The Park Rapids FFA chapter had a successful first showing at their first Minnesota FFA convention in three decades.
According to a press release from the school club, this year’s convention theme was “Worth It,” and Park Rapids members showed that it was worth it to put in the effort, even in a challenging year where all their competitive events were virtual.
Their competition results were as follows:
Hannah Morgan won the Region 2 employment skills contest and earned a bronze at the state level.
Allison Offerdahl won the Region 2 Farm Bureau discussion meet and participated in the event at the state level for the first time.
Anna Eckmann placed sixth at state in the Best Informed Greenhand competition, earning a gold award. Emily Knapp earned a silver rating, placing 81st out of 149 participants.
The fish and wildlife career development event involved 55 teams and 207 individuals. The Park Rapids team placed 17th with members Eli DeVore receiving an individual gold rating, Naomi Knack a gold, Tyler Hillukka a silver and Jacob Zinniel a bronze.
In the floriculture event, 162 individuals and 46 teams competed at state. The Park Rapids team placed 11th, with Kelsey Raidt placing 25th individually and rated gold, and Maria Wagner and Allie Edelman also rated gold.
In the horse judging contest, Ashley Stopka qualified for state as an individual, competing among 187 students. She earned a gold rating and placed 49th individually.
The meats judging contest included 32 teams and 112 individuals. Park Rapids’ team placed 14th and included Isaac Knapp, 19th and gold individually; Autumn Kietzman, silver; Sophie Guida, silver; and Elliott Nichols, bronze.
The nursery/landscape contest had 112 individuals and 33 teams from across the state. The Park Rapids team placed 14th with Ellie Ulvin, individually 21st place and gold; Owen Wagner, silver; and Savana Damar, silver.
The small animals/veterinary science contest had 56 teams and 204 individuals competing. The Park Rapids team placed third with Kelsey Berghuis placing fifth individually, Allison Offerdahl eighth, Hailey Kimball 12th and Emma Vrieze 35th. All four team members earned gold individual ratings.
Jillian Neubauer earned first place in the talent competition, playing Bach’s March in E-flat Major.
Chapter advisers Stephen Funk and Amber Seibert were excited to see the students rewarded for their hard work.
“The convention results are impressive for any chapter,” said Seibert. “But having this level of success in our first showing at the state level tells us that Park Rapids students are not only willing to set big goals, they are willing to work for them.”
The chapter held their inaugural awards banquet on May 4 to recognize all these teams and individuals, and to install their new officers for the upcoming year. The officers are: Allison Offerdahl, president; Eli DeVore, vice president; Maria Wagner, secretary; Tyler Hillukka, treasurer; Sophia Guida, reporter; Autumn Kietzman, sentinel; Kelsey Berghuis, historian; and Naomi Knaack, parliamentarian.
“We have a very talented group of officers with a lot of drive and determination,” said Funk. “I am very excited for where this group will take the Park Rapids FFA during the course of the upcoming year.”