BLANCHESTER — Around 150 members and guests recently gathered at the Blanchester FFA banquet.
Before officers took their positions, the students and their families sat at the dinner tables and enjoyed hot food, cold drinks, and blue and yellow cupcakes. By the time everyone had finished, we could definitely tell who had eaten a blue cupcake.
Once everyone was back in their positions, the awards ceremony began awards handed out to many students — ranging from the eighth grade to 12th grade — starting with the Greenhand Degree, with a bronze jacket pin awarded to first-year agriculture members Dakota Abney, Taylynn Barr, Madison Berrien, Bradley Brown, Maddie Coldiron, Taylor Combs, Madyson Coyle, Conner Ray Furnish, Lacey Hampton Cody Kidd Caitlynn Lakes, Mariah Lanham, Jacob Lansing, Rianna Mueller, Nick Musselman, Justin Myers, Andrew Osborn, Shelby Schott, Jacob Shelton, Ethan Sturgill and Katelynn Whitt.
The Chapter Degree is awarded to second through fifth members who must have invested $150 or worked a total of 45 hours in their SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience). Chapter Degree recipients will receive a jacket pin made of silver: Alison Carson, Emma Case, Daniel Davenport, Saliya Geary, Tristan Hedge, Makenna Maddix, Autum Medley, Cameron Short, Chloe Taylor and Madison Wells.
Eight scholarship awards were awarded and each student received a plaque with their name and award engraved: Jacob Lansing, Star Scholar Student in Ag 1; Chloe Taylor, Star Scholar Student in Animal & Plant Science; Matthew O’Neill, Star Scholar Student in Plant & Horticulture; Felicity Hudson, Star Scholar Student in Ag Business; Caili Baumann, Star Scholar Student in Veterinary Science; Taylor Cochran, Star Scholar Student in Mechanical Principles; Ashleigh Osborn, Star Scholar Student in Livestock Selection, Nutrition, and Management; and Mason Rector, Star Scholar Student in Structural Engineering.
The Leadership Awards are given to those who have put forth extra effort and excelled in doing everything they’re asked. One student from each grade is awarded as the “Top Member” of their class, which is scored on a point system: Star 8th Grade Leader Bradley Brown, Star Freshman Leader Makenna Maddix; Star Sophomore Leader Ashleigh Osborn; Star Junior Leader Jill Hudson; and Star Senior Leader Felicity Hudson.
Fundraisers are very important sales events in the FFA. Members who sell over $400 worth of items will receive a 6% commission to their FFA apparel or convention trips. The Blanchester chapter has three fundraisers — citrus fruits, strawberries, and hardy mums.
Two members surpassed and sold the most out of the chapter. Jacob Miller was the top salesman in the citrus fruits fundraiser and Tom Black was top salesman in the mum fundraiser as well as in the strawberry fundraiser.
We would like to thank salesmen for going above and beyond to sale as much as they can; it makes nights like the banquet possible.
There are many Career Development Events (CDE) open for students in the Blanchester chapter. These range from judging animals to judging plants. Students spend time after school learning the ways to properly evaluate the anatomy.
The Parliamentary Procedure team included Caili Baumann, Tom Black, Felicity Hudson, Brighton Morris, Matthew O’neill, Ashleigh Osborn, Jillian Hudson and Destiny Waldron. The team placed second at the Sub District competition and advanced to Districts, where they placed fourth.
The General Livestock Evaluation team consisted of Bradley Brown, Logan Heitzman, Jessica Jones, Brian Miller, Jacob Miller, Brighton Morris, Jillian Hudson, Abby Spurling, Andrew Osborn and Ashleigh Osborn. After all names were called, Dr. Tim Osborn came to the stage for a short speech about how proud he was for his team’s accomplishments.
The Dairy Cattle Evaluation team was comprised of Tony Hopper, Makenna Maddix, Autum Medley, Maddie Wells, and Caili Baumann. Caili placed first individually at the Miami Trace/District 9 contest.
In the Agronomy team students must be able to identify seeds, pests, pesticides and fertilizer. The Agronomy team was led by Felicity Hudson with Tom Black, Taylor Cochran and Matthew O’Neill.
The Blanchester FFA chapter takes great pride in the Public Speaking events. This year, the chapter had four speakers ranging from freshmen to juniors: Jacob Lansing, Rianna Mueller, Ashleigh Osborn and Jill Hudson.
The Greenhand Quiz is taken by all first-year members and is based off of knowledge about the FFA’s organizational structure. Out of all first year members, three exceptional students especially excelled as Bradley Brown, Cody Kidd and Jacob Lansing were the top-scoring test takers.
The Poultry Judging team had a job of judging live chickens, eggs, chicken carcasses, breaded chicken and meat cuts. It was comprised of Caitlyn Lakes, Emma Rumpke and Chloe Taylor.
The Farm Business Management is an online test taken by the Ag Business class which evaluates their knowledge of the business side of agriculture. Four students achieved the highest scores and received a certificate: Jacob Miller, Tom Black, Matthew O’Neill and Sally Schafer.
In Job Interview, participants develop qualities that they can use in the real world. Students create a resume, a cover letter, and a follow-up letter. The seven members of the chapter were Felicity Hudson, Jessica Jones, Jacob Lansing, Makenna Maddix, Rianna Mueller, Jillian Hudson and Chloe Taylor.
Makenna placed second in the 9th grade division at the Sub District competition and moved on to Districts.
The Grain Merchandising team uses a high level of math to calculate the volumes of grain bins and the cost of carry-over versus cash sales. This year’s team was Regan Ostermeier, Matthew O’Neill and Sally Schafer. The team was led by their coach, Mr. Patrick
Ryan went all the way to state! Jacob Miller placed first in the state helping his team reach fourth place.
This year, the Blanchester FFA chapter was represented at state convention by three exceptional students which would walk across stage and receive the gold charm for their State FFA Degrees: Matthew O’Neill, Jillian Hudson and Destennie Hupp.
An American Degree is the highest honor that an FFA member can receive. Jordan Stroud was proudly awarded the American Degree!. He recorded either 50 hours of community service or has at least recorded and invested $10,000.
The Honorary Chapter Degree is awarded to an individual, or group, who has given their all for our chapter. This year was a surprise for the Blanchester chapter as we gave two awards, to Miss Tyne Powers and Mr. (sensei) Dow Tippett. Both of these individuals have spent quality time with members of this chapter.
Brighton Morris is one of the many at Blanchester to become a state finalist in proficiency awards. Brighton was a finalist in the area of sheep production. She went through interviews at the State FFA Convention, and er hard work paid off tremendously.
The Blanchester chapter has many leadership activities open to all members, whether it be during school, after school, or even during the summer. Students who had participated in going to the National Convention, FFA Camp Muskingum, the 4th Grade PALS Program, the Middle School FFA Program, our Nursing Home Outreach Program, and Greenhand Camp were all recognized as they stood when their activities were called.
Blanchester FFA has nine officers on the team; the 2018-19 treasurer was Tom Black. Tom received an award at the Ohio FFA State Convention for his Gold Rated Treasurer’s Book.
Students who have at least one year of records on their SAE are eligible to apply for a Proficiency Award. This year 15 members were recognized: Tom Black (Ag Processing), Ashleigh Osborn (Beef Production), Caili Baumann (Dairy Cattle Production), Felicity Hudson (Diversifies Ag Production), Jacob Miller (Diversified Crop Production), Jillian Hudson (Diversified Livestock Production), Makenna Maddix (Equine Management), Jillian Hudson (Goat Production and Management), Jacob Miller (Fiber and Oil Crop Production), Emma Rumpke (Poultry Production and Management), Brighton Morris (Sheep Production and Management), Felicity Hudson (Small Animal Production and Care), Logan Heitzman (Swine Production and Management), Felicity Hudson (Vegetable Production), and Jillian Hudson (Veterinary Science).
When selecting the top members in FFA, each student must be evaluated by their academic accomplishments, SAE’s, and their CDE’s. Bradley Brown was awarded as being the top eighth grader, Makenna Maddix was top freshman, star sophomore was awarded to Ashleigh Osborn, top junior was awarded to Jillian Hudson, and top senior was awarded to Brighton Morris.
Following the award ceremony was a senior slideshow and recognition. Each senior who took Ag all four years walked across the stage with their families and listened to an audio recording of what each member had learned and gained from being a part of this chapter.
Our seniors were a good group of leaders and role models for younger members. This year’s fourth-year seniors were Ian Heeg, Felicity Hudson, Jacob Miller, Brighton Morris, Sally Schafer, Cora Shattuck and Regan Ostermeier. Each of them are on to bigger things! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to this chapter.
As the 2018-19 chapter President, Brighton Morris gave her retiring address. This was an emotional time for her family and people that know her.
As Brighton realized everyone had become teary-eyed, she tried to switch up the mood by bringing up the time she had cried in the Kroger bathroom while she ate a rotisserie chicken from the deli and said she’d, “Forever be blue and gold!”
Brighton gave her all during her year in office and is going to give her all when she goes to college in Iowa! We’re sure going to miss you, Brighton!
As the 2018-19 officers were being retired from their stations, new and returning officers waited at the right of the stage. Advisors Mr. Eric Heeg and Ms. Alexis Steiner proudly announced the 2019-20 officers: Logan Heitzman (Sentinel), Chloe Taylor and Makenna Maddix (Reporters), Tom Black (Treasurer), Abby Spurling (Secretary), Matthew O’Neill (Vice President of Leadership), Ashleigh Osborn (Vice President of Communities), Caili Baumann (Vice President of Agriculture), and Jillian Hudson (President).