Swope lauded by United FFA members


HANOVERTON, Ohio — Surprised chapter parent Sarah Swope was presented honorary member status when the United FFA met for its annual awards banquet April 3.

More than 150 chapter members, parents and supporters gathered at the United Local school to review the past year’s activities.

The honorary member degree is presented to recognize the efforts of a chapter supporter in advancing agricultural education. Swope described herself as “very honored” and was emotional when presented the award.

“Did you all know about this? I don’t know how 85 students managed to keep their mouths shut about this,” she said.

Swope also had her daughter, Rebecca, show off the navy blue corduroy jacket she wore 23 years ago as a student and chapter member at West Branch.

“I judged general livestock, goofed around at state convention, shot a spark plug through the roof, and we caught someone’s overalls on fire learning to weld,” she recalled. “It all happened because others gave us a whole lot, and this is my chance to give back.

“You will all have a gift to give back” because of your FFA experience, she told members. “And the giving is a lot better than the getting,” she said.

Super members

Three chapter members were honored by receiving State FFA Degrees this school year. Those members include Ryan Rhoades, Roger Bernet and Emily Huff. Senior Taylor Burbick received her state degree last year.

Graduate Chad Raber, currently a student at Wilmington College, will receive his American FFA Degree this fall.

Top fruit salesman was Denver Stonestreet.

Freshman Rebecca Swope took home the Star Greenhand award, presented to the most outstanding first-year member.

Chapter adviser Doug Sutton said there was a wide field of freshman members who worked hard over the past year and “you could never tell which one of them would be the top.” Sutton described Swope as “always there, doing a little extra” to make sure all the chapter’s projects were successful.

Chapter president Emily Huff received the Star Chapter Farmer award given to the most outstanding senior member.

“Of the four [seniors], she worked hardest from what she had when she started to get where she’s at now,” Sutton said.

“You will all have a gift to give back. And the giving
is a lot better than the getting.”
Sarah Swope
United FFA honorary member degree recipient


Chapter adviser Doug Sutton reviewed several of the chapter’s accomplishments for 2007-2008, including members attending state and national conventions, providing a petting zoo for elementary students, maintenance on the school’s nature trail, and completion of fair projects.

In addition, the chapter’s booth at the Columbiana County Fair garnered top honors in the conservation theme category, and chapter member Taylor Burbick was selected fair queen.

Several members also worked in the FFA food building at the county fair. Their work earned a portion of the proceeds — $1,600 — to be used toward attending state and national conventions.


The chapter’s parliamentary procedure team of Carmen Andric, Ryan Rhoades, Denver Stonestreet, Lynette Sell, Taylor Burbick, Brandon Zepernick, Jonathan Willis, Emily Huff, Roger Bernet and Brittany Moore won the subdistrict contest and placed third in the district.

Mallorie Dustman received a gold rating in the creed speaking contest, and Ryan Rhoades participated in the extemporaneous speaking category.

Adviser Doug Sutton also praised members of the chapter’s livestock judging teams for their keen “interest in learning what goes into producing a good food animal.”

He also said new guidelines allow an unlimited number of young people to participate on the teams with only the top three scores counting toward a team’s placing. That setup allowed more young people to see the judging experience.

The dairy judging team included Caleb Swope, Chris Paterson, Aaron Hayter, Shannon Fryman, Ashley Schukert, Jonathan Willis, Frank Gauding, Abby Maynard and Corey Miller. That team competed at the ATI and Ashland invitationals and at the state contest.

The general livestock judging team included Paterson, Bernet, Rebecca Swope, Dustman, Zepernick, Willis, Luke Mattevi, Caleb Swope, Cody Phillips, Eric Chronister, Jason Smith, Kalene Worth, Fryman, Corey Miller, Carmen Andric, Maynard and Nikole Davis. That team participated in contests at Wooster, districts at Ashland and at the state contest.

Kalene Worth also tried her hand at the equine management contest and placed in the top two-thirds at the state level, Sutton said.

The rural and urban soil judging teams included Frank Gauding, Colt McCombs, Aaron Hayter, Devyn Rothbrust, Caleb Swope, Carmen Andric, Brent Baker, Abby Maynard, Nikole Davis and Shannon Fryman. The rural team advanced to state competition.

The Envirothon team of Denver Stonestreet, Rhoades, Worth, Corey Miller, Bernet, Corey Myers, Caleb Swope, Chronister, Paterson, Sell, Hayter and Rebecca Swope will compete at the Ashland contest this spring.

New leaders

Chapter officers for the 2008-2009 school year are Lynette Sell, president; Carmen Andric, vice president; Brittany Moore, secretary; Brent Baker, treasurer; Caleb Swope, reporter; Kaitlin McCombs, sentinel; and Kalene Worth, student adviser.

The senior class honored Sutton with a plaque of appreciation. Attendees also heard a keynote on attitude and leadership from state FFA vice president Allen Schmitz.

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