MANHATTAN — Several local FFA students recently received multiple honors at the 94th Kansas FFA Convention, which took place June 1-3 on the Kansas State campus in Manhattan.

The following is a breakdown of local programs.


Paola FFA members Seth Aistrup, Hayley Hines and Gus Wright were named state champions in the marketing plan category.

Paola FFA Advisor John Menefee said team members had to develop and deliver a marketing plan for a local agriculture business. The written plan is 10 pages long, and the presentation was 15 minutes followed by five minutes of questions. The written plan includes a description of the business, proposed plan for marketing/promoting the business and a proposed three-year budget. It was the second year in a row Paola has won the event.

Wright also earned a Wildlife Production Proficiency Award.

“Gus runs a trapline during fur harvester season and then markets the pelts,” Menefee said. “In addition, he also runs a YouTube channel educating the public on trapping and other wildlife activities. Gus plans to turn this SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) into a career as he attends K-State next fall to become a game warden.”

Paola FFA member Max Douglass earned an Equine Production Placement Proficiency Award.

“Max works for his dad’s business, Lakeside Stables, in the Hillsdale area,” Menefee said. “Max helps with all the day-to-day care of the horses and assists with riding lessons and other farm activities.”

Paola FFA members Luke Elkinton (Grain Production) and Ben Timpe (Specialty Animal Production) were state finalists for proficiency awards.

Paola FFA members Aistrup, Vanessa Berrey and Kody Hendrickson received State FFA Degrees.

“This is the highest degree/honor the Kansas FFA can bestow upon its members,” Menefee said. “This degree shows a dedication to their respective SAE programs, and members must have earned and recorded enough income to qualify for the award.”

Aistrup also received a Build Ford Tough Scholarship.

“This scholarship was sponsored by Louisburg Ford,” Menefee said. “They have been loyal supporters of this scholarship and the Paola FFA, and we greatly appreciate their support of our program.”

Paola FFA members Wade Enman and Hayley Hines served as official delegates at the convention.

“They attended business sessions, interacted with state officer candidates and got to vote on the slate of state officers,” Menefee said.

Nine Paola FFA members attended the convention, and they also got to be a part of the ribbon cutting for the Opportunities Fair. The fair allowed members to interact and visit with industry representatives from all aspect of agriculture as well as different colleges and universities.

“We also attended multiple leadership workshops, including one put on by past state and national FFA Officer Becky Sullivan Fouard, who is also a Spring Hill graduate,” Menefee said.


Grace Young made history at the state convention, becoming the first Osawatomie FFA member to win the State Agricultural Education Proficiency Award.

Young received the award for outstanding accomplishments she has made in developing programs that will prepare her for a career in agriculture, according to a news release. The award was sponsored by the Kurt Dillon family and Harmon Bliss family.

The proficiency award program recognizes students for exceptional accomplishments and excellence in an SAE program. The program allows students to set goals and gain real-world experience in a chosen area of the agriculture industry.

Young began her SAE by working with youth to expand their knowledge of agriculture by providing them with hands-on learning activities. She started this SAE in August of 2018 after visiting with her FFA advisor, according to the release.

This position has allowed her to gain knowledge about lesson plans and different education approaches used with different types of students. This SAE allows her to share her passion for teaching agriculture to others. After graduation, Young will be attending K-State and majoring in milling science with a secondary degree in global food systems leadership, according to the release.

Grace is the daughter of Dennis and Brenda Young. Her chapter advisor is Matthew Brandt.

Young also received a National FFA Foundation Scholarship at the state convention.


Three FFA members from Louisburg and one FFA member from Labette County were recognized with scholarships for their outstanding performance in the Nursery/Landscape Career Development Event (CDE) at the state convention.

Students receiving scholarships were: Sami Leikan, Katie Dillon and Hayden Ross from Louisburg FFA; and Lakin Giager from Labette County FFA. The scholarships were sponsored by STIHL Outdoor Power Equipment.

Dillon also received a National FFA Foundation Scholarship.

Louisburg FFA member Reese Reitz received a Built Ford Tough Scholarship.

Louisburg FFA members placed second in the Career Development Event Sweepstakes at the state convention.


Spring Hill FFA members finished fourth in the Parliamentary Procedure Leadership Development Event at the state convention.

Spring Hill FFA member Aleaha Schwinn also received the Barn2Door SAE Grant.


Prairie View FFA member Will Sherman earned a state proficiency award in the category of Agricultural Processing. The award was sponsored by City BBQ.

Prairie View FFA member Kaden Stroup earned a state proficiency award in the category of Beef Production-Placement. The award was sponsored by Tiffany Cattle Co.

Several Prairie View FFA members were awarded their State FFA Degree during the convention. In order to achieve this award, members must meet the following requirements: have received their Chapter FFA Degree, been an FFA member and agricultural education student for at least two years, earned at least $2,000, or worked 600 hours in their Supervised Agricultural Experience program, given a six-minute speech about agriculture or FFA, participated in eight different leadership activities, received a “C” average or better in high school and shown a record of outstanding leadership and community involvement.

Prairie View FFA members who earned state degrees were: Stroup, Lauren Aust, Addison Bloodgood, Emma Chambers, Jade Chambers, Sophia Fleer, Jessica Petric, Hallie Snyder, Braxton Stainbrook, Kyra Uphoff and Brady VanVlack.

Aust also earned a Built Ford Tough FFA Scholarship and a National FFA Foundation Scholarship, according to a news release.

Senior Managing Editor Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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