Roundup of FFA news for Nov. 3, 2022

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Waterford FFA
Two Waterford FFA soil judging teams competed in the state soils contest. The team included, from left, agricultural members Kaylie McCutcheon, Brandon Hvizdzak, Easton Schaad and Dalson Greene, and urban members John Klintworth, Cole Hansell, Emma Hartline and Allison Huck. (Submitted photo)

WATERFORD, Ohio — The Waterford FFA urban soil judging team is headed to Oklahoma, after participating in three different soil judging contests that lead them to becoming one of the best soil judging teams in Ohio. 

The first competition was the Washington County contest, which was hosted by the Marietta FFA Chapter. The rural team — consisting of Dalson Greene, Kaylie McCutcheon, Brandon Hvizdzak, Nathan McDougle and Easton Schaad — placed first in county while Greene placed second and McCutcheon placed third individually. The urban team — consisting of Emma Hartline, Allison Huck, Cole Hansell, Katelynn Valadingham, Maddie Hansell and John Klintworth — also placed first in county with Hartline placing first, Huck placing second and Cole Hansell placed third individually. 

The second competition was the District 10 soils contest in Jackson County. The rural team consisted of Dalson Greene, Kaylie McCutcheon, Brandon Hvizdzak, Easton Schaad and Nathan McDougal. Out of 86 total participants, Greene placed third, Hvizdzak placed eighth, McCutcheon placed thirteenth, Schaad placed twentieth and McDougal placed twenty sixth. The urban team consisted of Cole Hansell, Emma Hartline, Allison Huck, John Klintworth and Maddie Hansell. Out of 41 participants, Cole Hansell placed third, Hartline placed fourth, Klintworth placed fifth, Huck placed tenth and Maddie Hansell placed seventeenth. 

Both the rural and urban teams advanced to the state soils contest Oct. 8, which was held at the Franklin County Metro Parks in Lockbourne, Ohio. The rural team placed twelfth overall out of  50 teams. Team members included Dalson Greene, Brandon Hvizdzak, Kaylie McCutcheon and Easton Schaad. The urban team placed fourth overall out of 50 teams from across the state of Ohio. Team members included Cole Hansell, Emma Hartline, Allison Huck and John Klintworth. Hansell lead the team placing ninth with Hartline placing tenth individually out of 165 participants. 

The urban team has now advanced to the national soils contest May 2-4 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This is also the fourth time (2014, 2019, 2021) in its history that the Waterford FFA Chapter has advanced to the national soils contest. This is the first time for the chapter to advance to nationals in urban soils. Both teams were coached by Clay Hansell and Matt Hartline, FFA advisor. The team is taking any donations towards the expenses of the trip. If interested, make checks out to the Waterford FFA Chapter and send to: The Waterford FFA Chapter-Urban Soil Judging Team, P.O. Box 67, Waterford, OH 45786.

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MOUNT VICTORY, Ohio — Ridgemont FFA of Ohio was named the 2022 Premier Chapter: Strengthening Agriculture during the sixth general session of the 95th National FFA Convention and Expo this year in Indianapolis. Ridgemont FFA mixed Christmas and agriculture to help spark grade school students’ interest in FFA. The chapter created a commodity wall map for students to look at, and then members created and taught 42 different lessons about making Christmas gifts from agricultural commodities. They provided materials for students to make those gifts during a 30-minute class break. 

The national chapter award program recognizes outstanding FFA chapters that actively implement the organization’s mission and strategies. These chapters improve chapter operations using the national quality FFA chapter standards and a program of activities that emphasizes growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. 

Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership. Ten FFA chapters competed for the honor. To learn more, visit Convention.FFA.org.

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INDIANAPOLIS — Ten winners of the 2022 Agricultural Proficiency Awards were named during the sixth session of the 95th National FFA Convention and Expo Oct. 28. Agricultural Proficiency Awards honor FFA members who, through supervised agricultural experiences, have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. Students compete in areas ranging from agricultural communications to wildlife management. Proficiency awards are also recognized at local and state levels and provide recognition to members exploring and becoming established in agricultural career pathways. 

Awards were announced for 10 of the 45 categories during the sixth general convention session. Ohio recipients include the following: 

Small animal production and care — entrepreneurship/placement: Halle Miller of Norwayne FFA Chapter owns Borders of Eby Eden, an operation that sells Bordoodle puppies — border collies crossed with poodles — throughout the U.S. Her enterprise grew from two dogs to six, and she has sold 88 puppies with more than 20 depositors awaiting their own. Miller provides early neurological stimulation, genetic research, vet care and reproductive support. She is supported by her parents, Robin and Mike. 

Turf grass management — entrepreneurship/placement: While in middle school, Nathaniel McCandlish of the Fairfield Union FFA Chapter began mowing lawns for family and friends in his neighborhood. Before long, his efforts grew into his own business. In addition to mowing, he offers lawn aeration, seeding, fertilizing and revitalization. McCandlish owns all his equipment, assumes all expenses and receives all profits. His parents let him use their shop for storage in exchange for maintaining their lawn. McCandlish is supported by his parents, Carrie and Gene. 

Vegetable production — entrepreneurship/placement: Griffin Craig Gillmore of the Lakota FFA Chapter has been engaged in his family farm for as long as he can remember. While the majority of the 1,780 acres are devoted to growing sugar beets, approximately 200 acres are dedicated to peppers, pickles, cabbage and sweet corn. Gillmore operates the 7120 Magnum tractor paired to the custom built 120′ conveyer system that is used for harvesting pickles. Gillmore is supported by his parents, Lisa and Craig.

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INDIANAPOLIS — Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, four FFA members are honored with American Star Awards for outstanding accomplishments in FFA and agricultural education. The American Star Awards, including American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience, are presented to FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through completion of an SAE. 

American star winner Jacob Wuebker, a member of Versailles FFA, said his family farm is a “pretty decent size” in order to accommodate all the plants and animals they cultivate. Around 1,200 acres are used for the crops alone. Jacob said he appreciates all the work his family has done to help make his supervised agricultural experience a success. After he recently graduated from Wright State University, Lake Campus with a degree in agribusiness, he became a full-time farmer for his family’s operation, and he said he has no plans to stop.

Versailles FFA of Ohio was named the 2022 Model of Excellence during the third general session of the 95th National FFA Convention and Expo this year in Indianapolis. Versailles FFA of Ohio promoted farm safety in their community by hosting a Family Farm Safety Night event. 

To promote economic development, the chapter organized a Fall Harvest Market where FFA members could sell products like pumpkins, soap and honey produced through their supervised agricultural experiences. Members also recognized local farmers by putting on an Egg-spression of Appreciation breakfast, serving 600 omelets to the community. The National Chapter Award program recognizes outstanding FFA chapters that actively implement the organization’s mission and strategies. 

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Zanesville, Ohio — Members of the West Muskingum FFA Chapter attended the 95th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana. In the Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance – Placement category, Caden Keck was recognized. Keck, of the West Muskingum FFA Chapter in Ohio, works for Ross Agri Mechanics, an equipment service and repair shop. His early tasks were simple ones including greasing equipment, completing oil changes and replacing basic filters. After four years with the operation, he is responsible for repairing and performing maintenance on everything from tractors and brush hogs to rototillers and lawn mowers. Keck is supported by his parents, Danielle and Andy. 

On Saturday of the convention, FFA members Cody Harris and Caden Keck received their American FFA degrees. The chapter is proud of all their hard work and dedication over their five years as FFA members, and is honored to add their names to our chapter list of American degree recipients over the past 54 years of our chapter’s existence.

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INDIANAPOLIS — Nine winners of the 2022 Agricultural Proficiency Awards were named during the fifth session of the 95th National FFA Convention and Expo Oct. 28. Agricultural Proficiency Awards honor FFA members who, through supervised agricultural experiences, have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. Awards were announced for nine of the 45 categories during the fifth general convention session. In the Landscape Management – Entrepreneurship/Placement category, Jared Weigandt of the New Bremen FFA Chapter was recognized. Weigandty works for Sidney Lawn and Landscape, a business owned by his father. He is the mechanic and landscape co-foreman, involved in seeding lawns, installing landscapes, lawn maintenance tasks, erosion control and fertilizer applications. Weigandt is supported by his parents, Lisa and Jeffery.

In the Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production – Entrepreneurship/Placement category, Thomas Rindfuss of the Wynford FFA Chapter in Ohio, was recognized. Rindfuss works for his family’s farm, producing 620 acres of soybeans from early spring tillage through fall harvest. Throughout the year, he performs multiples tasks, from welding to driving tractors to installing waterways. He also helps with marketing the crop, choosing varieties and grain storage. Rindfuss is supported by his parents, Shelley and Mike.

In the Dairy Production – Entrepreneurship category, Carrie Rhoades of the Ansonia FFA Chapter in Ohio was recognized, Rhoades is a seventh-generation dairy farmer, raising her own herds of dairy replacement heifers, milking cows and dairy show cattle. She has a labor exchange agreement with her father to pay for the feed, rent and other necessities for her projects. Her responsibilities include feeding the heifers, giving the calves milk, providing grain and water, bedding pens and hutches, dehorning newborn calves, and tagging and tattooing heifers. Rhoades is supported by her parents, Leslie and Douglas.

In the Agricultural Communication – Entrepreneurship/Placement category, Laura Wuebker of the Versailles FFA Chapter in Ohio was recognized. Wuebker works for WGTR radio station as a co-farm news director. In this position, she informs listeners about agriculture-related topics through researching stories and broadcasting them. She contacts 10 local grain elevators and collects the grain markets along with creating and broadcasting a weather forecast. Her reports extend to the entire listening area covering four counties in Ohio and two in Indiana. Weubker is supported by her parents, Dena and Jeff. 

In the Agricultural Services – Entrepreneurship/Placement category,  John Gilbert, of the Valley View MVCTC FFA Chapter in Ohio, was recognized. Gilbert works for his family business, Ro-Lin Farm Services. This operation specializes in buying, storing and hauling farm products. They provide agriculturists with various services, such as: custom fertilizer, spraying, planting, scouting and soil sampling. Gilbert is supported by his parents, Lucy and Chad.

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