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Five area FFA members take home top proficiency awards at state convention – Reuters

ST. PAUL — From individual honors to team events, regional FFA chapters took home numerous awards from the 2022 Minnesota FFA convention, which took place April 24-26 at the campuses of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Proficiency awards were given to FFA members who excelled in their supervised farming experience. This included keeping records of hours worked, tasks performed, and income and expenses.

Jayson Delfs

Kamryn Beckmann, Heron Lake-Okabena FFA, Veterinary Sciences, won first place in their respective categories; Madelyn Schumacher, Heron Lake-Okabena, fruit production; Lydia Rylaarsdam, Edgerton, agricultural transformation; Jayson Delfs, Edgerton, agricultural machinery design and manufacture; and Emily Nelson, Pipestone, diversified agricultural production entrepreneurship.


Madelyn Schumacher

Madelyn Koep, Heron Lake-Okabena, took second place in the agricultural sales placement, while Kalen McNab, Heron Lake-Okabena, took third place in the agricultural sales placement. Cooper Gehrke, Hills-Beaver Creek, environmental science and natural resource management, also won third place for skills; and Carter Hartz, Hills-Beaver Creek, fiber and/or oilseed crop production.

Jaden Weinkauf, Edgerton, was a regional finalist for the Minnesota FFA Star in Agri-Business award.

Winners of the FFA State Diploma

Statewide, 349 agricultural education students received the Minnesota FFA state diploma at this year’s convention. The diploma is awarded to the top members of a state FFA association, and only 2% of FFA members in Minnesota earn the diploma. This demonstrates that the student has given exceptional time to his supervised farming experience, his local and his community.

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Emily Nelson

Recipients from this region included: Braelyn Kracht and Jaden Weinkauf, Edgerton; Adrian Schwaller, Fulda; Evan Madsen, Ellyson Bang, Kamryn Beckmann, Taylor Haberman and Madelyn Koep, Heron Lake Okabena; Samantha Moser, Carter Hartz, Andrew Harris, Danette Leenderts, and Donavon Leenderts, Hills-Beaver Creek; Payten Benda, Alana Freking, Kade Zishka, Molly Turner, Maia Reed, Keenan Ambrose, Dylan Withers and Zach Rasmussen, Jackson County Central; Devyn Rempel, Miriam Rete, Ian Penner, Kade Wassman, Haily Green and Aiden Rehnelt, Mountain Lake; Cole Paulson, Josephine Sutherland, Tyenna Muller and Emily Nelson, Pipestone Area; and Isaiah Noble, Alex Mazariegos, Luke Gordon, Abby Bristow, Emmalee Bosma, Kendall Nixon, Bailey Newman, Nakia Evans, Eli Hansberger, Matthew Becker, Riley Widboom and Austin Barber, Worthington.

Career development events

Below is a list of teams that have placed in the Top 10 in state CDE contests, with those who have placed in the Top 10 also listed.

Agricultural communications: Mountain Lake, fifth team.

Agricultural mechanics: Jackson County Central, first team, Zachary Rasmussen (first individual), Daniel Stubbe (second individual), Joseph Mohr (third individual) and Keenan Ambrose (ninth individual); Windom, sixth team, Cooper Bramstedt (eighth individual); Luverne-Adrian, ninth team.

Agricultural sales: Jackson County Central, second team, Lucas Vesey (first place individual), Payten Benda (fourth place individual).

Harvests: Jackson County Central, third team, Rachel Tusa (second place individual).

Agricultural and agro-industrial management: Jackson County Central, sixth team. Kody Wassman, Mountain Lake (fifth place individual). Dylan Withers, JCC (10th place individual).

Fish and wildlife management: Worthington, 10th team.

Floriculture: Murray County Central, third team; ninth-place Jackson County Central; Pipestone area, 10th team. Kade Wassman, Mountain Lake (fifth place individual); Ellyson Bang, Heron Lake-Okabena (10th individual place).

Food science and technology: Heron Lake-Okabena, fourth team; Pipestone Area, fifth team. Madelyn Koep, HL-O (10th place individual).

Forestry: Mountain Lake, fifth-place team; Caden Swoboda (10th individual place).

Livestock assessment: Murray County Central, third team; ninth-place Jackson County Central; Pipestone area, 10th team. Tyenna Muller, Pipestone (individual third place). Jaden Weinkauf, Edgerton (fifth place individual).

Marketing Plan: Worthington, sixth team.

Meat evaluation: Pipestone Area, second team; Edgerton, fourth-place team; Heron Lake-Okabena, fifth team; Westbrook-Walnut Grove, sixth team; and Jackson County Central, seventh team. Chloe Kracht, Edgerton (individual second place). Evan Madsen, HL-O (individual third place). Aurora Winsel, Pipestone (fourth place individual); Braelyn Kracht, Edgerton (sixth place individual); Rylee Folkerts, Pipestone (seventh place individual).

Milk quality: Westbrook-Walnut Grove, fifth team. Kelsey DeSmith (individual third place).

Nursery and landscape: Heron Lake-Okabena, eighth place team, Faith Freking (sixth place individual).

Poultry assessment: Westbrook-Walnut Grove, second team, Luke DeSmith (fourth individual), Elijah Merrick (seventh individual); Jackson County Central, fifth team.

Floors: Westbrook-Walnut Grove, second team, Colton Carter (fourth place individual), Leah Carter (fifth place individual); Jackson County Central, third team, Georgianna Wenzel (individual third place), Destiny Timmer (individual ninth place).

Professional skills : Payten Benda, Jackson County Central, fourth place.

Improvised speech: Lillian Mohning, Jackson County Central, eighth place.

Parliamentary procedure: Jackson County Central, third place.

Prepared public speaking: Chloe Olivier, Pipestone Area FFA, fourth place.

Most Informed Green Hand: Jackson County Central, second; Kayleigh Nosbusch (eighth individual), Jamie Edlin (10th individual).

The Ellsworth FFA chapter was among 19 Minnesota chapters to be recognized as newly chartered between 2020 and 2022, bringing the number of chapters statewide to more than 200, with approximately 35,000 students taking courses in nutrition, agriculture and natural resources.

Participating in the State FFA Band were: Kiara Lewis, Ellsworth, French horn; Tyrae Goodface, Hills-Beaver Creek, tenor saxophone; and Colton Pottratz, Pipestone, tuba. The FFA choir participant from the area was Johnna Gardiner, Mountain Lake.

Southwest Minnesota is home to the best talent, played by Grant and Brayden Oakland, Mountain Lake.

Stan Vander Kooi, a Buffalo adult farm management instructor from rural Worthington, was one of eight inductees into the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame at the state convention.