Pop Quiz! What does six dedicated FFA members plus one trip to State FFA Convention in Fargo equal? The answer is two state championships! From June 5 to June 9, the New England FFA chapter had a very successful week at State Convention, despite bringing only six members (Levi Stegner, Devin Wert, Tate Nordby, Dakota Bray, Grace Dinius, and Eve Stegner (myself)).
By Cole Benz
One of our two state championships was earned by our Advanced Agricultural Mechanics team. The team consisting of Levi, Devin, and Dakota is the first team from New England to win this competition since the founding of our FFA chapter in 1930! If that fact doesn’t explain how hard it is to win this contest, maybe the members of the team and Mr. Krebs can. “You have to be a very well rounded student,” Mr. Krebs said and continues with, “Those students are very hard to find.” And as if the contest isn’t hard enough as it is, the nerves the students feel while competing add to the difficulty. Devin stated, “I was shaking so bad I could hardly weld.” But even with the nerves and pressure, the team was able to push through the challenges and become the 2017 Advanced Agricultural Mechanics champions. Devin explained the feeling of winning. “It feels great, individually, as a team, and to be the first ones out of New England to do this.” To sum up this victory, congratulations to the Agricultural Mechanics team for making history!
As the chapter reporter, my job of writing this article was made easier because not only did I witness these accomplishments, but I experienced one of them. The second state championship occurred in the Demonstration event. I demonstrated how to make lefse in front of three judges. Having the opportunity to take something I love to do and compete in an event with it was an unforgettable experience. I never once thought that lefse would be the factor that helped me win a State FFA contest.
The students also competed in a variety of other contests, and the results for every contest are as follows. In Advanced Agricultural Mechanics, the team earned a gold and placed first. Individually, Devin earned a gold and placed seventh, Levi earned a gold and placed eighth, and Dakota earned a bronze. In Intermediate Agricultural Mechanics, Tate earned a silver. In Small Animal Care, the team earned a gold and placed 10th. Individually, I earned a gold and placed fourth, Levi earned a gold and placed 21st, Grace earned a bronze, and Tate earned a bronze. In Floriculture, Grace earned a bronze. In Courtesy Core, Dakota earned a silver. In Demonstration, I earned a gold and placed first in Extemporaneous Public Speaking, I earned a silver. Levi and Devin were State Delegates.
None of these accomplishments could’ve taken place without the help of Mr. Krebs. He really doesn’t get enough credit for all of the hours he spends before and after school preparing us for the FFA contests. We greatly appreciate all that he does for the FFA chapter. I’d also like to give a special thanks to Levi, as he graduated in the spring with the class of 2017, and this was his last FFA event. Levi will be missed as the President of the New England FFA chapter. He strived to be a leader himself, and to build leadership in others. If you read any of the past articles I’ve written, you’ll see his name, in every single one, because he participated in every FFA event he possibly could. We wish him the best of luck in the bright future ahead of him.
2017 State FFA Convention has proved that hard work really does pay off. We are very happy with how this year turned out, and we are excited to see what the next year of FFA will bring!