Thirty-one FFA members from MHS competed at the 93rd Annual South Dakota FFA Convention from April 11-13 in Rapid City. Instructor and adviser for the team, Jerry Janisch, accompanied the students to the convention. Janisch said, “This year, all FFA career development teams had to qualify at the district FFA level, before they could compete at the state competition.”
Junior, Korbin Leddy earned first place in the agri-science social science division. Korbin conducted a survey to study the effects of the COVID-19 virus had on future career decisions. Agriscience provides students with basic knowledge of agriculture and its history and the science applications in agriculture. This program includes units in animal science, soil science, plant science, agricultural mechanics, basic carpentry, food science technology, and agricultural leadership. Leddy now advances to the final level of the state competition in agri-science. which determines the national qualifiers. The national convention will be held in Indianapolis in October. Leddy also received a silver award in beef entrepreneurship.
The floriculture team earned a second-place finish. Members of the floriculture team were Alexis Ninneman, Halli Essington, Camryn Phinney, and Lydia Street. Essington also placed first individually and Phinney placed third.
Second place was awarded to the dairy cattle team comprised of Keara VanHoorn, Cassidy Schwagel, Brooke Schwagel, and Kylene Bowen. C. Schwagel also brought home an individual fifth-place award.
The Milbank natural resources team placed third. Team members included Wylie Mursu, who placed fifth individually, and Tice Mursu, Korbin Leddy and Marion Mischel.
The MHS food science and livestock teams placed 13th. Raul Berrones, Natalie Meyer, Isabella Vogel and Harley Davis formed the food science team. Berrones placed second individually. Members of the livestock team were: Tanner, Garrett Mertens, Lyndsey Mertens, and Jenna Johnson. According to Janisch, it was the first time three members in the team participated in a state FFA competition.
Jessica Pillatzki, Nathan Berrones, and Luis Berrones placed ninth in milk quality. J. Pillatzki placed 11th individually.
Landon Novy, Nick Fonder, Kaden Schweer, and Avery Overbeke made up the agronomy team and won 14th place. The ag mechanics and technology team included Cole Brown, Isaac Sousa, Eric VanSambeek, and Chris Peery. Brown placed sixth individually, and as a top-10 winner, was also awarded a cordless drill.
Camryn Phinney, Jessica Pillatzki, Heidi Capp, Noemi Luis Gomez, Eric Van Sambeek, and Chris Peery received the State FFA degree. It is the highest FFA degree awarded. To qualify for the award the member must have earned and productively invested at least $1,000, or worked at least 300 hours in excess of scheduled class time or a combination thereof in a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program. The student must have demonstrated leadership ability by performing 10 procedures of parliamentary law orbgiving a six-minute speech on an agriculture or FFA-related topic. They must have served as an officer, committee chairperson, or participating member of a chapter committee and completed at least 25 hours of community service.