Appreciation, Corn Days, the Brown County Fair, Safety Day Camp, and Farmfest.

FFA members who participated in at least three of these programs were named 3, 4, or 5 Star Members or 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 Star Leaders. Nineteen members were presented with certificates for being a 3 to 5 Star Member and 36 members were presented with trophies for being a 6 to 12 Star Leader.

The Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter presented five Diamond Awards to supporters of the chapter and members: Kibble Equipment, Christensen Farms, Miller Sellner, Schwartz Farms and Farmward/Ag. Quest. There were two Platinum Level Sponsors: Central Region Cooperative and Edward Jones. These businesses supported FFA members for the State and National FFA Convention, Leadership Conferences, new FFA jackets, Chapter and Crop Show Awards sponsorships, Region Banquet and more.

Each year, top scholar awards are presented to the active FFA member who has the highest GPA in their respective class. Top scholars received a plaque and a scholarship pin: Kadon Strong, freshman; Cali Rossbach, sophomore; Michael Gratz, junior; Kelsie Domeier, senior.

The Honorary Chapter Degree award is presented to individuals who support the Sleepy Eye FFA in exceptional ways throughout the year. This year’s Honorary Chapter Degree was presented to Ben Seifert, who was noted for his help and support to the chapter and for fundraising for the Booster Club for several years.

Presented with an Appreciation Award for 2018 was Edward Jones – Bill Ries, who is a huge supporter and promoter of the chapter and has donated to the FFA Boosters for two years.

The fruit sale was a successful fundraiser this year. The top two sellers sold over $3,500 of products. Top junior high fruit seller was Logan Mickelson, who sold over $2,000 worth of items; and top high school seller was Trisha Ludewig, with over $1,500 in sales.

Leadership awards are presented to FFA members from each class who displayed leadership skills throughout the year and participated in numerous FFA events. Freshman winner was Alyssa Romberg; sophomore winners were Martina Nienhaus and Emma Fischer; junior winners were Macy Schenk and Paige Romberg; and the senior winners were Clarissa Simonsen and Hanna Himmelman.

Phoenix Awards are presented to members who are upcoming leaders. These three individuals got involved, got others involved, and showed true enthusiasm for the FFA. Cali Rossbach, Juan Cortez and Edwin Flores received the Phoenix Award.

The Star Greenhand Award goes to the most outstanding freshmen Greenhand degree participant for the year. The award is presented to a first-year member who is active in the chapter, has demonstrated leadership, and has a strong Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program in place. This year’s Star Greenhand was McKenna Dockter.

The Sophomore Achievement Award states, “Overall Success is Achieved through Hard Work and Dedication” and went to Maranda Braulick.

Cassidy Hoffmann received the Outstanding Junior Award—the Blue and Gold Award—which acknowledges overall achievement in the FFA.

The Star in Ag. Placement Award is presented to a member who has an outstanding placement SAE program (working in production agriculture) and is involved in all areas of the chapter’s activities. Winner of Chapter Star in Ag. Placement was McKenzie Cselovszki.

The Star Farmer Award is presented to a member who has an outstanding production SAE program and is involved in all areas of the chapter’s activities. This year’s Chapter Star Farmer was Isaac Nelson.

The Star in Agribusiness Award is presented to a member who has an outstanding SAE program at a business and is involved in all areas of the chapter’s activities. Parker Neid was named the Sleepy Eye FFA Star in Agribusiness.

Josie Lang was recipient of the Dekalb Agricultural Accomplishment Award, presented to the most outstanding senior in the areas of scholarship, leadership, and supervised agricultural experience.

“I want to give special recognition to the team coaches and assistants—Jill Nelson, Ben Seifert, Nathan McMullen and Larry Baumgardt,” said FFA Advisor Mary Hoffmann. “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. Also, thanks goes to Jana Neid for coordinating all of the Trapshoot teams and transportation for the past several years. The Sleepy Eye FFA is about students developing leadership skills, experiencing personal growth, and serving the Sleepy Eye community. I am very proud of what the members of the Sleepy Eye Chapter accomplished this year!”