Eastwood FFA celebrates final year for adviser PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Farm Editor   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:35
David Little, outgoing FFA advisor for Eastwood, congratulates outgoing officers during the 51st Eastwood FFA Annual banquet. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
PEMBERVILLE - More than 250 people gathered Monday evening in the Riverview Banquet Centre to celebrate the Eastwood FFA's 51st  annual banquet.
This year's banquet was both special and poignant for many of those in attendance. In addition to the usual awards and recognition, the formal announcement was made of the retirement of the chapter's adviser, David Little. He will retire at the end of the school year, following 35 years of service to the students at Eastwood. Little and his family spoke and special presentations were also made to the retiring agricultural education teacher.
In addition, an area family announced the formation of the Mitch Aring Memorial Scholarship in honor of the Eastwood graduate who died last summer in a tragic accident.
The Monsanto Company also presented two checks as part of its program to allow area farmers to nominate and award groups money. One of the checks went to the Eastwood FFA, with the other indirectly helping students through the Freedom Post 183 Calf Club. Each check was for $2,500. (Look for more on this in a future edition.)
Ryan Bockbrader and Luckey Farmers were each recognized with honorary membership in the chapter.
The introduction of Bockbrader recognized him as "a tremendous supporter of the Eastwood FFA chapter."
Over the last five years, he has mixed more than 80 gallons of sauce for the annual chicken barbecue held in September.
As a member of the Luckey American Legion, Bockbrader also helped to obtain the grills needed to cook the chicken.
"His efforts have enabled us to become more efficient in setup and cooking," his credentials indicated as read. "The event would not be as successful if it were not for Ryan's voluntary assistance."
Dave Eschedor of Luckey Farmers represented the company in accepting the award. The honorary membership to the company was made to recognize "many great contributions to the chapter for numerous years."
Those contributions include a recent donation of $1,000 to the FFA to be used for promoting agriculture through events like Food For America and Town and Country Farm Safety Day. The money will also be used toward scholarships for members. The company also supplied the necessary feed (valued at $400) for the Ag. Science 1 class chicken project, as well as feed for the nutrition project.
Several students were recognized with awards throughout the evening.
The Star Greenhand Degree Award is given to a first-year member who has received their Greenhand Degree and has shown great leadership, positivity, and enthusiasm by taking advantage of opportunities in the FFA. This year's honoree was Kara Ameling, the first eighth grade member to receive the Star Greenhand Award.
Her introduction read, "She has continuously been a very active member of the FFA."
Her accomplishments included representing the chapter in the Creed division of the sub-district public speaking where she earned a gold rating. She also competed in the rural soil judging contest at the district level. Her SAE projects consist of raising market steers for show at the Wood County Fair and the Pemberville Free Fair through the Freedom Post 183 Calf Club.
The Star Chapter Degree Award was presented to both Hannah Frobose and Liz Hirzel.
This award recognizes a second-year member who has achieved the chapter degree and has taken an active role in premier leadership, career success, and personal development.
Frobose's introduction credited her with having "taken advantage of developing her leadership skills through her SAE projects, participation in Career Development Events including Public Speaking, and showing livestock at various levels of competitions."
Frobose placed second overall at the State General Livestock Judging which is an outstanding achievement considering, especially considering more than 800 students competing in the contest.
She also recently represented a small group of livestock producers to promote self-sustainability in Jamaica.
Hirzel was recognized for having "participated in numerous FFA fundraisers and events over the past two years. She was one of the top sellers for both the chicken barbecue and citrus sale."
She was the chapter's reporter and earned a gold rating on her scrapbook at the district evaluation.
Hirzel is involved with  raising market lambs, managing a flock of ewes and working at Hirzel Recycling facilities with her extra time.
Among the scholarship winners was Kirsten Abke who received the inaugural $500 Aring scholarship. Members of Aring's family came forward including his sister, Brittni, who fought her tears as she honored her brother.
Despite Little's best efforts to keep the focus on the students, after 35 years, he was recognized with more than one gift and honor.
An open house to honor Little is set for May 18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Riverview Banquet Centre. (A full story is tentatively planned for April 6.)
Last Updated on Friday, 22 March 2013 10:26

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