West Branch FFA honors achievers

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BELOIT, Ohio – Several outstanding juniors and seniors were individually and publicly praised during West Branch FFA’s 39th annual banquet at the school April 28. More than 275 parents and supporters attended.
Senior Brian Spencer received the Star Agricultural Business award for starting and managing a herd of beef cattle.
Senior Bryce Sanor was named outstanding ag student. Sharp noted Sanor will be a class valedictorian and has been a standout student in the school’s FFA program. Sanor also excelled as a three-year member of the dairy judging team, placing in district and state competition.
Sanor also received the ag savings award, reserved for the student who banked the most money from project marketing and employment during his senior year.
Junior awards. Adviser Greg Sharp lamented to the crowd his frustration at not being able to choose more than one of the chapter’s juniors for that level’s most outstanding student award.
No student received the award this year.
Sharp said the juniors have followed the lead of an outstanding senior class, excelling in employment, FFA events, community service and in the classroom.
Guest speaker. A standing room only crowd packed the school cafeteria for the banquet’s swiss steak dinner provided by the Damascus Ruritans.
Ruritan member Scott Weingart helped prepare and serve meals, cleared tables, and then headed to the school’s auditorium to serve as guest speaker.
Weingart is also superintendent of schools.
Weingart pitted chapter advisers Mike Bardo and Greg Sharp against one another for a game of FFA Feud featuring school district trivia.
The superintendent also praised Bardo and Sharp, calling them “outstanding” men who have paired their joy of teaching with their love of farming.
Weingart was named Honorary Chapter Farmer for his support of the chapter’s activities, including a trip to the National Western Stock Show in Denver and maintaining computer software and supplies for the agricultural students.
Business. Chapter president Kyle Birkhimer updated the community on the chapter’s current key projects.
The chapter added a milk vending machine to the school’s cafeteria and has received good feedback on the venture, Birkhimer said.
He also said the students are finishing up construction of a hog barbecue spit, have planted this year’s wheat crop, and are hoping to plant corn soon.
Lauren George took the top award in the chapter’s fruit sale, with 100 boxes sold.
Chapter awards. The chapter has several livestock chains in operation. Recipients include Kari Stoller, Holstein calf; Rylee Farmer, Jersey calf; Alicia Sanor, beef; and Rylee Farmer and Katie Carpenter, gilt chain.
Karen Steiger and Dustin Elder recited the FFA creed for the crowd and were recognized as Star Greenhands.
Lisa Ruthrauff was honored as outstanding sophomore.
Proficiency. Proficiency awards were presented to Kyle Birkhimer, dairy production; Brian Spencer, beef production; Justin Stryffeler, crop production;
Becky Glasser, sheep production and sheep showmanship; Alyssa Schneider, horse production; Jeffrey Stryffeler, diversified livestock production;
Lauren George, swine production and swine showmanship; Julie Stryffeler, poultry production and outdoor recreation; Rebecca Miller, small animal production;
Karen Kampfer, placement in production; Ben Humphrey, sales and service; Robert Sharpnack, ag mechanics; Lisa Ruthrauff, ag processing;
Jarrid Manley, fish and wildlife; Lee Steiger, soil and water; Bryce Sanor, forest management and dairy judging; John Karlen, home improvement; Jeff Karlen, landscape management;
Adam Deckerd, dairy showmanship; Sarah Greeneisen, beef showmanship; and Cory Wutrick, ag electrification.
New officers. Officers for the 2005-2006 school year include Birkhimer, president; John Karlen, vice president; Lauren George, secretary; Lisa Ruthrauff, treasurer; Rylee Farmer, reporter; Jeff Karlen, sentinel; and Cory Wutrick, Justin Stryffeler, Karen Kampfer and Julie Stryffeler, student advisers.
(Reporter Andrea Myers welcomes reader feedback by phone at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at amyers@farmanddairy.com.)

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