Student awards and community support were the main themes Thursday at the annual Marion-Florence FFA chapter Parent-Member-Employer Banquet in the Marion High School cafeteria.
More than 140 people turned out for the event, which FFA chapter adviser Mark Meyer said was the largest in recent memory.
“This is as good a turnout as I think we’ve ever had. Last year we set for this many people, but I saw a lot more empty chairs,” Meyer said.
State FFA Reporter Nathan Laudan of Paola, a Kansas State University freshman majoring in food science and agriculture communications, was the featured speaker for the banquet. Laudan, who estimated he has driven almost 20,000 miles the past year attending FFA chapter events throughout Kansas, was impressed with the Marion event.
“We go out to chapters and they don’t always have full community support, a lot of times community members aren’t at chapter banquets,” Laudan said. “It’s really incredible to get to see Marion and all the support they have from the community.”
USD 408 Superintendent Lee Leiker echoed Laudan’s comments.
“It’s very well-supported by our local agricultural businesses and local farmers, and they realize the value. It speaks so well of what FFA represents with the leadership, positive conduct, and responsibility,” Leiker said.
“In an ag community like we’re in, many of those local farmers grew up learning their skills through the FFA program. I think that’s what keeps the excitement and keeps the support,” Leiker said.
Certificates of appreciation were presented to Straub International, Prairieland Partners, Hillsboro Industries, Cooperative Grain & Supply, Carlson’s Grocery, and Gambino’s Pizza for their assistance to the chapter during the year. Pat Ash, Tod Gordon, Diane Carpenter, Robin Taylor, and Don Molleker were individually recognized for their support.
FFA members were presented with numerous awards for their activities during the year. Jacob Cope will replace outgoing Chapter President Jessie Taylor for the 2012-13 program year, and Meyer expressed enthusiasm for all seven new officers.
“I’m excited about the new kids we have. We had 10 quality people interview for offices, and I wish I could’ve created 10 offices, because you couldn’t miss,” Meyer said.
The banquet was a good culmination to the program year, Meyer said.
“I thought it went very well We’ve had a great year. This is a great group of kids, and I enjoy them so much,” Meyer said.
Chapter Proficiency Awards
Grain Production Proficiency (Entrepreneurship): Clark Kroupa.
Beef Production (Placement): Jacob Cope.
Beef Production (Entrepreneurship): Raleigh Kroupa.
Outdoor Recreation (Placement): Seth Snelling.
Turf Grass Management (Placement): Justin Silhan.
Turf Grass Management (Entrepreneurship): Bret Voth.
Diversified Crop Production (Placement): Clint Kroupa.
Fiber & Oil Crop Production (Entrepreneurship): Clint Kroupa.
Emerging Ag Technology (Placement): Clint Kroupa.
Forage Production (Placement): Jacob Cope.
Wildlife Management (Placement): Christian Larson.
Ag Mechanics Repair & Maintenance (Placement): Christian Larson.
Ag Mechanics Design & Fabrication (Placement): Zac Lewman.
Specialty Animal Production (Entrepreneurship): Caitlyn Maloney.
Diversified Livestock Production (Entrepreneurship): Nicholas Meyer.
Sheep Production (Entrepreneurship): Nicholas Meyer.
Poultry Production (Entrepreneurship): Nicholas Meyer.
Equine Science (Entrepreneurship): Cara Martin.
Veterinary Science (Placement): Aaron Molleker.
Special Chapter Awards
Chapter Sweepstakes: 1st, Nicholas Meyer; 2nd, Jacob Cope; 3rd, Clint Kroupa.
Chapter Recordkeeping Award: Nicholas Meyer.
Star Chapter Greenhand (Production): Raleigh Kroupa.
Star Chapter Greenhand (Placement): Bret Voth.
2012-13 Chapter Officers
President: Jacob Cope
Vice President: Aaron Molleker
Secretary: Nicholas Meyer
Treasurer: Caitlyn Maloney
Reporter: Clark Kroupa
Sentinel: Montana Percell
Parliamentarian: Clint Kroupa