The 91st Nebraska FFA Convention, held April 3-5 in Lincoln, saw a local chapter member reach the pinnacle of success at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
At the convention, Tekamah-Herman chapter member Tyler Petersen received the highest award a chapter member can receive, being named State Degree winner. His inclusion runs the count of state degrees from Tekamah-Herman to 89 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.
Through his four years of high school Tyler has been an outstanding FFA member, chapter advisor Haley Zabel said, participating on numerous teams including land judging, agronomy, natural resources, and public speaking. His Supervised Agricultural Experience, or SAE, consisted of Tyler renting 20 acres from his father, Chris, to farm. Tyler has learned insect identification, practiced multiple prevention methods against insects and invasive weeds, worked on different marketing techniques all while developing a passion for agronomy. Tyler will pursue his passion in college, going to UNL and majoring in agronomy.
Tekamah- Herman had 15 students participate in four different events while at the convention. On Wednesday, April 3, our Natural Resources team consisting of Maggie Braniff, Greta Lindberg, Rylee Hansen and Mylee Sheets competed. They were asked to complete a test over water quality, soil quality, natural resource policy, and wildlife, as well as identify different pelts, scat and live animals.
Thursday was an insanely busy day for everyone, Zabel said. The Meats Evaluation team, consisting of Bailey Blackford, Jadyn Fleischman, Reese Hansen, and Maggie Sheets, spent several hours in a 40-degree cooler identifying and grading different cuts of beef, pork and lamb.
“Although many of them have said that they will not be doing this contest again, it was a really good learning experience and I am glad they can pick out the best steak!” Zabel said.
The Agronomy team, consisting of Petersen, Mackenzie Evans, Marissa Burt and Jordan Wetzel, was up next. During the competition they are asked to identify different crops, insects, diseases, and machinery, as well as complete a basic test over plant and soil science. It is an extremely fast paced and competitive contest.
Last to prove what they knew was the Agriscience team of, Brady Bromm, Wyatt Deemer and Kaleb Quick. The freshmen completed a 50-question test over natural resources and dissected and labeled a perch.
After the last fish organ was labeled, Zabel said the Tekamah-Herman contingent took a much-needed break and celebrated with a round of bowling.
“All of the teams did well for getting a new teacher at semester and next year we are hoping to see one of our students up on the state stage,” Zabel said.
The chapter will celebrate a successful 2018-19 year at its annual awards banquet and labor auction. The event is set for April 25, starting at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Zabel is asking for RSVPs by April 19 to 402-309-4932.