Six from Elmwood receive American Degree PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Saturday, 30 November 2013 09:39
Elmwood FFA American Degree recipients included (from left) Michelle Sander, Max Zyski, Justin Barndt and Mitch Emmitt. (Photo provided)
With the closing of October the Elmwood FFA joined up with 56,000 other FFA members by attending the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, as 23 members attending. The group made the 51‚Ñ2 hour trip and kept busy with a variety of activities. The trip kicked off by attending the opening convention session featuring University of Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino.
A highlight of the chapter was Junior member Meagan Wise who was a member of the National FFA Chorus. Only four FFA members from the state of Ohio were selected to participate in the elite group. The chorus entertained convention attendees during sessions and performed musical selections during its convention concert.
On that Thursday the chapter visited the National Agricultural Career show and the FFA shopping mall.
Sarah Laborie
At the career show chapter members were able to view many agricultural businesses as they displayed their products and services. Along with this, several colleges were present to discuss what post-secondary options were available for FFA members. In the FFA shopping mall, many members found FFA apparel and collectable farm toys. Later that day, the chapter toured Maker's Mark Distillery to view the production and processing of some of Kentucky's finest bourbon. To round out the day, members attended a rodeo and enjoyed seeing the riding of bulls and bucking broncos.
The day concluded as the chapter members attended the Buckeye Bash. This is an event that featured a D.J. with dancing and refreshments for Ohio FFA members.
On the third day of the convention, the chapter began the day by revisiting the National Career show. After this, the chapter toured Mammoth Cave. The cave system features 400 miles of underground cavities and the chapter's tour lasted nearly two hours. This is one of the largest cave systems in the United States. The chapter used some of its free time Friday evening to visit a go-cart and arcade entertainment center.
American Degree
Closing out the convention, Elmwood had four of its six graduate members present to receive their American FFA Degree, which is the highest degree of advancement in the FFA. Achieving this honor and in attendance were Justin Barndt, Max Zyski, Mitch Emmitt, and Michelle Sander. Unable to attend were Sarah Laborie and Vanessa Wagner. During their time in FFA these members conducted a variety of SAE's. They were also all active in a variety of other ways.
Vanessa Wagner
Barndt diversified into various livestock and crop projects including beef cattle, and soybeans in addition to job placement in landscaping, and turfgrass management. His FFA career highlights include being a member of the first place state cooperatives team, second and fourth place district general livestock teams, fourth place district rural soils team, and fourth place district dairy cattle team. Barndt received proficiency awards in turfgrass management and beef production. He is presently employed with D and D Landscaping and assists his uncle in farming.
Sander's SAEs also included livestock oriented projects such as goats and crop projects of corn and soybeans. She was a member of the first place state grain merchandising team, first place state greenhand team, and first place state parliamentary procedure team. Sander served as assistant reporter and received proficiency awards in community development and specialty animal production. She is presently attending college and pursuing an interest in criminology.
Emmitt pursued crop projects of soybeans, and livestock projects including dairy beef feeders and market hogs. He was part of the first place state cooperatives team, first place district dairy foods team, and fourth place district agronomy team. Emmitt received proficiency awards in soybean production and is presently attending the University of Northwest Ohio majoring in Ag. Business.
Zyski's projects included job placement on his family's farm and equipment maintenance along with other mechanical projects. His accomplishments include being a part of the first place state cooperatives team, and first place state greenhand team. He is presently attending the University of Northwest Ohio and pursuing an interest in diesel technology.
Laborie also conducted quality SAEs of job placement, crop production, and sheep production. She was a member of six separate first place state FFA teams. Those championships were with  ag. engineering, farm business management, parliamentary procedure, grain merchandising, greenhand, and cooperatives teams. Laborie served as the chapter's vice president and student advisor. She is attending the Ohio State University and pursuing a major in radiation therapy.
Wagner's projects included horse management, and job placement. She was a member of the same six champion contest teams as Laborie and also was the first place individual in the Division 3 state job Interview contest. Wagner served as the chapter's treasurer and received equine proficiency awards. She is attending the University of Pennsylvania with an interest in medicine.

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