Central FFA honors members at banquet

Central High School FFA members receiving awards at an annual banquet include, front row: Audrey Steinhagen, Austin Pysick, Abby Pysick and Kaitlyn McCracken. Second row: Matt Brinkman, Collin Vinkemeier, Caleb Vinkemeier, Canton Vinkemeier and Emma Dettmann. (Submitted photo)

That warm May night was a memorable one for many NYA FFA members: it was time for the annual awards banquet. The night featured many different awards whether for contests and events, completing various years, or for service to the chapter.
The evening started off with the Honorary Chapter Degree, an award given out to an outside member of the community who helped the chapter in one way or another.
This year’s Honorary Degree went to Becky Haddad, an agricultural instructor for GSL schools: Haddad helped with the Carver County Fair pork burger stand transition from the county pork producers to area FFA chapters a few years ago. The stand is now an important fundraiser for multiple FFA chapters. Although she could not make it, the chapter is very grateful for her service to FFA.
Chapter advisor Mr. Mesik and chapter officers Audrey Steinhagen and Rachel Slathar then went on to discuss the various events over the past year, some recurring (such as the corn drive) and some new (such as the care packages for local soldiers). After discussing the service end of things, the night moved on to the awards received for excellence in various career events, leadership events, and other contests.
Many seniors were recognized over the course of the night. Austin Pysick was recognized for taking an outstanding first place in a fall GFW FFA skeet shoot; Matthew Brinkman, the 2016-2017 chapter treasurer, earned another first for NYA in a regional Forestry contest. In addition, Collin and Caleb Vinkemeier were also cause for celebration in their earning sixth and fifth place, respectively, in this year’s regional dairy judging contest. Underclassmen also had a good representation; Kaitlyn McCracken, who just finished her junior year, earned a stunning second place in the regional fish and wildlife management contest. For the sophomore class, Emma Dettmann, the chapter reporter, earned first in the regional Milk Marketing and Products contest and second place in the Farm Bureau discussion meet.
The NYA FFA chapter is very proud of these students.
Chapter president, Audrey Steinhagen, then gave out the degrees along with vice president, Rachel Slathar. The Discovery Degree was first, given to those graduating from 8th grade to 9th grade, and thus, their high school career. The Star Discovery Degree was given to Abby Pysick for her outstanding participation thus far. Then the Greenhand Degree was given to all those after completing their first year in high school FFA. The star for this group came in Canton Vinkemeier for his contributions for the largely successful Dairy Cattle judging team. The final degree came for those who finished their second year as a high school FFA member. That star came in the form of Audrey Steinhagen, chapter president for the 2016-2017 year. The DeKalb award was also given to Matt Brinkman for agricultural accomplishments. A total of 24 students also earned their letters in FFA for volunteering, attending meetings, and participating in events.
The final part involved installing the new officer team. Although mostly the same people, the team lost Matthew Brinkman as the treasurer as he graduated this year.
The 2017-2018 officer team is as follows: Rachel Slathar, president; Samantha Schoenbauer, vice president; Jordana Schutte, treasurer; Audrey Steinhagen, secretary; Emma Dettmann, reporter; Abbie Weckman, sentinel; Maddie Traver, historian; and Lizzie Perez, officer-at-large.
The NYA FFA chapter is very proud of all of its members and wishes the seniors good luck in their future endeavors. See you at the Carver County Fair.

Written by Chapter Reporter Emma Dettmann.