The Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter held the Annual Banquet and Awards Program on Sunday, May 5.

The Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter held the Annual Banquet and Awards Program on Sunday, May 5. 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 include: 37 Discovery Degrees (7th & 8th Grade Members), 45 Greenhand Degrees, 14 Chapter Degrees, and 4 State 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 programs and activities: Adopt-a-Senior, members made cards for 64 nursing home and Countryside Living residents each month; Wee Deliver, members participated in writing letters to 61 third grade Pen Pals each month; Safety and Ag. in the Classroom, over 70 members participated in teaching youth and conducting the Safety Carnival at Party in the Park, school, Corn Days and Farmfest, as well as teaching the 2nd through 4th graders about where their food comes from; Service, over 40 members helped with the County Fair Kiddy Barn set up and events, as well as the Backpack Supplies project with United Way, and the Backpack Food Project with Trinity Lutheran Church.

Members who participated in at least three of these programs were named 3 to 5 Star Members. Those who participated in at least 6 of the programs were named a Star Leader. Seventeen members were presented with certificates for being a 3 to 5 Star Member and 25 members were presented with trophies for being a 6 to 12 Star Leader.

Five Diamond Awards were presented to supporters of the chapter and its members — Kibble Equipment, Christensen Farms, Miller Sellner, Schwartz Farms, and Cunningham Seed Farm. This year 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, FFA Jackets for members, and sponsored Chapter and Crop Show Awards, the Region Banquet, and much more.

Each year, top scholar awards are presented to one active FFA member who has the highest GPA in their class. These members received a plaque and a scholarship pin: freshman Mason Sellner, sophomore Kadon Strong, junior Cali Rossbach and senior Paige Romberg.

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 an individual who is a huge supporter and promoter of the chapter, has helped out for several years with raising money for the Booster Club, been a great help with the Advisory Board and Officer Election Committee, and coaches CDE Teams: Larry Baumgardt.

Mary Ann Christensen was presented with an Appreciation Award for 2019: She is a huge supporter and promoter of our school and Ag. program, and recently donated the cost of a third Ag. teacher to the school.

The fruit sale was a successful fundraiser this year. The Top Junior High Fruit Seller was Jade Sellner with nearly $1,250 of products sold. The Top High School Fruit Seller was Mike Ludewig with over $1,850 in sales.

Leadership awards are presented to FFA members from each class who displayed leadership skills and participated in numerous FFA events. Freshman winners were Trey Heiderscheidt and Presley Bauer. Junior winners were Edwin Flores and Cali Rossbach. The Senior Leadership Award winner was Leah Schnobrich.

Phoenix Awards are presented to members who are upcoming leaders. These two individuals got involved, got others involved, and showed true enthusiasm for the FFA: Brennen Meyer and Maddison Helget.

The Star Greenhand Award goes 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 Morgan Hoffman.

The Sophomore Achievement Award states, "Overall Success is Achieved through Hard Work and Dedication." The Sophomore Achievement Award Winner for 2019 was McKenna Dockter.

Maranda Braulick received the Outstanding Junior Award, called the Blue and Gold Award. This award acknowledges someone for overall achievement in the FFA.

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. Placement SAE programs are projects where the member works for someone in production agriculture. This year’s winner of Chapter Star in Ag. Placement was Macy Schenk.

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 Isabella Portner.

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

This year's recipient of the Dekalb Agricultural Accomplishment Award was Cassidy Hoffmann. This award is presented to the most outstanding senior in the areas of scholarship, leadership, and SAE.

“I want to give a special thank you to the team coaches and assistants, Jill Nelson, Ben Seifert, Adam Manderfeld, Jeni Kotten and Larry Baumgardt,” said Advisor Mary Hoffmann. “With members competing in 20 events this year, there is no way I could do it all myself. I truly appreciate all of their time and effort with these teams. Larry Baumgardt coached the State winning Poultry team! 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!”