WL FFA impresses at state

WL FFA impresses at state · Wednesday, May 14, 2014
West Liberty FFA had another impressive showing at the 86th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference in Ames, April 28-29.

The WL high school and middle school sent 42 FFA members to compete in Ames this year, a new record for the chapter.

"It was a tremendous year," said FFA Advisor Zach Morris. "The best year we've ever had. We had more members compete in more events and place better than ever before."

Morris said he is determined to have one of the best chapters in the state, which definitely showed this year. Several students have been working hard since the beginning of the year.

"It's something they prepare so hard for," added Morris, "It gives them an opportunity to work hard and show off exactly what they can do."

For the chapter exhibit leadership event, WL FFA members Josh Walshire, Kayla Kaalberg, Joe Baker and Emma Baker came in first and were state champions out of 52 chapters, receiving a gold rating.

The event highlights the information on one major chapter project or activity. In West Liberty, that project is the plant sale.

This year the greenhouse has over 200 hanging baskets for sale and boasts several flowers and vegetables. It's the largest FFA fundraiser of the year, all handled by the students.

In Ag CSI the West Liberty Middle School group took first place out of 11 chapters, the second year for the chapter. The event challenges participants to think and develop solutions for future agriculture issues.

This year, students were asked to give a 15 minute presentation on how to grow food under the ocean. West Liberty's Lauren Aird, Brookelyn Harned, Zoey Boehme, Emily Vance, Emma Martin and Sarah Seele received a gold rating and were state champions, winning the gold rating.

In the conduct of meetings leadership event the WL chapter came in second place with a gold rating behind West Union.

Gracie Danner, Belinda Heckman, Jaida Dalton, Joe Baker, Alyssa McMichael, Noah Feldman and Haddie Anderson participated. They were required to demonstrate opening ceremonies, act out two parliamentary procedure abilities and successfully close a meeting in front of judges.

It was a close one in the Farm Management Career Development event, a giant test that asks teams to work together and solve advanced farming problems through analysis.

Out of a possible 500 points, West Liberty came just 4 points behind Montezuma, taking second place out of 79 chapters and 302 participants.

West Liberty's team consisted of Riley Anderson, Matt Kelly, Brett Becker and Elliot Henderson. In individuals scores, Riley Anderson came in fourth overall with Elliot Henderson close behind with sixth place.

For the chapter website leadership event Vanessa DeBock came in fourth with a gold rating for her work on www.westlibertyffa.com. She designed and gave an eight minute presentation with questions on the chapter's website.

In the job interview leadership event West Liberty's Katie Meyers took a gold rating and fourth place in the multitiered competition that asks competitors to fill out an application form, write letters, prepare a resume, interview and answer questions in front of judges.

West Liberty took fifth place with a gold rating in the action leadership event. The WL group gave a 15 minute recruitment presentation for FFA to a class of WL eighth graders and judges.

The group included Yesenia Montelongo, Delilah Lopez, Reghan McNaul, Kelzi Mather, Noah Bierman and Sean Salemink.

Of the 12 chapters to compete in the treasure's book leadership event, West Liberty came in fifth with a gold rating thanks to Merideth Nichols. Katie Meyers was state champion in Ag education proficiency and advanced to national competition.

Also, three Iowa degrees were earned by Katie Meyers, Dakota Herrold and Trevor Schneider. Katie Meyers also earned the state championship for her agricultural education proficiency award, advancing to nationals. The WL chapter ranked third in the state for the national chapter award. It will go onto nationals.

Morris would like to thank the parents for all their support throughout the spring preparations. At convention the more the parents can help with the traveling the more he can focus on helping the kids prepare for their events instead.
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