FFA rocks district

Jacob Lane · Tuesday, March 7, 2017
The West Liberty FFA began the competitive season in style Saturday, March 4, with district competition. Almost 40 students will be advancing to state competition in April.

Oh yeah, according to the national chapter award, which assesses chapter involvement and activities, West Liberty is the number one program in the State of Iowa out of 220.

“This group, overall, with their results makes it look easy,” says FFA Director Zach Morris. “But the amount of preparation they give in order to go to state is really tough.”

West Liberty FFA competed against 42 other schools in Muscatine in over a dozen individual and team categories.

It looks like they are off to a great start in the FFA competitive season, which begins with districts. Next is state competition April 9-11 in Ames, Iowa.

After state is the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 25-28. It may seem far away, but with such a great showing now, it looks as though several West Liberty student have a good chance to go all the way.

So how do they do it?

“The biggest thing is that they are really involved in their school,” says Director Morris “They understand that FFA, as challenging as it is, rewards you when you prepare.”

The teams and individuals began practice in December, where they met two or three times a week including weekends from as early as 6:30 a.m. to as late as 9 p.m.

It gets busy around West Liberty High School as the FFA competitors grind it out, so it helps that many of the student leaders step up and assist the various groups.

“This group has got a lot of positive energy,” says Morris. “I think they’ve realy taking on the example set by the older members. They’ve taken what the older members have done and really utilized it to their advantage.”

There are several key juniors and seniors involved with West Liberty FFA. This year the Chapter was also joined by around 30 eighth grade students.

As for districts...

In Job Interview, Gracie Danner placed first and will be advancing to state. So will Alyssa McMichael, who took first place in Public Speaking.

Morgan Peterson placed third in Creed, while Program of Activites Team Morgan Nichols, Kelzi Mather and Jaida Dalton placed second. They all will be going to state.

In Parliamentary Procedure, Jack Baker, Tatum Dickey, Parker Werling, Aly Jones and Gabi Evans took second place and will be advancing to state.

Meanwhile, the Experience the Action (ETA) took first and is one its way to state. The team includes Emma Martin, Lauren Aird, Sarah Seele, Alyssa Snider, Brookelyn Harned .

The audience for the ETA team includes Brent Meyers, Jacob Nichols, Colton Kaalberg, Lexi Buysse, Montana Herrold, Kennedi McNaul, Maya Barrera, Allison Wickman, Chinda Lovan, Natalie Schmidt.

In Manual Quiz, Madison Law placed first. Yes, she’s headed to state.

The Conduct of Meetings team, including Madison McIntosh, Austyn Crees, Haylee Lehman, Alexis Partida, Brittney Harned, Marissa McMichael, Austin McMichael, and Karsyn Ruess, placed second and is advancing to state.

Also, Ag CSI team Isabel Morrison, Janey Gingerich, Emily Bierman, Lindsey Laughlin, Averi Goodale, Martha Pace placed first. Guess what? they’re advancing to state.

Sean Salemink earned an alternate to state sport in Ag Radio. Joe Baker received a gold rating for his website presentation.

The Ag Impact team earned status as alternate to state. It includes Brielle Page, Chance Thrasher, Austin Elizalde, Abby Tanchihn, Miranda Putney, Addison Cline - Alternate to State.

Finally, in Greenhand Quiz Kayla Maurer, Jessica Stepanek and Miranda McHugh all earned silver awards.

Indeed, it’s a been a busy couple of days, weeks and months for West Liberty FFA. However, the grind is something that’s unique to the program.

“Regardless of natural talent they can win and do well by outworking other teams,” says Director Zach Morris.

However, West Liberty will take an evening to look back on a year’s worth of success and effort during the FFA Banquet, which will be held Tuesday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m.

The public is invited to attend, the program includes a summary of activities, awards and officer installations for the 2017 crew.
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