East Clinton Great Oaks FFA holds annual banquet


On May 11, the East Clinton Great Oaks FFA Chapter wrapped up its season by celebrating the achievements made throughout the year and installing the new officers for the 2023-24 season. With over 300 people in attendance, the members, guests, and other attendees enjoyed a nice dinner, catered by Shoelace Catering, before proceeding to the ceremony.

The officer team for the 2023-24 season breaks down as follows:

President – Sydney Beiting, vice president – Payton Spurlock, secretary – Dylan Arnold, treasurer – Hadlie Clark, reporter – Anna Lopez, sentinel – Jacob George and student advisor Owen Roberts. Additional officers are Karsyn Jamison, Kami Kile, Preston Dixson, Emily Arnold, Mitchell Ellis, and Madi Frazer.

During the ceremony we announce and induct several “Honorary Members” into the FFA for time, effort, and service that they put into our chapter behind the scenes for the various events and activities that we do. These people help us so that our program runs smoothly and more efficiently. This year’s Honorary Members were Tim and Chelle Mahanes, Ted Kirkpatrick, and Greg Haines. All these individuals deserve our utmost respect for their hard work, contribution, and dedication to ensure that our program prospers.

Every year, several of our officers are responsible for keeping a book to show everything that our chapter does throughout the year. These books are then ranked by the state. This year all three of our chapter books were ranked gold at the state level, including Sydney Beiting’s reporter book, Dylan Arnold’s treasurer book, and Payton Spurlock’s secretary book.

In each grade level, advisor Matt Griffith awards students for going above and beyond to help reach the goals of our chapter. Many of these students received other awards for their accomplishments, but this year’s award winners were freshman Emily Arnold, sophomore Sydney Beiting, junior Dylan Arnold and senior Teddy Murphy.

Throughout the year, members have several opportunities to prepare and compete in their choice of Career Development Event (CDE). Our chapter has completed yet another award-winning year where various students competed in many CDE’s including but not limited to soils, public speaking, Parliamentary Procedure, ag communications, and judging.

The Rural Soils Judging team placed second at districts and third at state with Teddy Murphy leading the team placing first at districts and fifth at state. Dylan Arnold placed sixth in districts and ninth in state, along with Sydney Beiting who placed ninth in districts. Kale Boeckmann and Anna Lopez placed 11th and 20th respectively.

The team just recently competed in the National Land and Range contest in Oklahoma where they placed 60th out of 150 teams. In our Advanced Parliamentary Procedure CDE, the team placed second at sub-districts, districts, and state. In our Dairy Judging CDE, the team of 21 individuals placed first at ATI, fifth at Wilmington, first at Indian Lake, second at Marysville, second at Zanesville and Districts, and then finished third in the state.

Sydney placed top five individually in three different contests this year and finished second in the district where Anna Lopez finished fourth in the district. Sydney also placed 12th in the state and Caylee Ferguson finished 13th in the state.

The top four individuals will attend the All-American Dairy judging contest in Harrisburg, Pa. in the fall. All the teams mentioned were honored at our banquet for their hard work and dedication to our chapter. We also recognized our American Degree recipients. Only 2% of all FFA Members obtain this degree, solely because it takes a ton of hard work and preparation. Those individuals were: Mitchell Bean, Brody Fisher, Lydia Kessler, Jenna Stanley, Zach Vest, Anna Malone, and Evan Stewart.

Next, we recognized our State Degree recipients. To obtain this degree you must show proof of investing $3,000 in two-and-a-half years into a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). These individuals were: Aaron Rolfe, Owen Zurface, Kale Boeckmann, Dylan Arnold, Jordan Collom, Emma Riddle, Liz Schiff, Kailyn Mason, Max Crowe, Maddox Crowe, Brady Zurface, Makayla Thomason, and Lukas Runk.

Lastly, we had two state officers in attendance on Thursday including state president, Aubrey Schwartz, and state vice president at large, Luke Jennings. Luke was also our guest speaker for the banquet, and he delivered a heartfelt speech about “planting seeds” in certain parts of your life and using each opportunity to try something new, step out of your comfort zone, and do the unimaginable.

Our FFA Members would like to thank the surrounding communities and families once again for their continued support throughout the year and for the help we received in preparation of the banquet.

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