In the words of Luke Bryan, “Rain is a good thing.” This statement proved true for the New England FFA Range Judging team. When Kayla Ehlis, Leah Ehlis, Brenna Wert, Grace Dinius, William Schmidt, and Eve Stegner (myself) signed up for the Range Judging competition, we certainly did not think we were signing up to stand out in the rain for two hours. The competition stood firm in its place despite the dreadful forecast. Instead of thinking of the rain as a setback, our team took it as a challenge.
The Range Judging competition requires hands on effort from its participants. We learn to identify plants by texture, smell, and even an occasional taste. The rain did put a damper (pun intended) on this aspect of the contest. I vividly remember looking at an unknown plant in the contest and thinking, “It feels waterlogged, it smells damp, and I’m sure it will taste like water.” While the rain made the contest 1000% harder, our team’s attitude made the contest feel 1000% more doable.
Our adviser, Mr. Krebs, never fails to motivate us. Before the contest, he told us, “This contest is going to be miserable for everyone. But that just means we have an advantage over everyone else. It is your job to give your best effort, because if you do that, you’re going to do better than most kids here.” We took his advice, put on our matching rain ponchos, and braved the rain for two hours.
Our resilience paid off, as our team did exceptionally well. The team earned a Gold award and placed 5th place overall. With such a young team, this is absolutely phenomenal. Individually, Kayla Ehlis earned a silver, William Schmidt earned a silver, Leah Ehlis earned a gold, Brenna Wert earned a gold, Grace Dinius earned a Gold, and I earned a gold and placed 1st overall.
Coming into the contest as a senior, I was sad that this was my last year of competing. I was also worried that it would have a disappointing end. Thankfully, I was proved wrong in so many ways. I could not be happier with how everything turned out. I have full confidence that the team will go on to do amazing things in the next couple years.
A special thanks goes out to Mr. Krebs, who never fails to motivate the team. We would not be able to accomplish what we do without his dedication and support. With that said, I am handing the rest of this article over to Brenna Wert. She will be taking over the FFA articles after I graduate. She is more than capable, and I cannot think of a better writer to deliver the FFA news to the community for the next couple years. She will be giving you the news from District Leadership. For lack of a better transition, over to you Brenna!
-Written By Eve Stegner
Thanks Eve!! “I BELIEVE” these two words are found all throughout the FFA creed, and that’s exactly what our chapter does. We believe and achieve!
The New England FFA chapter was well represented on October 1, 2018, at District Leadership up in Dickinson.
Over all we participated in nine competitions, two of which we state qualified in. Kayla Ehlis and Sebella Sorenson state qualified in demonstration, where they showed the judges how to make homemade humus.
Eve Stegner an overall outstanding FFA member, took first place and state qualified in employment skills, where she was interviewed to be a range technician.
Leah Ehlis competed in Public speaking and was awarded a bronze ribbon. Stetson Urlacher who also took part in a speaking competition, took silver in extemporaneous public speaking.
Grace Dinius, who took on the challenge of memorizing the five paragraphed FFA creed brought home a bronze award.
A major and thrilling part of District Leadership in Parli Pro. The Green Hand Parli Pro team which is made up of ten freshmen: Chevy Dhamers, Zack Jalbert, Nathan Kaufman, Hennesse Clevenger, Elijah Kramer, Emma Bock, Grace Dinius, Will Schmidt, Jersey Binstock, and Wyatt Dorner. Took first place!! And brought home a gold ribbon.
Senior Parli Pro (10th-12th graders) is a team of seven dedicated people. Elli Rettinger (President), Hadley Binstock (Vice President), Kayla Ehlis (secretary), Emily Dinius (Treasurer), Shelley Katherein (Sentinel), Eve Stegner (Reporter), and Brenna Wert (Student Advisor) Took bronze as a team.
Last but not least, are the awards for quizzes, which are split up into Green Hand and senior, just like Parli Pro. The Green Hand team took gold as a team and individual awards are as follows: Gold; Grace Dinius, Will Schmidt, Jersey Binstock, and Wyhatt Dorner. Silver; Emma Bock. Bronze; CheveyDhamers, Nathan Kaufman, Zack Jalbert, Hennesse Clevenger, and Elijah Kramer.
The Senior Quiz took silver as a team and the individuals are as follows: Gold; Emily Dinius, Brenna Wert, and Stetson Urlacher. Silver; Leah and Kayla Ehlis.
While we waited for all our quizzes to get corrected and our procedures to get judges. We took part in a scavenger hunt. All different schools are running around finding all the items on out lists, and to add a little twist, each team had to protect a balloon. As all the fun from the scavenger hunt made the time fly by. We received our awards with bright smiling faces. We finished off our day with a trip to get ice cream and started our journey home.
Through the stressful early morning practices, test prep, and memorization of ceremonies, speeches, and the creed. District Leadership is a fun day to try new things and make new friends.
We are all thankful for our wonderful advisor Mr. Krebs, whom helps us always do our best; and thank you for leading us down the FFA Path.