MANHATTAN, Kan. — Two local FFA members received state proficiency awards for having one of the best career development programs in the state at the 91st Kansas FFA Convention May 29-31 on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan.

Paola High School FFA Chapter member Joseph Ryckert received a Kansas FFA Proficiency Award in Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production.

Spring Hill High School FFA Chapter member Kaleb Nelson received a Kansas FFA Proficiency Award in Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Placement.

Ryckert works on his family’s farm, where he helps farm corn and soybeans. He has learned the more technical details of the operation over time, and now assists with planting, equipment maintenance and pesticide application, according to a FFA news release. Ryckert hopes to take what he’s learned in the field and apply it one day to his own farming operation, according to the release.

His parents are Jerod and Lisa Ryckert. His chapter advisors are John Menefee and Tom Schull.

Nelson works for MoKan Outdoor Power and Equipment as a floor technician. His main responsibilities include assembling equipment and performing maintenance on tractors and lawn mowers, according to an FFA news release.

Nelson started off working with the head mechanic to learn the various duties and soon after was able to work independently on his projects. His goal is to continue learning about repair and maintenance, giving him lifelong skills, according to the release.

His parents are Peter and Jennifer Nelson. His chapter advisor is Alicia Hampton.

The proficiency award program recognizes students for exceptional accomplishments in a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program, according to the release.

The Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production award was sponsored by the Kansas Soybean Commission, and Kan-Equip sponsored the Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Placement award.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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