Second in the state

A local FFA chapter and its members received numerous awards at this year’s Iowa FFA Leadership Conference.

The Webster City FFA chapter received second place and a gold rating in the contest for the Supreme National Chapter Award Program at the state convention. Chapter President Tanner Hild and Garett Claude took part in that competition. Claude also received the Iowa degree, the highest degree an FFA member can receive at the state level.

In all, 28 members attended the state convention held from April 27 to 29 in Ames. The students were among over 5,000 members from over 200 FFA chapters across the state, according to Webster City FFA Chapter Advisor Kurt Veldhuizen. He said all Webster City FFA members who have taken part in competitions can attend state. That includes students who advance to state and those who don’t. Veldhuizen said it gives those students who didn’t advance a chance to see how they could improve by watching their competitions at the state level.

“It’s like playing football or anything else that the best team doesn’t always win, it’s the best team that day that wins. When we do sub-districts and districts, I tell the kids it’s about what you learn and if you don’t advance, you might have had a bad day or didn’t hit it that time,” Veldhuizen said.

However, Veldhuizen said the local FFA chapter likely had more members compete at the state level this year than ever before. Two members, Secretary Andrew Kantak and Assistant Secretary Nick NeuNeuhring, also took home a gold rating for their secretary book. Reporter Taylor Pruismann and Hannah Williams earned a silver rating for their reporter book and Treasurer John Maubach and Blake Nelson received a silver rating for their treasurer book.

Several other members also earned silver ratings in their competitions. That included George Ferrell in agriculture sales, Sentinel Jess Miller and Chloe McCoullough in a chapter display board contest about the Webster City FFA test plot and Mason Claude and Maddie Casady in a greenhand quiz where they answered FFA trivia questions. A team of members also earned a silver rating in the “experience the action” competition. The team gave a 15 minute recruitment presentation which Veldhuizen said could be used to educate incoming high school students about the organization and how they could get involved. The team was comprised of Brittney Carlson, Sarah Elliott and Sydney Beem. A fourth member, Elizabeth Wells, was unable to compete at the state competition.

In addition to competing in contests, members were also able to attend a career fair. Veldhuizen said many colleges and agriculture-related businesses were in attendance for the fair. Students traveled from a hotel in Story City to Ames each day for the state convention.

For Veldhuizen, the convention gives him a chance to see what other FFA chapters are doing. He said the convention is a great place for him and members to find new ideas and incorporate them at the local level.

“I think, overall, that’s the really neat thing about FFA as an organization. It’s not just one chapter in Webster City,” Veldhuizen said. “If we see a chapter doing something great in Georgia, it’s a long ways away but there’s no reason we couldn’t do something they’re doing. Hopefully, other chapters look at us that way too.”

The Webster City FFA chapter also hosted its annual banquet on Sunday at Webster City High School. After a meal, 136 FFA members, their families and guests attended a program which presented chapter awards to members, introduced new officers and recognized retiring officers.