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Published May 06, 2008, 12:00 AM

Area teams take top honors at Minnesota State FFA Convention

WORTHINGTON — Southwest Minnesota FFA members have proven they know their stuff when it comes to judging a good piece of meat and meat cuts.

By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON — Southwest Minnesota FFA members have proven they know their stuff when it comes to judging a good piece of meat and meat cuts.

During the 79th annual Minnesota FFA Convention in St. Paul last week, area teams took six of the top 10 spots in the meat contest, with Jackson County Central (JCC) earning first place and a trip to the National FFA Convention this fall.

Also in the top 10 were Pipestone Area, second; Westbrook-Walnut Grove, third; Southwest Star Concept, fourth; Fulda, sixth; and Hills-Beaver Creek, eighth. Worthington, the only other area team represented in the meats contest, placed 12th.

In all, JCC walked away with three first-place team finishes, while Fulda, Mountain Lake and Westbrook-Walnut Grove each had one team earning a state championship.

Following is a compilation of team results (and individual placings) from the area:

Agriculture Mechanics: Mountain Lake, third of 33 teams: Evan Anderson (8), Austin Hopwood (20), Barrett Herrig (32), and Taylor Nesmoe (82); Fulda, 11th.

Agricultural Sales: JCC, first of 13 teams: Macey Rossow (1), Dastinee Vancura (3), Mandi Hartzler (10), and Sarah Jennings (16).

Best Informed Greenhand: JCC, ninth of 18 teams: Courtney Donnelli (22), Shawna Grupe (48), Taylor Egeland (50), Kadie Grages (55), and Megan Johnson (73). JCC #2, 15th.

Creed: Allison Tate, JCC, fourth; Alaina Cranston, Southwest Star Concept, silver; and Carina Fast, Mountain Lake, Silver.

Crops: JCC, fifth of 36 teams: Steven Salzwedel (14), Kate Anderson (15), Bryce Christopher (17) and Alison Tate (21); Mountain Lake, sixth: Kelly Hempeck (9), Chris Welp (10), LeeAnna Erickson (49), and Salena Phommahaxay (57). Southwest Star Concept placed 12th, Worthington 24th and Fulda 31st.

Dairy Evaluation: Pipestone Area, 14th; and Luverne, 47th of 55 teams.

Dairy Handler: Kyle Jans, Fulda, 11th; Brett Simpson, Murray County Central (MCC), 19th; and Levi Zins, Fulda, 20th.

Dairy Foods: Westbrook-Walnut Grove, 13th; Pipestone Area, 16th; JCC, 18th; MCC, 21st; and Worthington, 25th of 39 teams.

Farm Management: JCC, second of 31 teams: Greg Tusa (1), Eric Hodnefield (5), Alyssa Nelson (27), and Shalee Nelson (60); Mountain Lake, 10th: Tyler Hamilton (16), Danielle Kunkel (43), Dima Bucklin (47) and Jared Bargen (77); Sioux Valley-Round Lake-Brewster, 26th; and Fulda, 28th.

Fish & Wildlife: Mountain Lake, fourth of 54 teams: Air Chantharak (4), Connor Engstrom (14), Doug DeFrance (52), and Cody Adrian (73); Pipestone Area, 13th; JCC, 14th; Westbrook-Walnut Grove, 15th; Windom 31st; and Worthington, 32nd.

Floriculture: Westbrook-Walnut Grove, second of 35 teams: Ellie Vondracek (1), Alexis Quade (5), Kassondra Jarmer (14), and Danielle Osland (20); Southwest Star Concept, fifth: Betsy Voehl (13), Alyssa Olson (22), Jenna Leopold (27) and Kortney Baumann (30); Jackson County Central, eighth: Taylor Egeland (16), Emily Arndt (33), Megan Johnson (36), and Jenna Vachuska (56); Windom, 10th: Mike Farrell (19), Andrea Muller (37), Miranda Jensen (70), and Kerry Colby (75); Pipestone Area, 12th.

Forestry: Mountain Lake, first of 33 teams: Kyle Fast (4), Steven Herrig (8), Jim Louangsaphakdy (14), and Karen Herrig (22); JCC, 10th: Courtney Donnelli (29), Marissa Grupe (39), Abby Moses (42), and Kadie Grages (44); Westbrook-Walnut Grove, 17th.

Horse Evaluation: JCC, third of 51 teams: Lauren Vacek (6), Leslie Handzus (10), Hailey Ehlers (52), and Brittney Kruse (63); Fulda, 11th; and Pipestone Area, 33rd.

Job Interview: Maddie Collin, Southwest Star Concept, fourth; and Mandi Hartzler, JCC, ninth.

Livestock Evaluation: Fulda, first of 59 teams: Jared Arens (1), Emily Heintz (2), Anthony Zins (10), and Jacob Cowan (37); JCC, fifth: Zach Post (8), Evan Koep (17), Trevon Bargfrede (26) and Breanne Rentschler (50); Pipestone Area, ninth: Clayton Johnson (4), Carlton Johnson (39), Andrew Schaap (40), and Mark Dunn (164); Windom, 15th; and Mountain Lake, 44th.

Market Plan: Worthington, third of five teams.

Meats: JCC, first of 34 teams: Emma Reith (1), Hilary Geesman (3), Levi Buresch (5) and Alex Hohenstein (7); Pipestone Area, second: Ryan Livermont (2), Samantha Berg (4), Bailey Wolters (8), and Brandi Raatz (26); Westbrook-Walnut Grove, third: Weston Dibble (9), Jace Jarmer (10), Zach Otto (13), and Dan McClellan (15); Southwest Star Concept, fourth: Maddie Collin (6), Erika Post (12) and Megan Thurk (21); Fulda, sixth: Kristina Schettler (17), Alex Getting (34), Kari Rolph (41) and Jalen Getting, (44); Hills-Beaver Creek, eighth: Natalie Stueven (27), Eric Fick (33), Alaina Van Westen (36) and Greg Fick (58). Worthington, 12th.

Novice Parliamentary Procedure:

JCC, sixth of seven teams.

Nursery/Landscape: JCC, first of 36 teams: Jolene Prochazka (1), Marie Tate (2), Luke Nelson (3), and Ashley Benda (4); Westbrook-Walnut Grove, second: Nick Dusek (7), Austin Quade (10), Ben Pacholl (14) and Josh Merrick (35); Mountain Lake, fourth: Sada Kliewer (8), Karina Fast (20), Chelsey Fast (21), and Brianna Welp (27); Worthington, 10th: Laura Duba (9), Nicole Burkard (45), and Amy Cooper, (62).

Parliamentary Procedure: Pipestone, fifth of nine teams.

Poultry: Fulda, fourth of 43 teams: Stefan Swanson (2), Macy Baerenwald (27), Eileen Heintz (38), and Kirsten Pagel (86); Worthington, 11th; and Westbrook-Walnut Grove, 16th.

Small Animals: Mountain Lake, sixth of 46 teams: Hannah Hildebrandt (6), Amanda Brown (28), Karen Karschnik (41), and Alyssa Klassen (56); Worthington, ninth: Andrew Hoffman (10), Emily Penning (37), Brittenay Elsing (51), and Austin Froderman (101); Southwest Star Concept, 16th; and Windom, 28th.

Soils: Westbrook-Walnut Grove, first of 36 teams: Kyle West (3), Patrick Schweim (5), Caleb Cohrs (10), and Sami Hay (14); Pipestone Area, 14th; JCC, 18th; and Fulda, 23rd.

Area FFA teams also boasted a first-place state proficiency winner, with Kody Kramer of Fulda taking top honors in the Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication area. Other top three winners included Eric Hodnefield, JCC, second in Diversified Crop Production Placement; Paul Nelson, Pipestone Area, second in Wildlife Management Entrepreneurship; Levi Zins, Fulda, third in Diversified Livestock Production Entrepreneurship; and Derek Eichner, Westbrook-Walnut Grove, third in Turf Grass Management.

Minnesota FFA degree recipients by chapter were: Fulda: Jared Arens, Ross Baerenwald, Jacob Cowan, Emily Heintz, Kody Kramer, Austin Williams and Anthony Zins. Hills Beaver Creek: Josh Teune and Zach Van Westen. JCC: Brooke Burmeister, Hilary Geesman, Mandi Hartzler, Eric Hodnefield, Jolene Prochazka, Marie Tate, Gregory Tusa and Dastinee Vancura. Luverne: Christy Van Dyke. Mountain Lake: Evan Anderson, Amanda Brown, Khamprasong Chantharak, Chelsey Fast, Austin Hopwood, Barrett Herrig and Jim Louangsaphakdy. Murray County Central: Jase Bly, Wesley Halbur, Tara Onken, Chris Opdahl and Laramie Wynia. Pipestone: Amanda Hillard. Southwest Star Concept: Stephanie Lubben and Michelle Olsem. Westbrook-Walnut Grove: Nicholas Dusek, Ben Pacholl and Austin Quade. Windom: Brett Lohse, Tim Nagorske, Emily Remmers, Dustin Thom and Aaron Wiens. Worthington: Travis Ailts, Laura Duba, Caleb Fellows, Sarah Schnieder and Kaylee Williamson.

Participating in the State Band were Stefan Swanson of Fulda and Marissa Grupe of JCC; while State Choir participants from the area were PaIa Yang, Kallie Gundermann, Mai Yer Yang, Spencer Knott and Steven Pfarr, all of Westbrook-Walnut Grove, and Sean Benz, Windom Area.

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