|Award winners at
Saturday’s Elmwood FFA banquet included (from left) Mary Ellen Dierksheide, outstanding service award;
Amanda Jones, DeKalb award; Ashley Veryser, chapter Queen; Jack Hagemeyer, AgCredit 110 percent; and
Steve Casey, honorary degree. (Photos: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
JERRY CITY – Almost a steady stream of Elmwood FFA members crossed the stage Saturday night to be
recognized for their achievements over the past year.
The annual banquet was held in the school’s auditeria with more than 280 members, family and guests in
Steve Casey was recognized with the honorary chapter degree, and Mary Ellen Dirksheide was bestowed with
the Outstanding Service award. Among the top student awards, Noah Fouty and Luke Hagemeyer were the
recipients of the Star Greenhand award; while both Taylor Barndt and Alexis Miller received the Star
Chapter Degree award.
Casey’s introduction indicated how he has been very helpful to the chapter. That service has included
being an officer with the chapter’s Alumni group as well as his assistance with the chapter’s beef stand
at the Wood County fair, the test plot and the summer social.
It was also noted, "Through the years he has always provided training and preparation for the
chapter’s various mechanical related contest teams."
Casey has also helped the chapter with its toy show, charity work auction and meal preparation for the
Dirksheide made it possible for the chapter to receive a cash award of $2,500 through the Monsanto
Corporation’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program. She was selected by Monsanto and chose the FFA
chapter as her charity of choice.
In presenting her the award, it was stated, "Mary Ellen thought enough of the chapter to select us
and we are extremely grateful."
The chapter will be using the funds to conduct community service activities. Both Miller and Barndt have
been involved in performing more than 50 community development hours as part of their chapter
participation. Miller was elected to serve as vice president for the coming year; while Barndt will be
the assistant reporter.
The Star Greenhand awards are presented to outstanding first-year members of the chapter for their
superior job in participation in events. Both Fouty and Hagemeyer were very active in numerous events
while maintaining "very respectable grad point averages."
Amanda Jones was named the DeKalb Award winner, which recognizes a senior with emphasis on leadership,
scholarship and their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects. The outgoing vice president has
also been active in various career development events.
The AgCredit 110 percent award was presented to Jack Hagemeyer. He has participated in more than 40
activities since the start of the school year.
In announcing his receiving this award it was stated, "He truly defines the meaning of giving 110
percent by the devoted time he has invested into the FFA."
|Elmwood FFA members
honored Saturday night included (from left) Luke Hagemeyer and Noah Fouty, as Star Greenhands; and
Taylor Barndt and Alexis Miller, both recipients of the Star Chapter award.
Ashley Veryser was selected as this year’s queen as she was crowned by the 2013 queen, Chelsie Schmitz.
The top sales people for the annual citrus sales were recognized during the evening with a T-shirt.
Meagan Wise was the top salesperson with $3,900. Traci Morlock and Brandon Palmer teamed for the second
place total of $1,615. Lindsay George was third with $1,425 in sales; Barndt sold $1,417 for fourth
place, and Emily Schmitz was fifth with $1,355 in sales.
Other top award and scholarship recognition was given to:
• Samantha Laborie, Wood Soil and Water Award
• Morgan Huff, Jimmy Haws Memorial Award
• Meagan Wise, Scot Crawford Memorial Award
• Garrett Benschoter, Ray Wagner Memorial Award
• Chelsie Schmitz, Delbert Wise Memorial Award.
These awards are based on the student’s projects and the quality of the outcomes.
Katie Peters earned three separate awards, and was also named a runner-up in two other areas. Peters won
in beef production for her two market steers; goat production for her two market goats; and poultry
production for her 20 laying hens.
She was also runner-up in both sheep production and swine production.
Other proficiency awards went to these chapter members:
• Jack Hagemeyer, swine production with 15 market hogs
• Samantha Laborie for sheep production with her market lamb
• Ashley Veryser in small animal care for her three rabbits
• Taylor Barndt in equine production
• Mitch Beaverson for grain production entrepreneurship for his 15-acre corn field
• Nick Stearns, for grain production placement for his work on the family farm
• Chelsie Schmitz, for ag processing for her work at Frobose Meat Locker.
The chapter also recognized its most recent American Degree and State degree recipients, those who
maintained grade point overages of 3.0 and higher, points award members, volunteer award recipients and
all members who individually or as a team ranked in the top five in any state contest.
The new chapter officers were installed with Wise as president; Miller as vice president; Jay Graham,
secretary; Jack Hagemeyer, treasurer; Veronica Walter, reporter; Nick Stearns, sentinel and Dylan
Benschoter as student advisor.