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FFA Members Honored At Annual Banquet

By Staff | Mar 26, 2009

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT – Aaron Putze, Executive Director of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, delivered an inspirational talk to the crowd at the Emmetsburg FFA Awards Banquet Monday night. Putze, a native of West Bend, urged the FFA members to show their pride in agriculture and be assured that the future of agriculture is bright. For more photos of the FFA Banquet and awards, turn to pages 11 and 12 of this issue of The Democrat.— Dan Voigt photo

The accomplishments of members of the Emmetsburg FFA Chapter were recognized during the annual awards banquet of the organization Monday night at Emmetsburg High School. Several special awards were presented during the event, as well as an inspirational talk on pride in agriculture and rural Iowa.

Aaron Putze, Executive Director of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, and a West Bend native, presented in inspirational address to the banquet attendees revolving around the idea of pride.

“American Pride is not something we hide, we show it off,” Putze said, “Pride is a good thing, when we put it on display, and we use it to help others.”

Putze pointed out that 90 percent of Iowa’s land is used for agriculture in some form, and 98 percent of those lands are owned by families. In Palo Alto County, there are 849 farms, encompassing 350,000 acres, and the average age of a farmer in the county is 55.3 years of age. Palo Alto County generated $330 million in ag productivity in 2007,

“Agriculture is big business,” Putze said. “Agriculture in Iowa employs 190,000 people, which would be 54 times the population of Emmetsburg, or four times the population of the city of Ankeny. Do you think the state would miss four Ankenys if agriculture completely disappeared? How about 54 Emmetsburgs?”

The future of agriculture and farming remains bright, according to Putze.

“75 percent of the next generation want to farm, and 83 percent of those people want to raise livestock,” Putze said. “84 percent of the next generation want to live in Iowa after they graduate and 66 percent want a four-year degree. But, here’s what I like to see, 55 percent of all FFA members today live in a town or city, instead of on a farm. The future of agriculture is solid from the way it looks to me.”

Noting that it took from 1907 to 1927 for the world to reach one billion in population, Putze told the group that it only took 13 years after that to gain another billion inhabitants.

“Don’t worry about the future demand for agriculture and farmers,” Putze said. “There’s an old saying, ‘Have a full stomach, have lots of problems. Have an empty stomach, have one problem.”

Special Awards were presented during the evening to individuals for their assistance and support of FFA.

Bruce Nelson received a special appreciation award for his assistance to member Mason Hoffman for his Ag Sales Leadership Program. Emmetsburg High School Principal Jay Jurrens was awarded an Honorary Chapter Degree for his support and assistance to the FFA program at EHS during the past year.

Ritchie Berkland of Cylinder presented the DeKalb Award to Bridget Rouse based on her excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership and agricultural work experience. The final special award was Outstanding Senior Award, which was presented to Lucas Thomsen.

Several awards and recognitions were presented to members of the Emmetsburg FFA, starting with Proficiency Awards. Those receiving the proficiency awards were Lucas Ezarski for Ag Mechanics Repair and Maintenance; Mason Hoffman for Grain Production; Daniel Borchardt for Beef Production; Katie Jo Walker for Dairy Production; Kyle Hurley for Sheep Production and Lucas Thomsen for Swine Production.

Skills CDE Recognition awards were presented to the Soils Judging squad of Laura Riechart, Carson Glasnapp, Katie Jo Walker, Josh Kibbie and Daniel Borchardt. The group received a third place Gold Rating at District competition and finished 11 th at the state competition, earning a Silver Rating.

The Livestock Judging Squad, comprised of Travis Ring, Daniel Borchardt, Lucas Thomsen and Kyle Hurley, finished fourth at the state competition to earn a Silver Rating.

Leadership CDE Recognitions were presented to Daniel Borchardt for Job Interview, where he finished fourth at the Sub District contest and earned a Silver Rating. Mason Hoffman was honored for the Ag Sales contest, where he placed first in the Sub District Contest for a Gold Rating and finished fifth at the District Contest to earn a Silver Rating.

Greenhand Awards were presented to Logan Bowman, Jonathon Eldridge, Andrew Garrelts, Andrew Graham, Max Jones, Adam Kerr, Joshua Lieb, Laura Reichert, Orian Schneider, Samantha Schrieber and Jordan Walker. Additionally, Andrew Garrelts and Adam Kerr were honored as the recipients of the Star Greenhand Awards for the year.

Chapter Degree and Star Farmer Awards were presented to Carson Glasnapp, Kory Hagen, Max Johnson, William Hawks, Josh Kibbie, Daniel Borchardt and Dennis Theesfeld. Daniel Borchardt was named the Star Chapter Farmer for the year.

Recognition awards for Fruit Sales were presented, and it was noted that the chapter sold $21,239.50 worth of fruit and products during the annual fundraiser. Top sales honors went to Mason Hoffman, who sold over $4,151 worth of products, while Daniel Borchardt was second with $2,390 in sales. Lucas Ezarski was third, selling $1,372 worth of products. Also receiving recognition for their sales efforts were Tommy Kuecker, Bridget Rouse, Carson Glasnapp, Adam Egland, Max Jones, Orian Schneider and Andrew Garrelts.

Chapter Advisor Tara Fastert presented Merit Point awards to five members based on their activities during the year. Awards were presented to Daniel Borchardt, Carson Glasnapp, Mason Hoffman, Bridget Rouse and Kyle Hurley.

The retiring officers were recognized with leadership pins for outgoing President Bridget Rouse, Vice-President Adam Egland, Secretary Brenda Tonderum, Treasurer Lucas Ezarski, Reporter Kyle Hurley and Sentinel Carson Glasnapp.