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Friday, May 31, 2013

Kansas FFA recognizes members, elects new leaders in final day of 85th Kansas FFA Convention




Inspired members filled McCain for the last day of the 85th Kansas FFA Convention. Several members waited anxiously in audience to hear of their fate of their run for the Triple Crown, State Star and State Office.

Fifth Session
Members were challenged to live it by Reporter Justin Haun as he gave his retiring address. Brennan Costello, National FFA Vice President, shared some inspiring words with Kansas FFA.

After the presentation of the Kansas FFA Foundation Board of Trustees was recognized. Then, 236 State Degree Recipients were recognized on stage for their mile stone accomplishment with in the association. Jennifer Jackson of the Clay Center FFA Chapter, won the John Deere Gator 625iXUV.

Jordan Pieschl, chairman of the Nominating Committee reported the 2013-2014 State Officer Slate. Each slated candidate was then given their turn to present their speech to the audience of FFA members and voting delegates.

Sixth Session
The State FFA Band and Chorus filled McCain with their sweet music and melodies during there encore performances. All members thanked the Kansas FFA Foundation Sponsors for their generosity before President Emily Beneda retired with her motivating and catchy address titled The Choice is Yours .

Chapman FFA recieved the coveted Triple Crown. The “Stars Over Kansas” pageant continued with the announcement of the 2013 State Stars.

All members were on the edge of their seats as President Emily Beneda read the names of the newly elected 2013-2014 Kansas FFA State Officers. The 2012-2013 Officers were officially retired and thanked one last time by the members of Kansas FFA for their dedication to the FFA. After the installment of the new officers, President Lindy Billberry took the podium to present the closing remarks and adjourned the 85th Kansas FFA Convention.

Congrats to all winners and officers during this years convention. See you all next year!

2014 Triple Crown Announced - Chapman FFA Wins Three Years Straight

The Chapman FFA chapter received the prestigious Triple Crown award for the third year in a row on May 30 at the final session of the 86th Kansas FFA Convention on Kansas State University campus.

The Triple Crown award is given to the FFA chapter that performs the best in the National Chapter Award program, which recognizes chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization in three separate divisions: Student Development, Chapter Development and Community Development. Awards are given in each of these three areas in the divisions of bronze, silver and gold. Chapters in the gold division qualify as finalists for the Triple Crown.

Under guidance from advisors Trenton Horn and Walter Pitts, the Chapman FFA chapter earned the highest score in the three categories. The chapter will receive $300 and the Garlow Memorial Trophy, which is sponsored by the Bill Garlow Family in memory of past Kansas FFA officer Bob Garlow.

Runners-up were as follows: Arkansas City, second; Holton FFA, third; Mission Valley, fourth; and Southwestern Heights, fifth.
Kansas FFA members elected their 2013-2014 State FFA Officer team at the 85th Kansas FFA Convention May 29-31 on the Kansas State University campus.



The team includes:
  • President: Lindy Bilberry, Garden City FFA
  • Vice President: Carrie Carlson, Centre FFA
  • Secretary: Chance Hunley, Riverton FFA
  • Treasurer: Cody Holliday, Jackson Heights FFA
  • Reporter: Daryl Simmons, Minneapolis FFA
  • Sentinel: Elizabeth Allen, Holton FFA

As State FFA Officers, they will travel across the state sharing their passion for leadership, service and agriculture. Together, they will present workshops and conferences challenging FFA members to serve their community and the agriculture industry.

2012-2013 Kansas FFA State Officer team finish their year of service


The 2012-2013 Kansas FFA State Officer team completed their year of service today with the conclusion of the 85th Kansas FFA Convention on the Kansas State University campus. The team presented workshops and speeches challenging high school students to serve their community and “Grow” in the spirit of this year’s convention theme.

Outgoing officers include President Emily Beneda, Wilson FFA; Vice President Glendolyn Neely, Humboldt FFA; Secretary Chelsey Smith, Hays FFA, Treasurer Kayla Clapp,  Caney Valley FFA, Reporter Justin Haun, Fredonia FFA; and Sentinel Denver Johnston, Anderson Co. FFA.

After being elected in June 2012, the team spent the past year traveling across the state sharing their passion for leadership, service and agriculture.

All six are students at Kansas State University. This fall, Beneda will be a sophomore, majoring in food science, Neely will be a senior dual majoring in agricultural communications and journalism and communications sciences and disorders, Smith will be a junior in agricultural education, Clapp will be a sophomore in agricultural education, Haun will be a sophomore  majoring in elementary education, and Johnston will be a sophomore in milling science and management.

State Star in Agribusiness

The Star Awards represent the best of the best among Kansas State FFA Degree recipients. Finalists for the award have mastered skills in production, finance, management and/or research. These members have gone above and beyond in their supervised agricultural experience. All of their supervised agriculture experiences are entrepreneurship in a non-production agriculture area. The state winner will receive a $250 cash award. The sponsor of the State Star in Agribusiness is ICM Inc.

The finalists for the Star in Agribusiness are:

Northeast Star in Agribusiness
                   Laura Rush, Doniphan West

Rush’s SAE is in Vegetable Production. She sells about 12,000 ears of sweet corn and 20 pints of strawberries at local farmers markets. Rush grows the sweet corn using two acres of her father’s farmland and hand picks the strawberries. Rush’s SAE has taught her the value of hard work and how rewarding it can be to work with customers and hear their positive feedback. Rush is the daughter of Roger and Joyce. Her advisor is Elmer Schmitz.

Southwest Star in Agribusiness
                   Nicholas Goode, Hugoton

Goode’s SAE is in Turfgrass Management. Goode mows, trims, fertilizes and gives advice to 10-15 customers in his area. Goode first knocked on doors to gain customers. Later, he placed an ad in the local newspaper as well as received many referrals. Goode enjoys the reward of seeing a job well done and satisfying his customers. Goode is the son of Danny and Traci Goode. His advisor is Les McNally.


East Central Star in Agribusiness
                   Austin Coleman, Jayhawk Linn

Coleman’s SAE is in Turfgrass Management. Coleman, mows, trims, reseeds, fertilizes and provides minor pest control for 13 yards. He employs one part-time employee who helps enable him to mow each yard about once a week in the Spring and once every other week in the Summer depending on how dry it is. Coleman says the most rewarding aspect of his job is driving by and taking pride in his work. Coleman is the son of Steve and Tisha Coleman. His advisor is Bill Johnston.

This year’s State Star in Agribusiness:

State Star in Agribusiness
                   Bryan Otott, Washington County

Otott’s SAE is in Forage production. Otott successfully manages a custom haying business after going into business with his brother the summer of 2010. With his purchased John Deere tractor and baler, Otott gained clientele by posting fliers and speaking with local business. He expanded his clientele from 18 to 24 farms after borrowing his father’s swather and offering full-service custom hay. As a testament to his success, Otott produced at least 300 more square hay bales each year and baled more than 2,2447 square bales this year all while reducing production time. Otott enjoys managing his own business and has learned to make wise business decisions and communicate effectively with his clients.
Otott is the son of Jeff and Nancy Otott. His advisor is John Kern.


State Star in Ag Placement

The Star Awards represent the best of the best among Kansas State FFA Degree recipients. Finalists for the award have mastered skills in production, finance, management and/or research. These members have gone above and beyond in their supervised agricultural experience. All agricultural placement candidates, you will have a placement supervised agricultural experience in production agriculture, agribusiness or directed lab that is not agriscience based. The state winner will receive a $250 cash award. The sponsor of the State Star in Placement is the Kansas Farm Bureau.
The Finalists for the 2013 State Star in Ag Placement are:
Northeast Star in Placement
                   Cody Ketter, Marysville

Ketter’s SAE is in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management. Helping his dad and brother with the family business, Ketter has learned how to operate bulldozers, excavators, motor graders and semis. He uses this equipment to make terraces, ponds and building pads. Working in the family business has taught him how to not only operate the equipment but also communicate effectively with customers. Ketter looks forward to working for the family business. Ketter is the son of Larry and Kathy Ketter. His advisors are Craig Lister and Jacque Gabbert.

South West Star in Placement
                   Andrew Walck, Holcomb

Walck’s SAE is in Diversified Crop Production Placement. Walck’s has worked at a family friend’s 2,000 acre farm that grows wheat, grain sorghum and alfalfa for the past couple of years. He began by helping run the grain cart and servicing equipment. His hard work and willingness to work hard has allowed him to have more responsibilities on the farm and work year round. Walck is the son of Lance and Regina Walck. His advisor is Brandon Barr.

North Central Star in Placement
                   Ashley Stewart, Washington County

Stewart’s SAE is in Agriculture Service Placement. Stewart grew up working on her parents livestock and crop production farm and worked with clients and seed treatment systems. Since beginning high school, Stewart has held several different jobs, working at KSDS, an assistance dog training facility; Independence Farms, a therapeutic horse riding facility and Washington County Livestock, a local sale barn. Her favorite experiences have been working at KSDA and Independence Farms. Stewart said that is was very rewarding to work with disabled people and help them grow and accomplish their goals. Stewart is the daughter of Rod and Kannette Stewart. Her advisor is John Kern.

This year’s State Star in Placement is:

State Star in Placement
                   Rich Ryckert, Paola

Ryckert’s SAE is in Diversified Agricultural Production. Ryckert works on his diversified family farm which has roughly 3,000 acres of row crops rotating between corn, soybeans and wheat, 425 cow/calf pairs and roughly 1,100 acres of forage production. Ryckert managers a hay crew each summer putting up square bales for people. This position has been rewarding and has given him many leadership opportunities, finding and managing crews and negotiating wages. He plans to continue working on the farm and make it his career. Rush is the son of Jerod and Mellisa Ryckert. His advisors are John Menefee and Bret Brownback. 

Star Farmer

The Star Awards represent the best of the best among Kansas State FFA Degree recipients. Finalists for the award have mastered skills in production, finance, management and/or research. These members have gone above and beyond in their supervised agricultural experience. All of their supervised agriculture experiences are entrepreneurship specifically in production agriculture. The state winner will receive a $250 cash award. The sponsor of the State Star Farmer is United Bank and Trust.
The Finalists for the 2013 State Star Farmer are:

Northeast Star Farmer
                   Audrey Schmitz, Axtell

Schmitz’s SAE is in Dairy Production Entrepreneurship. Schmitz’s family raises registered Holsteins and Jerseys and she owns 10 cows, 14 heifers and three breeding bulls. She has many responsibilities on her dairy operation ranging from setting up and cleaning the milking parlor to checking for mastitis, calving assistance and dehorning calves. Schmitz’s experience in the dairy judging Career Development Event (CDE) has helped her make culling and breeding decisions in her herd. Her favorite part about her SAE is showing her cattle at state and county fairs. Schmitz is the daughter of Joe and Amy Schmitz. Her advisor is Kristin Strathman.

Southwest Star Farmer
                   Josie Mueller, Hugoton

Mueller’s SAE is in Beef Production Entrepreneurship. Encouraged by her father, Mueller took out a small youth loan from the FSA office and began to build her herd. She began with purchasing two cows from her dad and three cows from an outside buyer. For a couple years so traded her steers to her dad for heifers and has since built her herd up to 20 cows. Raising her own cattle, Mueller has many responsibilities checking cattle, calving and feeding. Mueller is the daughter of Rob and Debbie Mueller. Her advisor is Les McNally.

Northwest Star Farmer
                   Dylan Sprigg, Norton

Sprigg’s SAE is in Diversified Livestock Production Entrepreneurship. He owns and 16 cow/calf pairs and sells the calves at weaning weight each Fall. In addition to raising cattle, Sprigg’s also purchases four hogs to show and sell at the county fair. His greatest challenge is watching the livestock markets to determine when to buy and sell cattle as well as watch the grain markets to determine when to keep feeding grain or if he should turn his cattle out to pasture. Sprigg is the son of Dwight and Michelle Sprigg. His advisor is Garrett Beydler.



North Central Star Farmer
                   Casey Adams, Chapman

Adams SAE is in Equine Science Entrepreneurship. Adams has her own breeding operation, owns 13 Quarter Horses and competes in rodeo events across the Nation. She says that the accomplishment she is most proud of was placing 6th in breakaway roping at Nationals on a horse she trained. In addition to training her own horses, Adams trains horses for other people and competes on them as well.Adams is the son of Buddy and Suzan Adams. Her advisors are Trenton Horn and Walter Pitts.


East Central Star Farmer
                   Wesley Davis, Mission Valley

Davis’ SAE is in Beef Production Entrepreneurship.  Davis purchased 30 feeder heifers from Overbrook Livestock in late fall and fed them through the winter months. Beginning in April, he turned them out to pasture to graze before selling the heifers back to Overbrook Livestock in July. Davis’ project is unique because no one in his family has worked with feeder calves. He investigated the feeder process and identified ways to improve his farm to accommodate for the cattle before taking out a $10,000 loan from Flint Hills Bank. Davis is the son of Boyd and Kim Davis. His advisor is Kelly Hoelting.

This year’s Star Farmer is:

State Star Farmer
                   Zachary Foster, Labette County

Foster’s SAE is in Diversified Crop Production Entrepreneurship. In 2010, Foster started with 60 acres and currently operates a 200 acre row crop operation planting corn, soybeans and wheat. The first year Foster farmed the weather cooperated and he was successful. However, for the past two years, the drought in Southeast Kansas has affected his crops and he had to apply for federal crop insurance. Foster said he has learned that farming is more than just sitting on a tractor, but that it really takes a strong business mindset to be successful. This challenge makes him that much more eager to be successful. Foster is the son of Kenneth and Therese Foster. His advisors are Jeff Falkenstien, Dustin Wiley and Kyle Zwahlen.

State FFA Degree Recipients

The State Degree is the highest honor a state can bestow upon its members. This year at the 85th annual Kansas FFA State Convention 235 members received their State Degree. The list of recipients is below.

East Central
Macy Adams.............................Anderson County
David Ball
Britton Brownrigg
Bryce Dieker
Sarah M. Egidy
Weston Gilbreth
Annsley Graham
Carolyn Hemreck
Michael Mader
Wyatt Pracht
Jack Rickabaugh
Michaela Stevenson
Brandon L. Englund.....................Central Heights
Cody A. George
Ben King
Kaitlyn Beebe.............................................Eudora
Quinton Parks
Aaron Beisiegel...............................Jayhawk Linn
Austin L. Coleman
Austin Earl
Clayton Johanning
Jadon Proffitt
Kelsey Purdy
Samuel Purinton
Benjamin J. Rowe
Sydney Spencer
Alexandria Trager
Shelby Whitley
Kayla Gore...........................Lawrence Free State
Sarah J. Gowen
Molly Browning............................Mission Valley
Wesley Davis
Joe Gleason
Dillon Boeh................................................Ottawa
Glen Coffman
Danielle DePriest
Parker Finch
Celsie Powell
Daniel A. White
Brianna Yates
Rylan Lauden................................................Paola
Rich Ryckert
Caitlan Schasten
Kayla Curnutte...................................Prairie View
Clayton Holland
Lana Marie Maltbie
Luke Miller
Cierra Randall
Lacy Show
Luke Kraft......................Southern Coffey County
Elisha Prock
Amanda Sherwood
Emily Caenen......................................Tonganoxie
Cody Koch
Elizabeth Patrick
Steven Stockman
Jonathan Hunter Sturgis
Ashley Thurston

North Central
Katelyn Myers...........................................Abilene
Kyle D. Apley.....................................Blue Valley
Kyle Clifton
Dylan Pfizenmaier
Quinten Ross
Casey Adams..........................................Chapman
Kyle Anderson
Shayna Jean Braun.............................Clay Center
Holly Cooper
Austin L. Ebert
Jennifer Marie Jackson
Amanda Martin
Melissa Wimer.......................................Ell-Saline
Jacob Kralik...........................................Ellsworth
Bailey Joonas.................................................Linn
Jake Ohlde
Kylie Elizabeth Mull..........................Minneapolis
Jaden M. Baxa............................Republic County
Zachary Brzon
Marty Burger
Dustin Jeardoe
Tyler Kasl
Erika Graham...................................Riley County
Trenton Duskie.....................................Rock Hills
Corbin Greene
Bryan Otott............................Washington County
Ashley Stewart
Kristina Heinrich........................................Wilson
Janell Ptacek
Ashley Templeton

Northeast
Michael Carpenter........................................Axtell
Winsten James Mathewson
Audrey Schmitz
Bridgett Volle
Paige Jennae Werner
Samantha Albers...........................Doniphan West
Ian C.K. Bollinger
BreAnne Caudle
Trevor Fee
Derrick Hughes
Laura Rush
Koby Scholz
Marshall Swearingen.............................Hiawatha
Elizabeth Nicole Allen................................Holton
Darien Klahr
Cody James Holliday..................Jackson Heights
Anthony Bruna.....................................Marysville
Mitchell Drey
Brandon Griffee
Martin Howard
Cody Ketter
Annette Trieb.......................................Rock Creek
Brandi A. McCoy......................................Sabetha
Emily Meeks
Michael Clark.................................Valley Heights21


Northwest
Sierra Fields..............................................Atwood
Mallory Horinek
Samantha Graves...........................................Ellis
Braden Parke
Monica Towns
Allison Nickelson.....................................Hill City
Chantelle Simon
Ashley Strathman
Tanner Bowles.........................................Lakeside
Tanner Gasper
Darcy Bainter.............................................Norton
Cody Ellis
Garret Otter
Dylan Sprigg
Shyanne Holzmeister.................................Oakley
Jessica Layne Rudell
Zachary Carder.................................Smith Center

South Central
Macy Marissa Anderson.............................Buhler
Destiny Lane Bruce
Tessa Janelle Crane
Victoria Dukart
Colton Regier
Kacie Schultz
Alexander R. Veatch
Justin Deines...............................................Centre
Kyle Methvin
Chad Mueller
Tom Oborny
Tanner Peterson
Karl Riffel
Ty Simmons
Randy Gaeddert.......................................Fairfield
Anna Schwertfeger
Lauren Geis.............................................Hillsboro
Bryce A. Roberts
Nathan L. Unruh
Jacob Cope.................................Marion-Florence
Aaron Molleker
Montana D. Percell
Augusta Marston................................Moundridge
Elizabeth J. Schrag
Allison Siemens
John Gatz...................................................Newton
Austin Hiebert
Madison Hinz
Braidyn Rucker
McKenzie Senn
Bryce Byers.......................................South Haven
James Moreland
Levi Schuster
Austin Showman
Karlea Tanner
Whitney Turek

Southeast
Dillon Walker.............................Altoona-Midway
Madison Keene...........................................Caney
Treg Easley...............................................Chetopa
Amber Duncan....................................Coffeyville
Tommy J. Felts
Robert Scott Jackson
Emily Kill
William Cody Kiser
Raye A. Walthall
Joe Lehenbauer...............................................Erie
Ty O. Swiler
Preston Church.......................................Fort Scott
Michaela Johnson
Lake Karleskint
McKenna Belcher.......................................Girard
Paxton Boore
Tristan Broce
Hannah Jones
Timbrelee McNair
Haley Pitts
Bethany Schifferdecker
Jenna Rachelle Bogner..................Labette County
Zachery James Foster
Kaylee Houston
Ryan Austin McKinzie
Natalie Nelson
Austin Cramer Ryan
Ashleigh Grace Sheilds
Holleigh Marie Sorrell
Nathan M. Smart........................Marmaton Valley
Jackie Newland......................................Neodesha
Isaac Culley..............................................Riverton
Chance Hunley
Sarah L. Jones
Kevin V. Morrow
Miranda Money............................................Sedan
Bria Maples...............................................St. Paul
Sarah Ivy Bellar......................................West Elk
Kiley Harrod
Ashley Lauren Harrod
Stephen Heinen
Kanyon Kelly
Abbie Jo McAlister
Chenise Wunderlich

Southwest
Lindy Bilberry....................................Garden City
Jordan Ochs.............................Hodgeman County
Shawn Smith
Eric Becker..............................................Holcomb
Dylan Knoll
Bethany Pauley
Tucker Peterson
Taylor Reynolds
Ryan Roth
Gavin Swann
Tucker Turner
Shiloh Turner
Andrew J. Walck
Logan Brecheisen.....................................Hugoton
Trevor Crane
Nicholas Goode
Austin E. Mills
Josie Mueller
Jeffrey Mueller
Karessa Nordyke
Lance Sandoval
Mitchell Shelton
Aubrey N. Davis....................................Scott City
Kiersten Scott
Lane Paris...........................Southwestern Heights

Devin Walker

Emily Beneda delivers State President's retiring address

The Choice is Yours


Coke or Pepsi? …Coke Duck Dynasty or the Bachelor? … Duck Dynasty The Joonas Brothers or Justin Bieber …umm Neither K-State or KU? …Definitely K-State. Everyday we are faced with millions and millions of choices. Sometimes it’s almost exhausting! From simple choices like deciding on what clothes to wear, to those tough life questions, like what we want to do with our life? Life is full of choices both simple and difficult. The choices we make define who we are. They determine what car we drive, what career we have and what type of lifestyle we live. Ultimately our choices decide if we are doing the best we possibly can. By choosing to be the best version of ourselves we will be able to go above and beyond in all that we do. How do we ensure that we are doing the best we possibly can? We can do our best by choosing to act on our passion, choosing to commit, and choosing to challenge ourselves.


In order to be one step closer to being our best we should choose to do what we love and act on our passion.


This year at K-state I had the opportunity to meet Emily. Not me Emily, but another Emily. Who knew there could be so many of us? Emily is one of the most compassionate and caring people I have ever meet. She is always looking for new ways to lend a helping hand and has a passion for serving others. I’ve seen this passion as she’s volunteered her time to help organize a sleep-out for hunger and is even traveling to Mexico this summer as part of the International Service Teams. This passion became even clearer to me one afternoon while sitting at a banquet for an organization we were both a part of. Once we arrived we began introducing ourselves to a few of the different guests in attendance. All of the sudden one of the guest looked at her and exclaimed “Emily! I know you!” By the look on Emily’s face I could tell that Emily had never meet this person in her life. The guest then launches into a story about how her daughter serves as the president of a non-profit organization called Grains for Hope. She said that her daughter had received a letter in the mail containing a donation and along with the donation was a note from a girl named Emily explaining that she had found money outside of Hale Library one day after class, and since she couldn’t find the owner nearby she decided to keep it. Instead of keeping it for herself she sent it to her favorite charity, which was Grains for Hope. I was amazed by this story! My friend Emily, had found money lying on the ground, free for the taking, and instead of adding it to her own bank account she sent the money to the charity she was passionate about. What’s even more surprising was the fact that she didn’t tell a single soul about what she had done. Emily’s own parents who were standing next to her didn’t even know about it, she did it purely because she was passionate about helping those in need. She easily could have chosen to keep the money, but instead she chose to act on her passion of wanting to make a difference.


When Emily chose to act on her passion she set herself apart from every other student at K-state and all she did was support a cause that she was passionate about. Think about a few different things that you are passionate about. Maybe its FFA, maybe its barrel racing, or it could even be making a difference in the lives of others. Whatever your passion is decide what steps of action you can take toward your passion. With every little action we take, we will be doing our best, much like Emily did her best by taking action and donating the money. By choosing to do act on our passion, every task becomes more than just a chore for us, but something that we can enjoy and excel at. Think about it, what sets a really great speech apart from a not-so-good speech? What sets a great employee apart from a bad employee? It’s passion. Find what you’re passionate about and take the steps, no matter how big or small, to act on them in order to be the best you.


Once we choose to act on our passion, we can become even better at what we do by choosing to commit.


My Grandma is one of the most interesting people that I have ever met. She probably has more lighthouse collectables than any museum in the country, she takes more pictures than anyon I know, drives a stick shift, and she is always eager to learn new things. When Grandma sets her mind to something, she is fully determined to get it done. One summer my grandma decided that she was going to learn something new, and that new thing was water skiing. That’s right, I just said “Grandma” and “water skiing” in the same sentence. So one afternoon we went out to the lake with Grandma and before she began everyone started to give her advice on how to water ski. One of the most common pieces of advice she received was to not let go of the handle, no matter what. As my dad revved up the engine you could see the death grip that my grandma had on that rope. As the boat began to pull forward everyone held their breaths as my Grandma surprisingly pulled herself up out of the water. Cheers erupted on the boat as we all encouraged my Grandma to keep going. Since it was her first time, not surprisingly she fell back into the water within the first few seconds. That is the point at which my grandma took the advice of not letting go to heart. Grandma continued to hold on to the handle as tightly as she could even as she was being dragged through the water. After realizing that my grandma wasn’t going to let go any time soon, my dad cuts the engine and my grandma surfaces from the water catching her breath… still holding on to that rope. My grandma was so committed to learning how to ski she was willing to do anything to accomplish that task, even if it meant getting a mouthful of water, and sore arms for about a week. My grandma was able to learn how to ski and did the best she could by choosing to commit.


There are many things we can choose to be interested in. We are interested in what happens in the next episode of the Duck Dynasty, we may be interested running a marathon or 5K, and we may be interested in learning to play the guitar. When we choose to be just interested instead of committed we forget to follow through with our plans every time. The guitar and those running shoes we bought sit in the corner collecting dust. We end up putting off practicing those motions for the parliamentary procedure CDE until tomorrow, and then tomorrow becomes next week, and then suddenly the contest is upon us. I myself am guilty of procrastinating like this. But, if it is worth committing too, it is worth the price that comes with it. To get that A on that big chemistry test, it may mean giving up extra time with friends to study. Maybe the price we pay for commitment is investing our money into our SAE instead of another pair of shoes. If we want to become the high scorer on the basketball team, we can’t keep avoiding gym or the weight room. If we want to do our best, it all comes down to the choice we make. If you choose to be committed, then clarify your commitment by putting it into words. Surround yourself with people who are equally committed and are willing to help you reach your goals. By making the choice to be committed you will be able to excel in all that you do.


Once we chose to be committed we can continue to do the best we can by choosing to challenge ourselves.


When I was 12 I had made my mind up that I was going to be the next big thing when it came to track. When I say next big thing, I mean breaking the 6th grade high jump record. I had watched and watched the older 8th grade girls run and effortlessly float over the bar and onto the mat. After watching them I knew in my heart high jump was my destiny. At a full 5 ft 2 in. I show up to the very first day of practice and walk directly up to the high jump area. I lined up behind the 8th graders and within the next few minutes, I was ready to go. I stretch out my arms and legs and jump up and down a few times just like the professionals. Casually I jog toward the mat, and then as I get closer I pick up speed until I’m running as fast as I possibly can and then suddenly as I reach the edge of the mat I do what any professional would do…I close my eyes and jump. When I land, it isn’t exactly the soft perfect landing I was expecting. Instead I had landed on the bar and it hurt! This happened to me over and over again. It happened so often that I finally decided that lowering the bar was my best and by far the easiest choice. When I finally had it low enough that I could jump over without hurting myself or knocking that bar down I was satisfied. For weeks I practiced jumping at that exact height and never challenged myself to move the bar up higher. I was looking for the easy way out.


Taking the easiest path to achieve our goals is often very appealing. I choose to take the easy path and not to challenge myself when it came to high jumping. I had acted on my passion for high jump, and was committed to it, but wasn’t ready for the challenge. If we expect to do our best we must challenge ourselves. Nobody said life would be easy. Take the advice from the “Kid President” - "two roads diverged in the woods…and I took the road less traveled." And it hurt, man! Really bad! ROCKS! THORNS! and GLASS!! Not cool, Robert Frost! But what if there really were two paths? I want to be in the one that leads to awesome… Just as Kid President described, the path to awesome may be difficult and challenging, but if we choose to challenge ourselves then we can be on the path to awesome. What are some different things in our lives we’ve always wanted to do? Maybe you’ve always wanted to climb the hard side of the rock wall, but instead never challenged yourself by choosing to climb the easy side. Maybe you’ve always wanted the lead singing role in your school choir, but are to afraid of the challenge. Maybe you choose not to try out for a position of leadership either in your FFA chapter or another organization in school because of the challenges that come with it. In order for us to do our best, and get on the path to awesome just as Kid President said, we must choose to challenge ourselves. So many times we choose to avoid challenging ourselves in life and take the easy way out, but when we do we fall short of our potential.

We are faced with thousands of choices everyday. What choices will you make to be the best you can be? Oprah Winfrey chooses to be the best version of herself when she is acting on her passions, an Olympic Gold medalist chooses to do their best by remaining committed to their goals, and Bethany Hamilton chose to do her best when she challenged herself to relearn herself how to surf with one arm after losing it in a shark accident. To ensure that our choices make us the best we can be we can choose to act on our passion, choose to be committed, and choose to challenge ourselves. What passions will you choose and how will you act on them? Will you choose to remain interested or will you choose to commit? How will you choose to challenge yourself? What will you do to be the best you can be? Kansas FFA the choice is yours!

John Deere Gator Winner



Congratulations to Jennifer Jackson of the Clay Center FFA Chapter, winner of a John Deere Gator 625iXUV.

Jackson was one of 10 finalists randomly drawn Thursday night during the fourth session. To qualify for the drawing, members must have submitted an application for the American or State FFA Degree, Agriscience fair, Agri-Entrepreneurship award, or must have been a proficiency winner or District Star winner.

Thanks to our sponsors who make this possible:
  • 21st Century Equipment LLC, Leoti, KS
  • American Implement Inc., Garden City, KS
  • Bucklin Tractor & Implement Co. Inc., Bucklin, KS
  • Carrico Implement Co. Inc., Beloit, KS
  • Concordia Tractor Inc., Concordia, KS
  • Great Bend Farm Equipment, Great Bend, KS
  • Hiawatha Implement Co. Inc., Hiawatha, KS
  • Heritage Tractor Inc., Baldwin City, KS
  • Keating Tractor & Equipment Inc., Liberal, KS
  • Landmark Implement, Smith Center, KS
  • O'Malley Equipment Co. Inc., Independence, KS
  • O'Malley Implement Co. Inc., Pittsburg, KS
  • Oregon Trail Equipment, LLC, Marysville, KS
  • PrairieLand Partners Inc., Hutchinson, KS
  • Todd Tractor, Seneca, KS
  • John Deere Agriculture & Turf Division, Olathe, KS

State Officer Slate Announced


Jordan Pieschl, immediate past State FFA President and member of the Nominating Commitee announced the slate for 2013-2014 State Officers during the fifth session of the 85th Kansas FFA Convention.

The slate is as follows:

For the Office of Sentinel:
Alexis Coberly, Chapman 
Elizabeth Allen, Holton

For the Office of Reporter:
Andrea Mattas, Wilson
Daryl Simmons, Minneapolis

For the Office of Treasurer:
Beth Augustine, Ellis
Cody Holliday, Jackson Heights

For the Office of Secretary:
Ellen Walker, Ark City
Chance Hunley, Riverton

For the Office of President:
Lindy Bilberry, Garden City
Carrie Carlson, Centre

Delegates will cast their ballots and the winners will be announced this afternoon during the final session.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

All the events FFA members participate in and the entire Kansas FFA State Convention would not be possible without the support of all of our generous sponsors. We want to thank them for their investment in the youth and the future of agriculture. Please help us show our support of these vital partners.

5 Star Sponsors 10,000 and up

Animal Health International, Greeley, Colorado
Cargill Meat Solutions, Wichita
CHS Foundation, St.Paul, Minnesota
Farm Credit Associations of Kansas
The Farmers Union Co-operative Business Association, St. Marys
ICM, Inc Colwich
Kansas Department of Agriculture, Topeka
Kansas Farm & Ranch Radio-Rocking M Radio, Manhattan
Kansas Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, Manhattan
Kansas John Deere Dealers and John Deer Agriculture and Turf Division
K-State College of Agriculture, Manhattan
Midwest Ford Dealers Association
Purple Wave Auction

4 Star $2,500-$9,999

Bayer HealthCare-Animal Health, Shawnee Mission
Crader Distributing, Marble Hill, Mo
DuPont Nutrition & Health, New Century
DuPont Pioneeer, Johnston, Iowa
Friends of Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh
            Jay Armstrong, Muscotah
            Rhonda & Eric Atkinson, Alma
            Sarah & Rick Porter, Reading
            Michael Torrey, Arlington, Va.
            Sheri & Keith Westervelt, Manhattan
Maggie & Tom Hemmer, Salina
Nancy & Doug Hofbauer, Manhattan
Kansas Association of Ethanol Processors, Topeka
Kansas Bankers Association-Ag Bankers, Topeka
Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission, Lebo
Keystone Steel & Wire, Peoria, Ill.
Kuhn Krause, Inc., Hutchinson
Emily & Jeremy Lehning, Westermoreland
Rick Malir, Dublin, Ohio
Midwest Dairy Association, St. Paul, Minn.
MKC-Mid Kansas Cooperative Association, Moundridge
Terry Nelson-Nelson Farms, Inc., Long Island
Rabo Agrifinance, Wichita
Reinhardt Family Foundation
Cheryl & Randy Reinhardt, Kansas City, Mo.
River Star Farms LLC, Mercedes, Texas
Roman Catholic Diocese of Salina, Salina
Karen & John Smith, Hays
The Scoular Foundation, Omaha, Neb.
United Bank & Trust, Marysville
Sheri & Keith Westervelt, Manhattan
Carly Whorton, Dallas

3 Star $1,000-$2,499

Marcie & Kenny Beneda, Wilson
Rita & Bruce Boydston, Centerville
Bunny & Bob Broeckelman, Wichita
Cereal Food Processors Inc., Mission Woods
Dr. Bill & Mrs. Laurel Garlow, Salina
Great Bend Farm Equipment, Great Bend
Janet & Sam Hands, Garden City
Harris Crop Insurance LLC, Kevin & Rosemary Harris, Abilene
Heritage Tractor, Inc., Baldwin City
Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Assn., Inc., Topeka
Kansas Association of Agriculture Educators, Logan
Kansas FFA Alumni, LaCrosse
Kansas Grain & Feed Association, Topeka
Kansas Pork Producers Council, Manhattan
Kansas Soybean Commission, Topeka
Kansas Wheat Commission, Manhattan
Kennedy & Coe, LLC, Salina
Landoll Corporation, Marysville
Melanie Mainquist, Plymouth, Minn
Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, Manhattan
Jackie McClaskey, Manhattan
McPherson County Feeders, Inc., Marquette
Marge Neely, Chanute
Jennifer & John Niemann, Fresno, Calif.
Nutrients for Life Foundation, Washington D.C.
Solomon Corporation, Solomon
Surefire Ag Systems, Inc., Atwood
SWA Trade Association, Kansas City, Mo.
Taylor Communications- KCLY/KFRM Radio, Clay Center
Diane & Ken Wagner, Baldwin City
Janel & Pat Wiederholt, Hartford