Otsego FFA honors top achievements

Otsego FFA awardees
(from left) Greenhand recipient Colton Battin, AG Placement recipient Jon Weihl, AG Business recipient
Alex Vollmar and Chapter Farmer recipient Ben Thomas. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)

TONTOGANY – Nearly 350 people attended the 51st annual Otsego FFA banquet on Thursday night at the school
as the chapter celebrated a great year including being named a national 3-star chapter.
Following the meal served in The Commons, a steady stream of members crossed the stage of the auditorium
to be recognized for their achievements during the year.
Adam Koch, the superintendant for Otsego Schools and longtime school board member Jamie Harter were each
recognized with the Honorary FFA Degree.
Among the top student awards presented were the four "Stars Over Otsego" award recipients. Ben
Thomas was named the Star Farmer; Alex Vollmar received the Star in Agribusiness award; Jon Weihl, the
Star in Agricultural Placement; and Colton Battin was named the Star Greenhand. Thomas was also
recognized by receiving the AgCredit 110 Percent award.
Koch was introduced as being a "great supporter" of the program.
He has worked at the tractor pulls, attended the tailgate party and been "supporting FFA members in
their efforts."
Before his award was announced, Harter had left the building to return home as he was not feeling 100
percent. He returned later to accept the award.
Harter was said to have been "nothing but an avid supporter for the FFA."
His credits include working as a program seller and attending a wide variety of FFA events.
"As a board member, he has always worked hard to help provide opportunities for students to be in
the FFA," his introduction summarized.
The Star Farmer award awarded to Thomas is presented to a member who has exhibited leadership skills and
contributed to the success of the chapter, among other qualifications.
Vollmar’s agribusiness award recognizes a member who owns and operates an agribusiness and has
contributed to the success of the chapter.

Honorary Chapter FFA
degree recipients for Otsego Adam Koch (left) and Jamie Harter (right).

Weihl’s placement award is given to a member who has an "outstanding" supervised agricultural
experience project in agribusiness or production agriculture.
The Greenhand award recognizes a first-year member who has shown great participation in chapter
activities, excellent scholarship and contributed to the chapter’s success.
In addition to those honors both Kathy Thomas and Doug Michaelis were presented with appreciation awards
for their efforts. Both served as chaperones to the state convention; while Thomas helped with the
chapter’s assistance with Honor Flight and the banquet; while Michaelis assisted with the ag day set up
and offered the use of his tents over the years.
The top 10 sales people were recognized for the annual citrus sales. Sisters Alex and Mackenzie Wenig
shared the top spot with $3,358 in sales, followed closely by Thomas with $3,069. Reilly Jones ($18,820)
Emily McVeigh ($1,800) and Dalton Walls ($1,703) complete the top five.
Proficiency awards recognize outstanding achievement for one year of accomplishments in a specialized are
of agriculture.
Thomas earned three awards as he was recognized with Ag Mechanics Repair and Maintenance; Ag Mechanics
Energy Systems; and Ag Sales. Also earning three awards was Weihl, the recipient of Diversified Ag
Production, Diversified Crop Production and Fiber and Oil Production.
Walls earned two awards including the Earl Whitmer Memorial Award for Ag Mechanics. He also received the
proficiency for Community Development. Caleb Baus also received two awards including the Wood County
Soil and Water Conservation proficiency, as well as the award for Grain Production. Also receiving two
awards was Brandon Bailey for both Outdoor Recreation and Home Improvement.
The other proficiency awards were presented to Kyle Wright for Ag Service; Zach Down for Beef Production;
Marissa Garrett for Diversified Livestock Production; Chelsea O’Dell for Equine Science; Trevor Buehrer
for Forest Management; Daniel Moser for Forage Production; Killian Blakemore for Fruit Production;
Alexis Nigh for Poultry Production; Alex Vollmar for Small Animal Production and Care; Caroline Battin
for Specialty Animal Production; David Bostdorff for Swine Production and Andrew Wolfram for Wildlife
Management and Production.
Various scholarships were also awarded.
Beth Emery presented the chapter an award for their help over the years with Honor Flight.
The new officers were installed into their offices. Those officers are: Sara Caris, president; Battin,
vice president; Garrett, secretary; Baus, treasurer; Grayce Vollmar, reporter; Mackenzie Wenig, sentinel
and Justen Garmenn, student advisor.