The Tekamah-Herman FFA chapter didn’t let the blowing snow stop them from competing to the best of their ability while attending the 90th Nebraska State FFA Convention. The FFA chapter “Made It Count” while spending three days last week in downtown Lincoln, April 4-6.
At the convention, three Tekamah-Herman chapter members received the highest award a chapter member can receive, being named State Degree winners.
The three were Julia Feiling, Mae Stark, and Megan Olson. Their inclusion runs the count of state degrees from Tekamah-Herman to 88 since 1981.
Degree awards are based on two years worth of record keeping. Students either must work 1,500 hours or make $3,000 and save or constructively invest $1,000. Records include all income and expense the students incur, even if they aren’t related to a particular project. Approximately two percent of all FFA members earn state degrees.
Each of the three earned their degree with a combination of Placement and Production, T-H FFA advisor Bailey Kobs said. Most of the money earned was came through off-farm jobs, something Kobs said is extremely relevant in agriculture today.
“FFA really tries to promote making enough to fund your project with your project, but it is hard to do that in real life,” Kobs said. “Off-farm jobs are needed in today’s economy.”
Olson’s Supervised Agricultural Experience included raising and showing horses, cats, dogs, and sheep. She also held down three part-time jobs.
Feiling raised hogs and worked at Tekamah’s swimming pool.
Stark produced a vegetable garden and raised poultry and held jobs, including work at a gas station.
This year the state convention theme was “Make It Count,” no matter what you are doing. The chapter saw 15 members entered in various competitions throughout the weekend.
On Wednesday, four members— Mylee Sheets, Feiling, Tyler Petersen, and Julianna Braniff—competed in the Environment and Natural Resources contest. Petersen placing eighth as an individual.
Also on Wednesday, three members competed in the AgriScience Fair. Those members included Jadyn Fleischman, Greta Lindberg, and Mackenzie Evans. Lindberg and Fleischman did a project on heating manure into methane gas. Evans did her project to prove what type of water (bottle, filtered, or tap) would grow the healthiest plants. She placed in the top three in plant systems. The Fleischman-Lindberg duo placed ninth.
Later that afternoon, Maggie Sheets, Halle Olsen, and Evans participated in the AgriScience CDE contest. During the event, the members dissected a flower to learn about how flowers reproduce.
Thursday saw another full slate of activities.
Mylee Sheets and Feiling served as delegates for the Tekamah-Herman FFA chapter during the convention’s business sessions. Other perks of the job included a breakfast with Gov. Pete Ricketts, some Nebraska legislators, and other business people from the state of Nebraska.
Members competing in the agronomy contest that morning included Petersen, Evans, Stark and Marissa Burt. Petersen placed, as an individual, in the top 30 out of 430 students in agronomy. Bailey Blackford represented Tekamah-Herman, walking across the stage to be recognized as one of the chapters that participated in the Feed Nebraska Program.
In the afternoon, Fleischman represented the chapter for the Connecting Chapters Program through the Nebraska Farm Bureau. Also competing in competition in the afternoon was the meats judging team. The members of the team including Stark, Bailey Blackford, Olson and Gabe Garcia.
Thursday evening, the Tekamah-Herman FFA Chapter went to Defy Gravity to enjoy a night of fun.
Before the sun came up on Friday, members were up and competing. Among them were members of the junior livestock judging team. They included Fleischman, Lindberg, Blackford and Reese Hansen. The quartet placed seventh out of 48 teams.
Overall, the state convention was a huge success and lots of fun, Kobs said. Chapter members were able to meet new people, see old friends and listen to inspiring speakers, among a wide range of activities.
Jadyn Fleischman, Tekamah-Herman’s FFA chapter reporter, contributed to this account