MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota FFA wrapped up its 92nd Convention today by electing the Association’s 2021-2022 State Officer Team.
Minnesota’s new state FFA officer team is as follows:
- State President – Emily Matejka (muh TAKE uh), Martin County West FFA;
- State Vice President – Wyatt Halvorson, Thief River Falls FFA;
- State Secretary – Nicole Koziolek (kuh ZAHJL ek), Randolph FFA;
- State Treasurer – Kyle Thomas, Rockford FFA;
- State Reporter – Anna Ridenour ( RY din our), Triton FFA; and
- State Sentinel – Baleigh Peterson, GFW Pioneer Express FFA.
The announcement came in the final session of the Convention, themed Worth It. The session was broadcast live from the CHS Miracle of Birth Center at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Outgoing FFA state and region officers were honored, along with the State Officer Nominating Committee.
The closing session carried the subtheme This is all Worth It and was sponsored by McDonalds. All week long, FFA members from across the state participated in virtual sessions, live recognition, interactive state competition finals and workshops, and in-person convention-in-the-classroom activities. FFA State officers spent the week traveling more than 1,500 miles around the state visiting FFA chapters and honorees at their schools.
Ben Olander, retiring FFA state president, delivered his retiring address today, From Passion to Purpose, saying we all wear our passion every day, and it shapes our purpose.
“Each and every one of us has something in our heart that we are called to be and do,” said Olander. “Purpose is when we take what we are passionate about and use it to make a difference in the lives around it.”
Olander told FFA members he wants to live purposefully and asked them to consider their passion and make their purpose worth it.
Dr. Zane Sheehan, state supervisor of agricultural education for Minnesota and FFA state advisor, reported what he called exceptional and exciting news of expansion for agricultural education.
“This has been a huge year of growth for the Minnesota FFA Association in terms of agriculture programs, which are the backbone of FFA and our chapters across the state,” said Dr. Sheehan.
Dr. Sheehan reported 14 new agriculture, food, and natural resource programs across the state. There are now 291 teachers, including 17 new instructors, offering more than 35,000 students an opportunity to learn about food, natural resources, fiber, and agriculture.
The final group of FFA Proficiency Awards were presented to members whose Supervised Agricultural Experiences are in the area of Plant Systems. Winners included:
- Agriscience Research-Plant Systems – George Cinader, Academy for Sciences and Agriculture FFA, sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council;
- Diversified Agricultural Production – Jacob Huhn, Litchfield FFA, sponsored by Petersen Farms Inc.;
- Diversified Crop Production Entrepreneurship – Nicole Koziolek, Randolph FFA, sponsored by Land O’Lakes;
- Diversified Crop Production Placement – Marc Collins, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg FFA, sponsored by the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association;
- Diversified Horticulture – Daylyn Huper, United South Central FFA, sponsored by Compeer Financial Services;
- Fiber & Oil Crop Production – Isaac Sowers, Maple River FFA, sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council;
- Forage Production – Grace Woitalla, Holdingford FFA, sponsored by Corteva;
- Landscape Management – Sydnee Hubner, Pipestone FFA, sponsored by AgriBank; and
- Turf Grass Management – Jacob Price, Sleepy Eye FFA, sponsored by Northland Ford Dealers.
Gold Award winners in the Agriscience Fair Plant Systems category were Gracie Nohl, Hancock FFA; and four students from Academy for Sciences and Agriculture FFA: Damani Stewart, Holly Howard, George Cinader and Cassidy Calcaterra.
While many of the annual Career Development Events (CDE) will take place April 27-29, results of the state’s Leadership Development Events (LDE) were announced today. The following are top team and individual winners:
- Agricultural Communications – Cyril Johnson, Staples-Motley FFA, individual, and Staples-Motley FFA, team;
- Agricultural Sales – Lily Spike, Buffalo FFA, individual, and Hancock FFA, team;
- Food Science and Technology – Matthew Loch, Kimball FFA, individual, and Kimball FFA, team;
- Employment Skills – Matthew Schule, Lewiston-Altura FFA, individual;
- Agricultural Issues – Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA, team;
- Best Informed Greenhand (BIG) – Gracie Ross, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA, individual, and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA, team;
- Discussion Meet – Mikayla Thorson, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA, individual;
- Marketing Plan – Buffalo FFA, team;
- Creed Speaking – Bobby Jeritz, Randolph FFA, individual;
- Extemporaneous Speaking – Elizabeth Johnson, Rockford FFA, individual;
- Conduct of Chapter Meetings – Grand Meadow FFA, team;
- Parliamentary Procedure – Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, team; and
- Public Speaking – Marissa Johnson, Tracy FFA, individual.
In addition, Jillian Neubauer of Park Rapids FFA was the winner of the FFA Talent Show, aired online throughout the week with voting by FFA members.
The Minnesota FFA Foundation also sponsored a joint event with Minnesota AgriGrowth Council, exploring the impact of agriculture, food, and natural resource programs on developing talent for the future.
FFA Chapters in schools across Minnesota participated in today’s convention activities using resources such as thank you cards, postcards, and blue ribbons to thank supporters of their chapters. Chapters could also win FFA conference scholarships by completing the daily challenge.
Workshops offered online on the Convention’s final day included Invest in Leaving a Legacy (Like Hamilton — One Day at a Time), and The Next Great Adventure: Your place in a world larger than any of us. The online Blue Room provided students with presentations surrounding 21st century challenges in agriculture, food, and natural resources.
As the convention closes, content remains available on the Minnesota FFA website, the Minnesota FFA YouTube Channel, on the organization’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and on the Convention app (https://crowd.cc/mnffa2021 or by download from https://crowd.cc/s/3ZLxW)
The FFA State Convention is offered in partnership by the Minnesota FFA Association, the Minnesota FFA Foundation, the Minnesota FFA Alumni and Supporters, and the Minnesota Department of Education.
— Minnesota FFA Foundation
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