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New Nevis FFA chapter earns top honors

A Gold ranking advances team to nationals.

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Nevis FFA members include, front from left, Emily Avenson, Miranda Kowalke, Clair Isaacson, Cortney Buck; back row, Grace McNamee, Mallory Kowalke, Morgan Monroe, Blake Kowalke, Peyton Offerdahl, Bennett Mitchell, Daniel Lindow and Luke McNamee.
Contributed / Ashley Anderson
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The Nevis FFA team received a gold ranking for the National Chapter Award program.

This award is based on the 2021-22 program of activities the FFA chapter has executed over the last year.

“As a first-year program, this is an outstanding success,” FFA advisor and agriculture teacher Ashley Anderson said. “We are honored to earn a gold ranking, be recognized on stage at the state convention, and advance to the national convention this fall.

“The national chapter award program was a 23-page application that included the vast majority of our events from this year along with their impact. The officer team, specifically Grace McNamee, Caitlyn Stute and Valarie Tooker, and I put together all of the information for the application. When we submitted it we were informed we earned the gold ranking, which advances us to the National FFA Convention Oct. 26-29 in Indiana.”

The Nevis FFA team has 30 active members.

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The National Chapter Award is given for 15 events in three areas during the year: building communities, growing leaders and strengthening agriculture.

Building communities involved several projects, including making mason bee houses and planning pollinator gardens for the Nevis School forest.

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Nevis FFA students Mya Stacey and Owen DeWitt are pictured with one of the mason bee houses their chapter built to help pollinators.

“The mason bee is the number one pollinator,” Anderson said. “They are lone bees and don’t have hives. They live in hollow sticks, so we made tubes for them to live in. They lay their eggs in the tubes in the fall. They are dormant all winter and come out in the spring. The Hubbard County Soil and Water District provided all the materials for the mason bee houses and seeds for the pollinator garden.”

Other projects in this category included providing child care at Nevis School’s parent-teacher conferences and an agriculturally themed scavenger hunt for students in grades 6-12 during FFA week.

For the strengthening agriculture category, FFA did demonstrations in 11 elementary classrooms on agricultural topics chosen by the teachers.

“My students planned the curriculum, then went into the classrooms and taught them about the Farm to Table movement, farm animals and equipment. They did one on poultry where the kids got to candle eggs and see if they would float, to tell if they were old or new.

FFA students also showed appreciation for school staff by providing them with donuts and coffee in the teacher’s lounge.

The growing leaders category included the officer kickoff for the new chapter and activities at FFA events.

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Anderson said she has high hopes for the performance of the three teams that will be competing in the state convention at the end of April.

“Local businesses and community members have made it possible for all students to attend the state convention at no charge by donating nearly $8,000,” she said.

RELATED COVERAGE:
The Nevis FFA Chapter started off the year sending their general livestock evaluation team to the region contest in Long Prairie on Sept. 21.

Related Topics: NEVIS SCHOOL DISTRICTFFA
Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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