The 82nd annual Paola FFA Chapter banquet and awards ceremony was held March 5 at Paola High School.
Chapter Secretary Payton Shields gave the welcome and Reporter Ben Timpe offered the invocation.
Following a potluck dinner, the chapter officers conducted opening ceremonies. President Ale Wright gave opening remarks and Vice President Lance Elliott recognized parents and special guests in attendance.
Advisor John Menefee thanked the Baska family for smoking the meat for the banquet. He encouraged members to stay active and find something that interests them and pursue it. He thanked parents for trusting their children with the advisors and encouraged them to allow their child to be involved.
He wrapped up his remarks by listing some accomplishments. Madi Toman was named a 2018 National Proficiency Award finalist in Ag Services at the national convention, being one of four nationally to earn this honor. Halle Schindler will represent the chapter at the state convention in the Employment Skills LDE, a first for the chapter. Ale Wright will represent the chapter at the state convention in Prepared Public Speaking. For the 15th consecutive time, the chapter finished in the top five in district sweepstakes. Also, the animal science laboratory was completed in fall 2018.
At the East Central District awards selection day, eight students were awarded district proficiency awards; three students received their State Degree, and the chapter was given National Chapter Award Recognition.
Greenhand members Emma Johnson, Gus Wright, Maxwell Douglass, Seth Aistrup and Kaylee Burgen presented the FFA Creed before turning the microphone over to FFA Alumni President Max Menefee. He explained the purpose of the Alumni Chapter, some of their activities and services to the chapter, who could be a member and thanked the many businesses and supporters who donated to the scholarship fund.
Senior scholarships were awarded to Dawson Dreyer, Halle Schindler, Katie Seaman and Payton Sheldon.
Chase Robbins was presented with the Kenneth Nelson Memorial Scholarship, named after longtime Miami County resident and beef producer Kenny Nelson, who passed away in 2012.
Chapter advisors John Menefee and Tom Schull awarded proficiency awards to the following students:
- Aubrey Weatherbie: beef production placement
- Halle Schindler: swine production placement
- James Weber: poultry production entrepreneurship
- Payton Sheldon: equine science placement
- Cheyenne Helm: equine science entrepreneurship
- Krista Haley: dairy production entrepreneurship, goat production entrepreneurship, diversified livestock, sheep production
- Aaron Maxwell: swine production entrepreneurship
- Josie Dees: small animal production
- Rylan Armbruster: vegetable production
- Maggie Cole: home and community development
- Laurynn Shry: fruit production
- Jordan Billesbach: diversified production placement, ag mechanic design/fabrication
- Benjamin Timpe: specialty animal production
- Leah Mailand: vet science
- Maci Gerken: landscape management
- Katie Seaman: beef production entrepreneurship
Payton Sheldon was named the recipient of the DeKalb Senior Award.
Members Payton Sheldon and Chase Robbins gave their senior remarks and recalled stories and funny happenings from their years in FFA.
The Star Greenhand is given to a first-year student. Criteria include classroom success, FFA involvement/accomplishment and community service. Maxwell Douglass was this year’s winner.
Leah Mailand was named the Star in Ag Placement.
The Star Farmer is the oldest and most prestigious award given by the FFA. It is steeped in history and recognizes the student with an outstanding supervised agricultural experience program. This year’s winner was Krista Haley. She was also the winner of the Dorrene Menefee Memorial Scholarship.
The Honorary Chapter Farmer recognizes those who give substantial time and support to the chapter. The award was presented to Trish Maxwell.
The evening concluded with the chapter officers conducting closing ceremonies and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.