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Lyons-Decatur Northeast FFA Brings Home State Honors

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            Thirty Lyons-Decatur Northeast FFA members participated in the 91st Nebraska State FFA Convention, learning, growing and competing. Throughout the convention titled “RISE,” members heard from exciting keynote speakers, participated in educational workshops, and competed against members from across the state in Career Development Events and Leadership Development Events.  Throughout these events, the chapter brought home many honors and awards and qualified for national competition. 

Proficiency Awards recognize members’ efforts in their individual Supervised Agricultural Experience programs.  Students complete local, district, and state reviews, and the top three in the state are named state finalists and complete an interview process at State FFA Convention.  The Northeast FFA Chapter had seven applications reach the state finals, with one being named state champion. Layne Miller in Sheep Production won his area and will have the application forwarded on to national competition. Brooklyn Nolting earned State Runner Up honors in Agricultural Research—Plant Systems.  Finishing third in the state was Layne Miller in Grain Production and Diversified Ag Production, Nick Ronnfeldt in Swine Placement, Brayden Anderson in Swine Entrepreneurship and Audra Nolting in Agricultural Research—Integrated Systems.

The state level speaking events were also held. The Parliamentary Procedure Team of Kariden Briggs, Reid Preston, Brandi Simonsen, Brayden Anderson, Nick Tolle and Brennan Ferguson came out of their pool and competed in the state finals.  They finished as the 5th Gold in the competition.  The Conduct of Chapter Meetings team of Elise Anderson, Juliana Anderson, Colten Briggs, Arianne Brokaw, Lucas Ronnfeldt, Tyler Vavra and Jaden Whitaker earned a Silver Rating along with Layne Miller earning a silver in Senior Public Speaking.

The Farm and Agribusiness Management team of Reid Preston, Cassidy Farrens, Nick Ronnfeldt, and Brandi Simonsen placed third in the state. Individually, three members earned purple ribbons in Reid (6th place), Cassidy (15th), Nick (31st) and Brandi earned a red ribbon.  The Senior Livestock Evaluation Team of Layne Miller, Brayden Anderson, Kariden Briggs and Elise Anderson also placed third in the state.  Individually, Layne earned a purple in 11th place, Brayden a blue and Kariden and Elise earned red ribbons. 

The Natural Resources team of Kariden Briggs, Reid Preston, Layne Miller, and Arizona Riecken earned a purple ribbon in 12th place. Individually, Reid, Layne and Arizona earned blues and Kariden a red.  The Meats Identification and Evaluation Team of Brennan Ferguson, Brandi Simonsen, Mason Lami and Zach Hegge earned a blue.  Individually, Brennan earned a blue, Brandi and Mason reds, and Zach a white ribbon.  The Agriscience Team of Colten Briggs, Elise Anderson, Jaden Whitaker and Arianne Brokaw also earned a blue team ribbon with Elise receiving a blue, Arianne, Colten and Jaden red ribbons.

The Livestock Management team of Cassidy Farren, Layne Miller, Nick Ronnfeldt, Brayden Anderson and Arizona Riecken earned a red ribbon, and earning white team ribbons were the Ag Mechanics team (Derek Petersen, Kayden Henneman, Nick Ronnfeldt, Chad Christofferson) and Agronomy team (Wyatt Millburg, Ashley Lecher, Derek Peterson, Kayden Henneman) with Derek earning a blue, Kayden, Nick, Wyatt and Ashley receiving reds and Derek a white.  At state convention, only about the top 40% earn a ribbon, so one of any color is a great accomplishment. An individual red was also earned by Ashley Lecher in Nursery and Landscape.

            In addition to the seven state finalist proficiency applications, five other applications also competed at the state level.  Finishing with gold ratings, just out of finals were Elise Anderson in Swine Production—Entrepreneurship and Kariden Briggs in Beef Production Entrepreneurship. Earning a silver rating were Derek Petersen and Ashley Lecher, and earning a bronze was Wyatt Millburg.

            Our chapter had students participate in the Nebraska FFA Agriscience Research Fair.  Students conducted original research, reported their findings and created a display based on their findings, competing either as an individual or as a team.  The students then were then interviewed at State FFA Convention about their project and learning.  Elise Andersond in Social Systems 3. was selected as the state winner and will be forwarded on to national competition.  Three other projects finished in the top 3 in state, with the team of Ella Whitaker and Skylar McMullin State Runner Up in Power Structure and Technical Systems 6. The team of Emma Nelson and Bobbie Castle-Gosch in Social Systems 6 and Colten Briggs in Social Systems 3 earned 3rd place.

            One of the highlights every year is the conferring of the State FFA Degree, the highest degree the state can bestow upon a member.  About 2% of the membership ever attain this degree, and our chapter had four members earn the degree this year and we would like to congratulate Kariden Briggs, Layne Miller, Reid Preston and Brandi Simonsen on this achievement.

            The Lyons-Decatur Northeast FFA Chapter also was recognized with the Governors Award of Ag Excellence Sponsored by NIFA and the I Believe in the Future of Ag Campaign. Congratulations go to all who participated at State FFA Convention and Good Luck to Layne and Elise as they compete at nationals.